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WE3
Review by James W. Powell

Story
WE3 Review Cover Image
WE3

Story
Grant Morrison
 
Art
Frank Quitely
 
Colors
Jamie Grant
 
Letters
Todd Klein

Publisher
DC Comics
 
Format
Softcover Collection
 
Publish Date
June 2, 2005
 
Cover Price
$12.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oh, man! Rarely does a graphic novel grab me by the balls and make me shout, "Oh shit!" But WE3 did just that. Only a few pages in and I was already debating: whip through it at the speed my heart's racing, or take it slow and soak in each panel? I managed to do both, but only by throwing in a second reading.

Collecting the 3-issue miniseries by Grant Morrison (The Filth, New X-Men) and Frank Quitely (The Authority, JLA: Earth 2), WE3 explores the possible future in which domesticated animals are bio-engineered to become weapons for the U.S. Government. While the premise sounds completely improbable, not for one second did I doubt its veracity. The opening sequence is so powerful, I can't imagine being unable to suspend by disbelief.

But the story isn't just about mass destruction. Roseanne, the doctor who helped engineer these animals, has become attached to them as if they were her own children. So when she's told to shut them down, it's like asking a mother to kill her offspring. It's a powerful notion that helps the story become grounded in reality, and one that helps make the ending ring true.

WE3 Review Interior ImageLike any good Disney-style tale in which talking animals try to find their way home and learn to love each other along the way, WE3 uses cute, adorable creatures to hammer home its themes and morals. There's just something touching about a dog and cat and rabbit working together to defend themselves against a platoon of men trying to kill them. Of course, all the death and destruction takes it up another notch.

In a world in which a X-Box game controller acts as the remote control for a top secret weapon, anything goes. And as with any Morrison story, there's more to it then what's on the surface, which makes WE3 readable time and time again.

Perhaps the only thing wrong with this book is the cover price. Paying $13 for what amounts to only three issues might seem a bit steep. Yet the story is so powerful, so good, I for one would never say it's not worth the extra money. The cost might be a factor in many readers' decision making, but it shouldn't be. This book's just too good to pass up.

Art

WE3 Review Interior Image 2There's very little dialog in WE3, but thanks to some very detailed imagery, the story is easily accessible and understandable. If anything, it's more powerful as Quitely's art creates the impact. Each panel seems to flow perfectly into the next, creating tension and drama in every scene. And his use of multiple small panels combined with large splash pages for the action scenes really amps up the hectic nature of those key moments in the story.

The story dictates that the characters be cute and cuddly while being ferocious at the same time, something that could certainly be difficult to pull off. But Quitely manages the task perfectly. Watching these 'pets' turn from soft, furry friends to dangerous, cold-blooded killers is worth the price of admission. There's raw energy here, and it looks oh so good.

Bonus Features
Aside from the reprinted covers, you get nothin'. Which is a shame, because seeing some Quitely sketch pieces or reading Morrison's thoughts would've been a nice touch.
Final Words

This book is more powerful then I could've imagined it being. Morrison and Quitely have teamed up to create a world that mixes Disney-style cuteness with war-time violence. And believe me, the two blend perfectly. Aside from the cost and the lack of bonus material, there's really no reason for anyone to skip this one.

Highly recommended


James has written for such fine web sites as DVDtalk, Broken Frontier, and Paperback Reader. He lives in Denver with his lovely wife and two cats who wake him up at 3 a.m.
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