Reading Gail Simone’s The Movement #1 was a rather liberating experience. It stepped away from the general superhero comics that are so prevalent at the publisher and sought to do something completely different. And it did that quite well too. The first issue was, obviously, a big set-up for all the characters and so it was inevitable, I think that the next couple issues would get down into the nitty-gritty of things and begin to give us the larger context of the story that is being told, as well as expand on all the characters we’ve seen and introduce new ones as well. And this is exactly what Gail Simone does. The end result is that issues #2 and #3 of the series have a (narratively) very natural feel to them.
We already know that those in authority are generally looked on as the “baddies” here and that the “superheroes” we see are the good guys and girls. There is a theme of social and justice equality throughout the books that Gail Simone goes to great lengths to make clear and relevant to a modern audience, especially in the cultural and societal context of our present times. With these average street-savvy characters, Gail thus delivers a great message that we should all take to heart.
However, it all doesn’t end there because these two issues also serve as a cautionary tale about vigilantism and responding to fire with a bigger fire, figuratively speaking. And this eventually plays into Gail Simone’s work on both Birds of Prey and Batgirl. Being a “team” book, there are a lot of characters involved, with some of these characters not agreeing with the others on how best to take things to the next level, and this results in some really fascinating relational dynamics between all these characters. The clashes between Virtue and Katharsis are of particular note here, and highlight their different views and opinions, brought together by the same goals and objectives.
Also, despite all the silliness, I really love Mouse’s character. He is a character undoubtedly meant for comic relief, to break up the monotony of the seriousness that permeates the series so far, but he is also clearly much more. He cares about the “little guys” and that’s really what The Movement is about, coming together to take care of the “little guy” from the “big guy”. As a meta-message on the series itself, within a microcosm, this is a really neat technique.
If there are any negatives to the story, they would be that I am not so sure about the moral conflict at play here, or that we are being frontloaded almost all of it from the get go. And the pacing of the series so far has been a little too fast. The first issue had a great balance, but I feel that the subsequent two issues have been moving at a faster, and uncomfortable, clip. The series would do well to slow down that tiny bit, and allow more character progression and less action.
The art, once again, is just truly superb. This time I have no complaints with it. All of Gail’s narrative beats are delivered on wonderfully, and the series really is a visual delight, of the sort that Greg Capullo’s Batman is or Ivan Reis/Joe Prado’s Aquaman was. Except darker. The entire “rough” setting of the city is captured beautifully and that’s really all I can say without dissolving into a gushing fanboy over how much I enjoy the art here.
So yeah, before that break down happens, go get these two issues and read ‘em.
eBook The Movement #2