I’ve been a mega-fan of Grant Morrison for a while. Animal Man, Kill Your Boyfriend, Batman RIP, Final Crisis, Seaguy, 52… the dude writes some amazing stories. I’ve had We3 (considered by many to be his best work) on my shelf for a few months now, but only worked up the courage to read it this afternoon.
And I cried and cried and cried. I had to watch Zoolander in it’s entirety just to calm myself down.
We3 is about three animal prototype weapons — a bunny, a kitty and a doggy — set to be decommissioned. They were formerly pets, abducted and altered by the United States government. They escape, and those in charge of the project try to terminate the animals as quickly as possible.
The reason this story is so effective is because the animals retain the characteristics of their species even after being turned into cybernetic killing machines. The cat is snarky and independent. The rabbit is mildly timid and constantly looking for grass. The dog seeks reassurance (“1 IS GUD DOG?”) and wants to lead all the other animals to his warm, loving “home.” Frank Quitely’s art is masterful here, with complex, layered panels highlighting the heightened senses of the animals as they react to… well, people trying to murder them.
Thematically, there’s a lot going on… it’s about war, it’s about animal rights, it’s about human instinct. Utimately, though, it’s a horror story. You know how it’s going to end, and there’s nothing you can do but keep reading. Or put the book down and walk away, which I was tempted to do a number of times.
We3 is very good, but also very brutal. It’s hard to stomach. I urge you to read it. If you love animals, I urge you to not only read it and also to invest in a box of tissues and some stupid comedies on DVD.
Grant Morrison has turned the book into a screenplay, which is apparently set to be adapted as an R-rated film. I doubt it will ever be made… the audience simply isn’t there. I know that I, personally, could not sit through a live action version of this. The book is enough.
Now, please enjoy this video of Zoolander compressed into nine minutes.