Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Movement, Volume 1: Class Warfare Review (Gail Simone, Freddie E. Williams II)


Coral City’s riddled with corrupt cops, politicians and developers all preying on the little guy - but the people are mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore! So a small group of superpowered young people are gonna hold a couple cops hostage and…?

I expected Gail Simone and Freddie E Williams II’s The Movement to be more interesting than it was which, it turned out to be, was not at all. I thought it’d be inspired by the Occupy Movement and maybe do something a little different like Brian Bendis/Alex Maleev’s Scarlet than fall back on standard superhero junk which it disappointingly ends up doing. 

Meet a series of unmemorable superheroes younger readers are bound to not connect with: Katharsis, a winged ex-cop with a bad attitude; Mouse, King of… Rats?!; Virtue, Rainmaker, Tremor, and Vengeance Moth (really). Together they are Channel M, or The Movement, or, more accurately, a shitty Secret Six knockoff. The Movement’s beat is tenth to twentieth streets - the “‘Tweens”! Wow, Gail Simone.

It seems like Simone is headed to the “people rising up against the authorities that fail them” storyline to start with - ordinary people don silver masks that conceal their identities and that seems pretty cool. But then she has them stand around in front of cops who also wear masks who also just stand there. Nothing happens. No further commentary. And then she’s back to the crap superheroes, awkwardly shoehorning in unmemorable backstories, as they punch one another like the idiots they are. 

Freddie E Williams II’s art is very scratchy and looks one step up from a bare-bones storyboard. He’s a digital artist and, while I’m not against the format, he doesn’t make it look like a better alternative. The superhero outfits are as forgettable as their tacked-on personas - Vengeance Moth’s character design is lifted entirely from Oracle/Barbara Gordon (cute bespectacled young woman in a wheelchair)! 

The Movement is a vacuous superhero comic only vaguely trying to connect itself to something politically substantial, relevant and contemporary - and failing across the board. I didn’t like Simone’s Secret Six run either but maybe fans of that title will get something out of this. I suppose Simone did connect her characters to the Occupy Movement’s in a way - they’re both aimless, disorganised and ineffective!

The Movement, Volume 1: Class Warfare

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