BAD COAT. COAT. IS COAT NOT “BANDIT.”

Throughout WE3, the animals are all preoccupied.  1, who is arguably the highest of the three animals, cognitively speaking, is preoccupied with the idea of “HOME,” the act of “PROTECT,” and morality, striving to be a “GUD DOG.”  2, on the other hand, is somewhat cynical, obsessed and guided not by morality as 1 is, but by smell.  Instead of making decisions based on ideas of “GUD” and “BAD”, 2’s actions are dictated by “ST!!NK.”  3 is mostly just hungry, although he does seem to be willingly herded towards “home” by 1.

Perhaps the most obviously symbolic page in the graphic novel appears when, after 3 and 4 have been destroyed, 1 and 2 come across the Lyle Construction building.  As they are descending the steps, still trying to escape the military, 1’s armor plating, which had been damaged by the sniper’s earlier in the novel, begins to fall off.  As this happens, 1 proclaims that “IS COAT NOT WE.”  Seemingly, 1 has begun to realize that WE3 are not defined by their armor or by their roles as weaponized animals and killing machines.

And so, this scene marks a transformative moment in the narrative.  The beginning of the process of WE3 shedding technology and militarization, which was prompted physically and symbolically by 1’s damaged armor, coincides with Doctor Roseanne telling 1 his real name, Bandit.  Thus, 1 is given an identity outside of WE3 (Animal Weapon 3), and can therefore breakdown the military structure of WE3, replacing it with the “good,” home and family provided by the homeless man.

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