You Should Be Reading: The Movement


My issues and concerns with DC’s decision to reboot their entire continuity are significant enough that I literally boycotted the entire comic line. The scrapping of fan favorites, the rebrandings and redesigns, the fact that Amanda “The Wall” Waller -a rare strong female comic character who wasn’t meant to be overtly sexy, just intimidating- now looked like typical eye candy and Barbara Gordon was Oracle no more; I was neither pleased nor impressed with any of this. So much so that I didn’t even subscribe to Batwoman in spite of the fact that Elegy was one of the better comics of the last decade. Such was my wrath.

In my article of favorite under-the-radar superteams, I mentioned writer Gail Simone more than once. This is because she is one of the best in the business. When she was suddenly fired from Batgirl, the internet comic community exploded with such fury that DC was forced to rehire her for the job within days. After that display of fan passion, not only did Simone get to keep her current job, but she got a rare opportunity to create an entirely new property within the DC Universe, and make a statement about the power of the masses while doing it.  That new property is The Movement, the first issue just hit stands this month, and it’s the very first comic from the New 52 I have purchased.

Simone calls The Movement “a book about power — who owns it, who uses it, who suffers from its abuse.” It’s an entirely new aspect of the DCU that combines elements of V for Vendetta and Runaways with a little Sin City thrown in for good measure and draws inspiration from real world events like the Occupy Movement and the operations of hacktivist groups like Anonymous. At this point you’re likely either shouting “hell yeah!” or you’re raging at the audacity of these spoiled punk kids who dare suggest our corporate government is bleeding us dry for anything but our own good.


I like him. He seems fun.

The story begins with a pair of crooked cops harassing some teens in an alley in the bad part of Coral City known as “The Tweens”, based on the street numbers. As one policeman offers an indecent proposition to the young girl in their power, he hears his own words echoing back. Then again.  Then again. A single masked figure steps out of the shadows with a smartphone, replaying the audio of the illegal proposition with the letters “I.C.U.” displayed on the screen as a barely veiled threat. As one officer advances on the lone witness, the other stops him.  When he turns around, he sees the alley now full of people, all wearing the same mask, call carrying smart devices with I.C.U. displayed and the same audio playing. Power to the people it is, then.
A hacker collective known as “Channel M” sends the footage viral, but the police union forbids disciplinary action against the officers.  Meanwhile, homeless people are being found murdered in the streets with their eyes cut out, and the police believe they are closing in on the killer. A group of young metahumans then descend on the police, utilizing a variety of powers to disable the officers before informing them that after so many years of negligence, they are no longer welcome in the Tweens. The people will take care of themselves and each other from here on out.


The cyberhobos have made their move!

While I have high hopes for this series, the debut issue is maybe a little more blunt than what I’d expect from a writer of Simone’s talents. Then again, with a title this experimental on the biggest brand in the medium, it’s probably necessary to grab as much attention as possible right off the bat. Not to mention that this is merely the very beginning of a story likely to tread a lot of moral and political grey areas with plenty of blame for all parties to go around. The interesting question isn’t necessarily how people get the power, after all; it’s what they do once they have it.

The art is solid, the characters appear to be an interesting mix (although we barely have time to meet them in this issue), there is at least one unique superpower that I’ve never seen before that could prove a great narrative device, and the story looks to have its finger on the pulse of the rising resentment towards governmental authority that continues to take more and more from the common people while giving them less and less in return. Something will eventually give as it always does, and in the modern age people have the technology to spread awareness and organize like never before.  Seeing something that reflects the current and likely future climate in America like this play out in the DC Universe is going to be very interesting indeed.

If you managed to get through this review without rolling your eyes and going back to watching FOX News, now’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of The Movement. It’s a concept strong enough to get me back into the DC brand after they murdered almost everything I loved that they could, and a rare chance for a hotshot female comic writer to create something all her own (for now) in an industry that has far too few influential women outside of its pages.  I’m expecting big things. Don’t screw this up DC.


Charmed, I’m sure.


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  1. Well, thank you Paul, for acknowledging that not all gamers/comic book lovers/nerds in general are liberals. It is an annoying assumption far too many others make.

    Anyway, sounds like an interesting, if against my politics series. One doesn’t have to think that cops are perfect angels of virtue to still believe that they are generally good people who try to do a good job.

    As for gov’t abusing its power, if you feel that way, why not shrink it?? -_- I’m sorry but I don’t get the logic that says, “I’m mad at gov’t and how it abuses power” and simultaneously says “We need more gov’t programs to fix xyz and we need to increase taxes”.

  2. I ALMOST picked this off the rack yesterday, mainly drawn in by the Amanda Conner cover. If she did interior, it would have been an auto-buy (no offense to Freddie Williams II).

    Quality review, Nick. I agree that DC seems to be a shit-show right now, and this does look promising, so maybe I should head back and get with it. I’m weary though. I feel we should all take over/unders on when Simone gets booted from this book in some ridiculous fashion.

    Also, I’m still really enjoying “The Flash” and “Wonder Woman”. I’ve steadily dropped most DC titles as time has gone on (Batman and Earth-2, watch yourselves), but these have been money. Manapul’s art on Flash is worth the price of admission, and I can’t even tell you the last time I cared about Wonder Woman in any way.

  3. The politics of the series likely have yet to be determined, Mora, so I didn’t want to get too far into it. The first issue is fairly leftist on the surface, I suppose, but we’ve yet to see the consequences. This could possibly turn out to be a nightmare for the title characters as the story develops so I think it’s best we don’t label it as “liberal” or “conservative” just yet. Maybe I should have explained that in my review better.

    I’d also like to point out that I don’t do politics. Politics is almost by definition a competition between liars. It doesn’t really matter which liar you believe, you’re getting screwed regardless. The Movement isn’t kicking out liberals or conservatives, they are kicking out a government whose neglect has surely been an issue much longer than any single administration.

    And why is it you assume that people ganging up on bad cops (not all cops) who are molesting little girls in alleyways a liberal thing? What does that say about conservatives’ values if they identify with those cops?

    I’m pretty sure what they did do in this issue was shrink the government right outta their part of town, so what exactly is the argument again? The idea is that the government collects our money to supposedly help us. But they don’t. Not really. Most of our money is spent bombing third world countries for profit to make the people making the weapons and the people rebuilding the countries we destroy even wealthier, and plenty more goes to corporate subsidies and the like. This is to say the government taxes the crap out of the poor and then turns around and gives the money to the rich while cutting aid to schools and social programs at the same time. That goes for democrat and republican alike. They say different things, but their actions are almost always the same. So yeah, I’d like to shrink the government. But the people making the decisions about where to shrink it are not fit to make those decisions due to conflicts of interest, hence the problem.

    I appreciate the discussion, Morales, so thanks for the comment. It was probably a good idea to clear some of that stuff up.

    Yeah, DocDoom, I’m kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop on this one. Simone must have convinced DC to get onboard or they wouldn’t have greenlit it in the first place and hopefully they’ve learned their lesson from the Batgirl fiasco. But you never really know. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy an original property from one of my famous comic writers. Thanks for the feedback, man.

  4. Fiction is extremely fertile ground for political allegory. When Picasso said “art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth” I doubt he accidentally forgot to add “unless it’s a sequential art narrative, ‘cuz that’s just dumb”. But I guess one can’t argue with the infinite wisdom of a well-placed sigh.

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