BookBin2013: We3


Obviously, I’ve been hitting up the library quite a bit in this last half of 2013. This past trip, I spent even more time than usual in the graphic novel section. Seems they got a new shipment of books in recently, and I couldn’t help myself. That’s the only way I can explain how I ended up with this strange three-comic collection, We3, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely (Scotland Tag Team, woot!).

“We3” stands for “Animal Weapon 3,” a government experiment to turn common house pets into lethal weapons. This particular group of weaponized animals, the third in a series of tests, consists of three pets stolen from the streets: a brown Labrador mix named Bandit, a tabby cat named Tinker, and a black and white rabbit named Pirate (yeah, I’m not really sure why the rabbit was hopping out on the streets either). They are reclassified (rather originally) as “1,” “2,” and “3” and outfitted with body armor that contains missiles, razor-sharp claws, machine guns, and mines. Scientists also somehow soup up their brains to a point where they can speak in rather rudimentary ways.

Yes, before you even say it, the basic story does sound a bit silly. Then again, with a culture as obsessed with war and destruction as we are, sometimes I wonder if we even have limits to what we would be willing to do in the name of defending ourselves.

Beyond finding the concept both silly and disturbing, I just felt depressed after reading this book (even with the questionably “happy” ending). Still, kudos to Morrison for writing a compelling story and to Quitely for beautiful artwork.

Final Verdict: This series posed an interesting (and definitely unsettling) question about our limits when it comes to war, but I don’t feel as if it’s a question that I want to revisit exploring. Perhaps that’s my own unwillingness to face this particular darkness that surges through humanity and that could actually cause us to consider doing something like this…or worse. We send children to die “for [insert deity of choice here] and country” all the time. Sometimes, even someone as jaded and dark as I can be prefers to put some things out of mind.