Wednesday, July 20, 2005

WE3, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

I was anxiously awaiting the release of this graphic novel after reading about the idea behind it. It's already been optioned for a theatrical release, and it was in the Variety story about the pickup that I saw the story compared to Terminator meshed with Homeward Bound. I was instantly sold by this premise, and went ahead and ordered the book in advance of its actual street date.

Now that I've read it, I would actually put it much closer to Richard Adams' Plague Dogs with a cyborg element involved. Basically, the story involves a cat, a dog and a bunny who were once beloved family pets but are now animals in an experimental government laboratory. They've been turned into ultimate killing machines as their bodies are inserted into machines and their brains are controlled by masters who give them destructive orders. They can even talk, to a degree. Naturally, they escape, and the government will go to all measures to try to eliminate them.

I should state from the outset that the story is not at all lighthearted or uplifting. This is an examination of animal experimentation from the grimmest of perspectives. There are some funny moments (the cat frequently comments on the "stink" of humans), but beyond that the tale is bloody, graphic and occasionally quite harrowing. As an animal lover, it was fairly difficult for me to read, in fact. I won't say the experience wasn't rewarding - the subject matter definitely deserves attention and the art was masterfully done. It's just that if you're expecting a cute puppy and kitty story or something that might be appropriate for kids, it's probably better to look somewhere else.

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