I just successfully (and happily) made it through my first reading of a graphic novel! We3 was extremely visually stimulating and…dare I say it…surprisingly heartwarming, in spite of the blood and gore.
We3 tells the tale of 3 prototype cyborgs created to serve as powerful animal weapons; these three animals, a dog, cat, and rabbit, are 1, 2, and 3, creating a collective team of “We3.” They wear incredibly powerful metal suits equipped with state of the art weaponry, which, coupled with their increased senses and ability to communicate through human language, makes them very dangerous indeed.
Although there are countless pages in this graphic novel that push the boundaries of artistic creativity and beauty, one in particular that is also critical to the novel as a whole comes when 1 and 2 are fighting 4 in a deserted train yard (page 99). This page does two things: it artistically juxtaposes the opposing forces of what is natural and what is machinery (similar to the bio-mechanical convergence we saw in Neuromancer), pushing the reader to identify the cognitive estrangement within this work, highlights the importance of the graphics in visually telling the story.
On this page, 2 (the super doped out cat) is attacking “Animal Weapon 4,” which has been created to be “bigger, better, faster, stronger” than We3 (Morrison 97). Through is scene, Morrison effectively portrays technology, seen through the animals’ suits and battle skills, existing simultaneously with feral animals that work with some of the most natural instincts, or the drive to protect and live. In the top half of the page, 2 is seen viciously attacking 4 with metal claws, guns, and lasers attached to its suit. This is a very unnatural animal fight, because what animals fight in metal suits with immensely powerful guns? The top half of the page then leads into the lower part, which depicts 1 leaping in to the fight to protect 2 and push 4 to its death. We3’s drive to work together and protect each other emphasizes which, unlike metal suits and machinery, is very natural in animals; they have an instinctual drive to live and an unwavering loyalty to their family members. In this case, We3 is a family, so 1 and 2 working together plays on what is the most natural part of their existence.
This page is not just significant for this, though; it also has wonderful graphic art that emphasizes the character of 2 and brings the story to life. In the top half of the page, 11 different squares of graphics, with 10 smaller ones on top of one larger one encompassing the whole top half. The large graphic is of 2 attacking 4 as 1 attentively looks on, while all of the smaller graphics are of different parts of the fight; there are two particularly vivid squares of 2 clawing at 4’s eyes, which are bloody and oozing. There are also some graphics of 2’s suit and bullets. These pictures depict 2 as very powerful, a vital member of the We3 team. The vividness of the graphics enhance the violence in the story, but also show 2 as a kick ass character who progresses the story significantly through its actions.