A few months back, DC announced some new titles for their line including The Movement. Fan favorite creators Gail Simone (famous for her work on Secret Six and currently writing Batgirl) and Freddie Williams II (who recently did some work for DC on Green Arrow) stand at the forefront of this new series. The story focuses on an Occupy Wall Street-esque group of superhumans determined to help the disenfranchised and protect them from superhumans who abuse their powers. Initially, I wasn’t too intrigued by the idea of this comic, but decided to give the first issue a chance nonetheless. Was my initial cynicism correct or could The Movement #1 wow me?
The Movement #1 brings readers into a world of shady dealings from page one. We’re treated to a classic scene of corrupt cops hassling some youngsters who may or may not deserve it (it’s never made clear, though it’s more than likely the police are setting them up). The cops are, of course, stopped by a shady group known as Channel M. Later that day, the cops’ vile actions are exposed on television and the Police Chief moves to fire both men…but cannot because of union rules. Before there’s time for him to get angry, the force must investigate a superpowered killer in an area of Coral City known as “The Tweens.” Ultimately, members of Channel M, aka “The Movement,” arrive to stop this individual from wreaking too much havoc, and declare war on the city’s police force.
The Movement #1 has a number of good qualities. Firstly, I like that a character with mental illness introduced in the issue; adding a diverse cast to comics is great, but often people forget that diversity goes beyond race, religion, and sexual orientation. Gail Simone’s dialogue is great as usual, and these characters speak the way actual people would. Amanda Conner’s cover, shown at the top of this article, is awesome and works well to showcase this new team of heroes; I’m glad that Conner is on cover duty for the foreseeable future. Freddie Williams II is not the industry’s best artist by any means, but his stylized characters and odd angles fit this story of citizens vs. authority. Colorist Chris Sotomayor does great work with a widely varied pallet to give this comic a feel that sets it apart from other DC series.
Sadly, this comic is not without flaws. The most egregious issue is reader connection to and the motivation of The Movement. Obviously, there are some less-than-stellar cops in Coral City, but a few bad eggs are not enough to condemn an entire police force. The Chief actually seems like a legitimately good character and, aside from one action, Officer Yee doesn’t seem so bad either. Perhaps Simone is trying to show that even citizen’s crusades for justice are not always as noble and legitimate as they might think, but for now I can’t really root for The Movement. Furthermore, the members of The Movement have some of the most idiotic names I’ve read in comics: Katharsis sounds like something out a bad 90s Rob Liefeld series, while “Mouse The Prince of Rats” is descriptive, but beyond lame. I suppose Burden, Tremor, and Virtue are all right names, but nothing special. The backgrounds in this issue are also far from impressive, which is a shame.
Ultimately, The Movement #1 is a mixed bag. I’m glad that DC is giving peripheral titles a shot, but this series is going to need to step up a lot if it wants to avoid cancellation. Obviously, I shouldn’t expect a first issue to give away everything, but I didn’t feel nearly as connected to the characters or plot as I usually do when reading a new series. Perhaps Gail Simone’s star power can sustain the series, but as it stands now this first issue can be perfectly described as “meh.”
-artwork complements the story well
-mediocre character names
-not enough exposition to endear a reader to the main cast or their mission
-backgrounds are poorly drawn
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. His superhero name would be “Komrade Blayde.”
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