I read comics.
It’s hardly an admission of perversion, but it is considered rather odd behaviour for an adult woman by some people. After all comics are a pastime for kids, or geeky anoraks who get off on the busty girls in Lycra, right?
I’m interested in all art forms that communicate stories, so it’s no surprise that I still read, and enjoy, comics.
I’ve been an unabashed fan of anything by Grant Morrison since I first encountered his amazing comic-book series, The Invisibles, back in the 90s. The Invisibles was the first series I obsessively collected. I own every issue, which is worth the bother since the early volumes contained a letters page that is vital reading just for the Scottish wonder’s replies.
Anything Grant writes, I will buy. Not everything he does is top notch, but even his failures contain enough gems to rate them worthy of reading.
We3 is drawn and inked by Morrison’s long-time collaborator, Frank Quitely, and together they have done a superlative job in manifesting a vision of tomorrow’s bio-engineered weapons.
The three-issue mini-series (issue 2 is out now) concentrates on the fortunes of Bandit the dog, Tinker the cat, and Pirate the rabbit, who have been bio-engineered by the government to become weapons capable of assassination and warfare. Much of each issue is without words: Quitely’s astonishing artwork conveys the story, be it the escape of the cyborg animals as captured by the facility’s monitors, or the incredibly kinetic sequence as the trio tries to evade capture in the opening of issue 2.
It is also Morrison’s most emotionally gut-wrenching work in years. The animals are still animals: the dog wants to be man’s best friend, the cat is amoral and self-interested, and the rabbit wants to eat grass. Yet they have been interfered with on a fundamental level. They are now designed to kill, and do so whenever they are threatened. They can also talk, albeit in a basic language. It is this facility that renders them most threatening to the official who orders them decommissioned: it’s OK to make Bambi a killer, but it’s bad PR if he can also communication his thoughts and feelings. Morrison manages to convey a great deal of emotional depth in their animalspeak. When Bandit says “Bad Dog” at the end of the second issue, there is nothing more eloquent to describe his loss and confusion.
Even though it’s obvious the final episode is not going to end well for the modified animals, I can’t wait to read it. I’m sure it will deliver pathos, action and compassion. It’s what Morrison does best. In We3 he proves that he is a master of storytelling in the comic book format.
2005 is going to be a good year for fans of Grant Morrison’s work.