Review: The Movement #1Posted: May 3, 2013
Writer: Gail Simone
Penciller: Freddie Williams II
I can’t understand why DC wasn’t promoting The Movement very much for the past few months, because I feel like this first issue of the series is one of the strongest first issues I’ve read since the beginning of the New 52. I guess there’s something to be said for letting quality work stand on its own, but since this book isn’t titled Batman Presents: Superman and the Movement, I think it needs (and most definitely deserves) more publicity. But that’s enough of an introduction, let’s get into the issue itself.
The concept of The Movement echoes sentiments of political unrest without choosing a side between the left or the right, and for that I applaud Simone. Instead of being a story about Occupy or a Tea Party fever dream, Simone presents us with a story about a “movement” that anyone and everyone can get behind: fighting back against oppression. What I really enjoyed about this first issue is that The Movement (as the actual movement is known) isn’t composed of only metahumans, but features normal, everyday people as the majority of the group. This aspect of the group is vital, because it means it isn’t a bunch of super-powered teens abusing their powers, but rather its normal people, rallying behind heroes, standing up for what is right. That being said, I loved the metahumans introduced in this issue. In one issue, I already care about Burden (a kid who is either has schizophrenia or is literally possessed) and his past, and want to see him fight to regain control of himself and his powers. Another standout is Virtue, an “emotion rider” that shows promise as a steadfast leader. But outside of The Movement itself, I actually found myself caring about someone they’re fighting against. The captain of the police force proves himself to be an enemy of corruption as well, but also someone who believes in doing his job and protecting his city the only way he knows how. I think its a testament to Simone’s writing skills that with one issue, I already feel attached to members on both sides of the conflict.
On the art side of things, Williams provides some truly stunning scenes. Of particular note are the opening scene, in which dozens of Movement members stop some dirty cops from engaging in sexual harassment of a minor, and the scene in which Burden enters the church. The opening scene in the alleyway is drawn in such a way as to demonstrate the true power of The Movement without having to use any actual “powers,” but instead relying on a truly intimidating presence. And Burden’s “transformation” in the church…completely haunting.
Simone’s and Williams’ The Movement is on pace to be a new favorite of mine within the New 52, and comics in general. Hopefully this title will get the attention and recognition it deserves so that we’ll get a long and stunning run from this creative team.