“The Movement #1”

Movement 1
“The Movement #1”
(w) Gail Simone
(a) Freddie Williams II
DC Comics

I don’t know whether this opening salvo is supposed to be like The Matrix and draw you in with the action or if it is just some randomly done side project thrown together because they got told to.

There are a few things that jump out to me when I read this book. The first is that there are only word balloons in this comic. The only other boxes of text are twice in the comic when the location is given. What this means is that all the storytelling and settings have to be shown through the dialogue and art. In the first five pages of this book, we get plenty of that to tell the reader what is going on. I understand that the police captain is limited in his scope of power, and that there are a group of people wearing Court of Owl type of masks with a video camera on them that have an internet connection much in the way that Google Glass will have.

After that, we have a group of kids each with a different mutant power, er, metahuman power (wrong comic book company) take on the police. Each gets to show their power off a bit while assaulting officers and introducing themselves. One kid had the power to control/talk to rats, and he calls himself Mouse, the prince of rats. When I read that last sentence out loud, I wonder how seriously these kids want to be taken.

Knowing how this comic will go, the kids manage to incapacitate the officers as Virtue, who looks to be the spokesperson for this confrontation for The Movement, has a conversation with the captain and discovers that the captain’s wife is having an affair with one of the officers that got named in the book. So the captain who we already knew had his hands tied in the first five pages as a captain of a police squad apparently isn’t having a great marriage either. So no other place for that character to progress than up!

To make matters worse, when the girl, who has only shown the superpower to ride emotions, asks for his gun and badge, and he gives it up without a fight.

I’m not really sure what to make of this book in a story sense. So, let’s move to the art. I’ve seen some of Freddie Williams II’s art before, and this is about what I would expect it to be. We get a lot of character close ups, not too much on the backgrounds, and a kinda bulky look to the art. The one thing that the art did to remind me that this book is in the DC universe came from the art and the colors used to show Virtue riding the emotional spectrum. If we use the colors of the different corpse over in Green Lantern, we know what each color of the emoition spectrum that she sees would mean. Nice touch, but I wonder how many readers would see it.

There are certain expectations that I have for first issues. I need to know the names of the players and what the point of the book is. I need to know basic setting information. I want the art and writing to have a draw to it, or for one to completely outweigh the other to make me forgive any shortcomings of the other. And most importantly, it just have to make me want to reread it and immediately have the next issue in my hands.

For the most part, this book is running on fumes in the nearly empty gas tank. It manages to get you to where you want to be, barely, and makes you wonder if it will make it home or at least to a nearby gas station. The book name checks everyone important and gives a general introduction to their power set, but none of them stand out. I get that the setting takes place in Coral City and that some of the action happens in the ‘Tweens which acts as some sort of run down part of town (but hey, it seems to be run by teenagers, so at least the name sounds eye-rolling appropriate).

I picked up this issue because of the media circus around it from so many months ago. After reading it, I think that there was more hype to this story than what it was worth so far. This comic tries to come out swinging, but the punches aren’t landing, and it looks like flaying more than anything. There seems to lack a focus or hook that really gets into me with the book. Maybe adding some more pages and giving the story a chance to breath and fully set itself would have helped. The book seemed more willing to spend time with the police than it did with the characters that it was introducing.

Again, I really am just asking myself what is up with this book. And much like the hype around it, I just don’t get it. Not just my cup of tea? Sure. I don’t hate it, I just know it isn’t for me. I’m walking away at the end of the book knowing pretty much the same thing I did at the end of the first five pages. The only difference is that the cop without power over his own police force also has no power over some group of seemingly one note powers.