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We3 Paperback – July 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bandit, Tinker and Pirate are three pets who just want to go home. This collection of Vertigo's three-issue release tells the tale of a dog, a cat and a rabbit, who, like their Incredible Journey–style forebears, work together as they travel through a hostile human world. The difference here is in the awful loss of innocence wreaked by human ingenuity upon the animals. They've been bioengineered to act as military killing machines, but, as the covers reveal, they started out as house pets, and readers will feel heart-tugging empathy even as the former pets are driven to acts of shocking violence while escaping from the military. Morrison, perhaps the greatest writer in comics today, endows his animals with synthesized cyborg speech in which they express their most basic desires for warmth, food and love, as well as their attempts to process their unnatural capacities for violence. "Bad dog," Bandit repeatedly scolds himself after taking down yet another soldier. Quitely's art consists of lucid images of mayhem and sweetness that, in the most impressive spreads, fractalize to express the way these animals "experience time and motion differently." It's a groundbreaking and bravura performance. This is Morrison's most accessible tale ever, and one that is destined to be a classic. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–This title reads a bit like Robocop meets Homeward Bound meets the final scene of The Wild Bunch. In it, animals are being transformed into intelligent experimental weapons, and three in particular are trained to work together as a team known as WE3. When the animals formerly known as Bandit the dog, Tinker the cat, and Pirate the rabbit are decommissioned and condemned to death, their doctor/trainer decides to let them escape. What follows is a series of action-packed and heartbreaking chase and fight scenes between the lethal animals and the United States military. The artwork is innovative and breathtaking, and there are several pages without text. While this requires some concentration, those who take time to look carefully at all of the images will witness an amazing story. This book pulls no punches; sensitive readers will be moved to tears, and animal lovers might be moved to put the book down for a while before picking it up again. The violence is often graphic, but those who wade through all the blood will be rewarded with some badly needed closure. Compelling, moving, and disturbing, this is a thought-provoking work for mature readers.–Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401204953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401204952
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,131,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Richard De Angelis on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Former Animal Man writer Grant Morrison revisits the issue of human inhumanity towards animals in this story published by Vertigo Comics. Beautifully illustrated by Frank Quitely, WE3 is a frightening, hyper-violent science fiction story "suggested for mature readers." It opens in a secret military research laboratory where scientists are working to replace humans on the battlefield with cybernetically enhanced, remotely controlled animals. Their first success is creating a horde of "rat biorgs" able to repair complicated machinery-aided by the drills and other tools that have been surgically grafted to their bodies. But when a senator comes to inspect the scientists' progress, they show him their proudest achievement, an armored dog, cat, and rabbit outfitted with an array of deadly weaponry and electronic voice boxes that allow them to communicate in a crude form of human speech. At the conclusion of his visit the senator orders the animals destroyed-or as he puts it, "decommissioned"-not because he disapproves of the project, but because they were not specifically bred to be used as test subjects and he is afraid the mental strain of their condition may eventually make them uncontrollable. As the "lost" posters that appear before each chapter in this book make clear (the story was originally published as a three issue miniseries), Bandit the dog, Tinker the cat, and Pirate the rabbit are all stolen pets.

Instead of euthanizing the animals as ordered, the doctor in charge of their care removes their restraints and allows them to escape into the night.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Felixpath on November 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Grant Morrison is an amazing author. The prolific comic book writer is best-known for intricate, mind-altering meta-stories that must be read multiple times to fully appreciate. (His Vertigo titles include "Animal Man," "Doom Patrol," and "The Invisibles.") With "WE3," the story he tells is far more straightforward, covering a mere three comic book issues. Even within that limited space, he and artist Frank Quitely have created a wonderfully bizarre little tale, a splatterpunk retelling of "The Incredible Journey" that oozes with Morrison's distinctive warped ideas and pointed social commentary -- and somehow manages to be heartwarming as well.

"WE3" opens terrifically, as a fugitive war criminal and his bodyguards are messily assassinated by what looks like a trio of giant, fiber-optic cockroaches. These three deadly entities are soon revealed to be the result of a top-secret military bioengineering project. Once common household pets, their bodies have been grafted into indestructible cyborg exoskeletons, while electrodes in their brains allow them to receive direct orders from their human commanders. They are known only by their numbers: 1 the dog is equipped with ground-to-air missiles and automatic rifles, 2 the cat shoots flechette needles from his metal fingertips, and 3 the rabbit leaves a trail of explosive mines. (Their names were once Bandit, Tinker, and Pirate, as revealed by the poignant "Missing" posters that precede each chapter.) The animals have even been equipped with a rudimentary robo-sentience, and can mimic human speech. Sadly, the project has moved on and WE3 is now obsolete and due for termination.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J. Chilton on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback

Let me begin by stating that I am not terribly fond of graphic novels. Even as a child I had no particular love for comic books. Nevertheless, a positive review of Morrison's and Quitely's We3 in the Washington Post, which included a stunning illustration of a cybernetically besuited cat springing at the viewer before a lightning-torn sky, inspired me to check out this work.

I immediately loved it. It's quirky, insightful, exciting, and profoundly moving. One could be trite and call it "Incredible Journey" meets "The Terminator." But this is a much more complex work, and such a comparison does it a disservice. The graphics are innovative and beautiful (even the violence and gore is rendered with a loving attention to detail). The artists manage not only to break out of two dimensions and add depth-here are bullets half the size of the page, flying uncomfortably close to the reader, there a fight spills off the bottom of one page only to crash down on the top of the next-but also to add an element of time as well. No old-school comic this; time and depth and skillfully rendered with clever tricks of the graphic arts.

The story is a simple one: Three family pets, abducted by the government and turned into lethal killing machines, are about to be "decommissioned" (read euthanised). A helpful scientist helps them stage a violet escape, and they begin their journey "home," though what home might be, none of them has a clue. The animals speak in a simple, synthesized patois of AOL-speak. The cat uses "ST!NK" to describe that which it doesn't like, and refers to the dog's (who is called "1") not knowing anything as "1 KNOW 0." The dog is obsessed not only with home, but with being a "GUD DOG.
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