Or – “Something Old, Something New…”
Since the relaunch of the New 52, a lot of attention has been paid to bringing back old concepts, dressing up the old guys in hip new clothes and revamping things that haven’t quite hit the mark, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of NEW world-building in play. Gail Simone’s The Movement changed that last month with a relatively impressive debut, but will they be able to keep up the pace with #2? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
A nice balance of character to action.
Art is impressive.
Still a lot of unanswered questions.
Last page reveal is a mixed blessing.
Previously in The Movement: In Coral City, corruption is just a fact of life. There’s no Man of Steel to fly in for the save, no Dark Knight to keep the wolves at bay, just a dying city choking on the rust of its own decay. Last issue, though, a few young superhumans changed the playing field for good, taking some of Coral City’s most corrupt cops into custody while uniting the disenfranchised people of the city behind one mocking statement: “I.C.U.”
NOT WHAT I EXPECTED…
After last issue’s battle, I wasn’t sure where this one would open up, but we find Virtue leading her new captives down into their headquarters, an underground facility that was once a garment factory with a rather tragic history. Interestingly, though Virtue and her team are trying to make a political statement, one of the dirty cops calls them on the hypocrisy of their actions, a moment that really humanizes the characters, and makes it clear that they’re idealistic, but most of all young. The breakout character moment of the issue comes from Mouse, the young were-rat empath, who is torn to pieces by the death of one of his favorite rodent friends. The scene is at once touching and silly, with a joke at the end that veers the funny into “Dear god, that’s awful” territory, then makes you laugh again. I have to say, I’ve never particularly been a fan of Freddie Williams previous work, finding his figures occasionally lumpy, but this issue, whether a conscious effort at a different style or the work of a new inker, really overcomes that, and delivers strong facial expressions and excellent figure work.
ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS…
We also get a little bit of backstory on Katharsis, the winged, purple-haired girl (who has the best overall look of all the characters, to my eye), as she goes rogue after disagreeing with team leader Virtue over how to best make their mark in Coral City. There’s a fascinating bit of interplay before she flies off the handle and tries to take her complaint straight to what she considers the source of the problem. It’s a moment reminiscent of the relevant stories of the 70s, where Green Arrow or Black Lightning would take the fight straight to the abusive fatcats in power, but with a much more complex underpinning and much less cut-and-dried storytelling. As the issue ends, we meet another player in Coral City, one who (unlike most of the cast) will be familiar to older fans, though I can’t believe it’s 20 years since her debut. Whether or not she is friend or foe, or even if the shape of the Movement is complete yet is still up in the air, but all in all, it’s nice to have a last-page shocking reveal be actually surprising…
THE BOTTOM LINE: AN INTERESTING TAKE ON THE SUPER-DUPER GENRE…
There are a lot of comic concepts that pop up again and again, from the pro-active hero team to the government-sponsored unit to the group of young heroes fighting for a better tomorrow, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a street-level group like this, and I don’t recall reading a book that plays with political realities this effectively since the 80s. All in all, The Movement #2 is a strong issue, building and improving on #1, offering silliness and sentiment, action and deep-thinkin’, as well as a cast that is awesomely and unobtrusively diverse, something the New 52 could sorely use, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. One more issue of this caliber, and this book should hit must-read status…