Inspired by our modern society, especially the Occupy Movement, The Movement are disenfranchised young heroes with out-there powers, who represent the 99% and are going after corrupt government and corporate institutions. Writer Gail Simone described the book this way: It’s a book about power — who owns it, who uses it, who suffers from its abuse. As we increasingly move to an age where information is currency, you get these situations where a single viral video can cost a previously unassailable corporation billions, or can upset the power balance of entire governments. And because the sources of that information are so dispersed and nameless, it’s nearly impossible to shut it all down.
The leader of this group is named Virtue and seems to have the power to turn small groups of people into cell phone cameras, recording when (in this issue) police abuse their power and broadcast it on Channel M. Another member, Mouse controls a huge swarm of rats. And in this issue, they are joined by a boy who believes he is possessed by the Devil. They adopt a dilapidated, crime-ridden area of Coral City known as The Tweens and intend to improve it, without the aid of the corrupt police department.
Freddie Williams II’s art is gritty and slightly distorted, which suits the story perfectly. It’s a tad overly-stylized, but I really have no complaints.
And the always dependable Gail Simone sets up quite a lot in a single issue, establishing this team, which is an all-new concept and with all-new characters. It’s not as if every character is fully fleshed out, but they do all get a chance to shine. I don’t quite love their names, Virtue, Mouse, Katharsis, Burden and Tremor. Tremor and Mouse make sense, but the others sound like members of Youngblood from the 90s, when they had members like Chapel and Dutch and Vogue– none of which held any meaning. And they possess some pretty wild powers. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. Too many teams are just super strength/flight guy, energy guy, “Batman guy”, claw guy, big guy, hot chick. These powers are at least a divergence from that.
But the story’s pacing is perfect. It’s rapid fire, so Simone relies on tropes in a couple of areas, but… I mean she only had so many pages into which to establish an entirely new concept, so I can forgive that.
This is a strong start to a promising new series. I definitely recommend giving it a try, especially if you want something different. It’s off-beat and is an untested property, so it’s got some things working against it as far as drawing new readers. It would really be nice if deserving, intelligent books could muscle their way in alongside the marquee names.
THE MOVEMENT #1
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Freddie Williams II
Cover by Amanda Conner