We3 – Morrison/Quitely



Books & Comic Books

Written by Kaustubh Thirumalai
Sunday, 01 June 2008 22:17
Animal testing and research is a highly controversial topic. Species varying from fruit flies to marmosets are utilized for tests varying from brain damage research to anti-wrinkle products. The scientists hold that almost all significant medical discoveries were a direct occurrence of animal testing. The naysayers claim that it’s impractical, inefficient and is not accurate enough concerning humans, apart from the ethical aspect. As per where I stand, I’m with Bateson on the issue. Which is to say… I don’t mind some animals being tested on as long as there is a limit to the suffering of the animal, and there should be a minimum potential medical benefit – howsoever the limits be deemed; decided by people who are completely knowledgeable about the circumstances concerned. Obviously, the animals shouldn’t be mistreated and should be tended to decently – the least we can do before we experiment and ultimately euthanize them. Or, just conduct experiments on humans… How black metal am I?Veteran writer, Grant Morrison brings in a martial viewpoint to this topic, which is usually reserved for human guinea pigs. Teaming up with Frank Quitely, another veteran in his own right, and Vertigo, he weaves a neat little story in the form of 3 issue mini-series.A dog (Bandit), a cat (Tinker) and a rabbit (Pirate), formerly pets, are kidnapped and taken to a military research centre. Here, they’re engineered and suitably modified into stealthy, powerful and dangerous weapons. Hold on, they can talk as well (but only in very Basic English…just like Northies)! However these three aren’t the only prototypes. There are colonies of modified rats which can assemble jet engines within 2 days amidst other experiments. In issue number one, the three prototypes succeed in terminating a tinpot dictator, Guerrera. After this mission however, the Senator, checks up on the animals. Assuming that the animals are a mere economic burden, he decommissions the whole project and orders for the animals to be put to sleep. The compassionate research assistant, not able to euthanize ‘em, decides to inform them of their fate and leave them be. The clever animals break out of the facility and try to search for their true home. And here the chases begin…
Grant Morrison truly has a way with words. He manages to convey the (stereo)typical behaviour of the individual pets even though they communicate only using the broken English. The dog is ever loyal, having good intentions for mankind. The cat is a free spirit, independent and always doubtful about man. The rabbit, a finicky and nervous critter, tries to keep it cool between the other two. In the midst of all this, Morrison subtly puts in pro-animal activist overtones without it being a hassle. However there are some large sequences where the only dialogue is in the broken-basic English – this proves to be slightly annoying. But the plot is good and the ending is definitely worth it.Frank Quitely is amazing. If you’re familiar with his work, you can expect quality. Some of the angles from which the comic has been drawn are brilliantly unique. Also, there are some neat gory sketches too – in the correct dosage. Quitely’s take on the comic:
“Apart from being Grant Morrison’s nicest looking work to date? It’s a thought-provoking, character-driven story that acts like an ultraviolet horror story and looks like a present day sci-fi story. Or is it the other way around?”I’d recommend this to anybody remotely interested in science fiction and for the tough guys who’d like to take a break from Hellblazer and The Punisher. It’s also a good read for those of you who have pets. If you don’t fall into any of the above, it does make for good timepass.