ENGL 300: The Graphic Novel George Mason University (Spring 2011)


Empathizing with We3

Although there were a couple posts I considered responding to that deals with the violence in We3 (seriously though, if you think this was violent, never read anything from Garth Ennis), I decided to respond to sbell6's post concerning the lack of character development.

One issue that is brought up in his post, and that was addressed on Tuesday, is how a reader will connect with We3 depending on whether or not they have a pet at home. While it would certainly make one more inclined to empathize with the animals, it isn't a necessity. I think that even if I wasn't a pet owner I would still be upset when the rabbit dies, or at the cruel experiments that they are subjected to.

Another issue that is raised is the lack of character development in regards to the animals. While it is a valid point, I believe that Morrison did this intentionally. I say this because at the beginning, after they kill Guerrera and the General is showing Washington We3, the General says, "They've killed their last tinpot dictator." Before that, Doctor Trendle says that 1 "only kills enemies of our nation." This indicates to me that We3 has been active for some time now, and for Morrison to leave out their abduction, outfitting and training was a deliberate action. It is a pretty short graphic novel even without this development, but it was enough for me to maybe not identify with 1, 2 and 3 but at least to have some emotional investment in them.

Posted by mswisher

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  1. That’s a good point that the We3 team must have been active for quite some time before the graphic novel begins. The implication is that this kind of weaponization of animals has happened and nobody has realized it—and judging from the interview with Grant Morrison, Morrison is suggesting that it has indeed been happening in the real world, and very little attention has been paid to it.

    • Weaponized animals, albeit not in the cybernetic sense, has been an ongoing process since the Cold War. Maybe with some Google Fu I’ll bring in some examples to class next Tuesday. But in the USSR they were teaching dolphins to deliver submersible bombs for example. One could even include bomb-sniffing or drug-sniffing dogs as an example of “weaponized” animals.

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