WE3 is a three issue miniseries published by DC’s Vertigo Imprint, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely. Originally published in 2004, it’s been in development for a while as a possible animated feature, although it seems to be at a stall at this point. The story concerns three genetically modified animals, a dog (01,) a cat (02,) and a rabbit (03) on the run from the secret government program who created them and are now trying to destroy (“decommission”) them.

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The action sequences in this are like nothing else, and provide a lot of bold experimentation with the comics medium. Quitely is an amazing artist (although, from what I understand, the level of detail in his work tends to slow down the pace of production a bit,) and I’ve already expressed my opinions on Morrison in past articles, but for those unfamiliar with his work, he’s one of the best working in the medium today.

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One of my favorite parts of this, besides the action and the emotional storytelling, is how Morrison manages to capture the intelligence levels of the various animals. Pirate the Rabbit can only communicate in brief statements (“No. Grass. Eat. Now. Eat.”) which, as any rabbit owners out there can attest, is most likely the level they engage at. Tinker the Cat, on the other hand, can communicate in lengthier statements, but still at a less than human intellect (“2 say is no home!”) While Bandit the Dog is the one closest to normal syntax and human intellect (he gives the most poignant line of the comic “Home is where run no more,” and is quick to shame himself with repeatedly calling himself a “Bad dog.”) Still, they all manage to capture something idiosyncratic to animal behavior and communicate like animals who have been redesigned to speak English, instead of the run-of-the-mill talking animals. I found that especially refreshing.

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Check it out if you haven’t read it, it’s an awesome read.

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