Saturday, 5 February 2011

Review - WE3 TPB

This slender graphic novel, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, is about three domestic animals – a dog, a cat, and a rabbit – that escape from a US Air Force research facility after getting turned into cybernetic killing machines. Our heroes are really just prototypes and are due to be destroyed when their keeper sets them free. On the run and slowly falling apart without their medication, they find themselves pursued by the military, cyborg rats, and Weapon 4: a huge, cyborg mastiff.

This book manages to be both ultra-violent – the WE3 kill dozens of soldiers – and rather touching at the same time. The action is occasionally hard to follow but Frank Quitely’s detailed art is amazing (as usual) and this is one of Grant Morrison’s more accessible works – it’s entirely self-contained and could probably be read and enjoyed by anyone (animal lovers and ultra-violence lovers alike).

Despite their bionic parts and their capacity for limited speech, these domestic animals behave like domestic animals: the dog is loyal and loving, the cat is a bit of a vicious bastard, and the rabbit shits a lot – only here the rabbit shits little pellet bombs, which was perhaps my favourite thing about the book. This was a very quick read, easily readable in one sitting – and you will want to read it in one sitting – but no less powerful for that.

WE3 has a recommended retail price of £9.99. I bought my copy from Amazon (last year) for £5.87 but the Book Depository currently have it for just £4.99 (including postage). There is a fancy hardcover version, which apparently contains new pages, coming out later in the year but that has an RRP of £15.75 (£5.25 per comic collected!) so it would have to be really fancy to get me to buy it.

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