We3 was a miniseries by Grant Morrison, an author whom I have seen referenced but not read before, as he seems to generally write with superhero graphic novels. I received this as a gift, as the website my husband was reading highly recommended it. While I really enjoyed the art, and appreciated the story, I can’t say I particularly enjoyed this book.
The plot centres around three lost pets who are used as test animals by the military, attempting to replace human soldiers with animals in cybernetic suits, basically. The dog, cat and rabbit are able to communicate with each other and are successful soldiers, so the military decides the experiment is a success and they are no longer needed. Survival instincts kick in and things start to get violent as the animals search for home. The story is complex, really, dealing with how humans treat animals, the morality of the military, and the need for home. However, the story is so violent and sad that it is hard to really enjoy. Each of the three issues included a MISSING poster for each of animals, they try to look after one another as best as they can, and the dog berates himself as he attacks the humans trying to hurt him and his friends. The special feature at the back of the deluxe edition indicates that Morrison and illustrator Frank Quitely were trying to create a dynamic way of presenting the action scenes. They are almost photorealistic, and are shown in distinct, disjointed panels that are intended to show that the animals experience time at a different rate than do humans. The violence is very graphic, and is incredibly well done as well as being disturbing.
I can appreciate that the story is complete, as would be a finely written short story. The art is dramatic and well thought out, and the novel is both moving and exciting, but it isn’t one that I would ever read again. It just made me feel a bit sad and uncomfortable, which may be the point of such a story, but doesn’t make for a relaxing and enjoyable reading experience.