Friday, February 20, 2015

The Movement v1: Class Warfare TPB

I had heard about this short-lived series, but I passed due to my fairly strict “no nu-52” policy. Even though I typically enjoy Gail Simone’s writing and I like Freddie Williams’ art, I think I made the right call. The Movement is not a super-hero comic. I think the closest I can come to describing the core concept is that it’s a combination of Occupy Wallstreet and Anonymous. These are young people banding together to change their corrupt home of Coral City. While one or two of them might be able to pass for super-heroes (including guest-star Rainmaker, from the old Gen 13 days), this is more about social change than heroics.

The trade splits the focus between hunting down a serial killer who leaves his victims in a pool of water and a pair of cops who abused their power (and had it caught on film). While both stories are compelling, I found the split between scenes lessened a few scenes. In one scene, my favorite team member, Katharsis, is in a huge battle with a bunch of corrupt cops. But the scene is constantly cutting away, robbing some of the emotion from the scene. Later, when the rodent-controlling Mouse actually confronts the serial killer, the scene again juxtaposes between the Movement HQ and Mouse’s battle. I get that this presentation are supposed to be raising the dramatic tension, but I found myself really bored by the more mundane halves of both scenes.

As for the team itself, it is OK. Mouse is very much a Gail Simone character. His quirks and odd nature make him the Ragdoll of the team. Katharisis is the only member who seems like a super-hero, so of course she’s my favorite (she’s the winged butt-kicker). I might have enjoyed Rainmaker having a larger role; a totally new cast of characters is already difficult to get into, but when they are all so… odd and different than normal super-heroes, that makes it even harder to be invested. Frankly, this cast and book seems like it would be a perfect fit in DC’s upcoming Divergence push, this is a very diverse cast.

I found it interesting that Freddie Williams’ sketches noted that Katharsis is the only team member who is supposed to look like a super-hero. Well done, Williams, because that’s by far my favorite design on the team. Williams is a strong illustrator and his exaggerated body language and facial expressions tell the story well. Even non-powered characters have a presence on the page. Again, I’ll show my bias; I prefer Williams doing straight-up super heroes.

This comic is FAIR. It is fine, but it is clearly working on a diversity agenda, both from a team standpoint and as a core concept. As I often say, that’s fine; there should be lots of types of comics out there. But this one isn’t my cup of tea. 

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