Not As Good As The Previous Issues But Still Pretty Good
This review was originally posted on my blog here.
Writing a comic that is aware of its socio-political nature, and working that into the script itself, can be a daunting task. There are a few books that have attempted to do that over the years, but none with as obvious a message or delivery as Gail Simone’s The Movement from DC Comics. It is a modern-day comic that creates a very believable modern aesthetic, and it explores “superheroes” who take over from the social services that are supposed to protect the people.
In the five issues thus far, Gail and artist Freddie Williams have given us a really wonderful look at their setting, and they’ve populated it with some really interesting characters. There are distinct superhero-team vibes in the comic, which is really interesting considering what kind of a comic this really is. And no superhero team book is complete without some internal disagreement, and that’s what Gail explores in this issue.
In the previous issue, we saw that Katharsis took an exception to Tremor interfering in her… interrogation of the two corrupt cops that the group had caught a few issues back, and for whom they had been staging a mock trial. Things get really explosive this time around we finally begin to get some nuance about what brought this group together and why. We learn what this group is meant to achieve, in a below-the-surface kind of way, and not the on-the-surface kind that we are already familiar with.
I’m a stronger supporter of this series, and it is definitely one of the better ones that DC is putting out right now. But I have to say that this time I felt things were a little off. For starters, there was too much packed into the issue, whether its the argument and reconciliation between Katharsis and Tremor, or Mouse’s fight against the Graveyard Faction, or the attempted Exorcism of Burden by Moth and Virtue. Lots of things happening together and in that, some of the impact of these storylines is lost, sadly. I wanted to see the character drama between Katharsis and Tremor to play out a bit longer, but it got over too soon, and in a frighteningly simple way. Its the kind of story beat that Gail is really good at, and is something I’ve enjoyed in the past, but it felt just a little bit forced here.
Other than that though, this was a good issue in terms of all the action that takes place, and all the revelations that we get. We see Mouse, the most underestimated member of The Movement in my opinion, go toe-to-toe with the Graveyard Faction and team them a lesson or two. Some really fun moments there and they serve only to endear the character to me even more. Not a lot of development per se, but we do get to see just how badass Mouse can be.
Or even all the action between Katharsis and Tremor. Some excellent scenes and dialogue right there, all borne of a willful misunderstanding of the group’s aims and heavy-handed tactics like those used often by Katharsis. We get even more background on her this time, which helped to build up her character significantly. I’d love to see more of that in the future issues because I think that she as a character has a much better potential than some of the other ones.
The art was mostly decent. There are a few places where it doesn’t seem as polished and clean as it has been previously, or even within this very issue, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. There’s a certain vibe to Gail’s script that comes out really well in the artwork, whether we are talking about Williams’ pencils, Chris Sotomayor’s colours, or even the cover by Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig. Katharsis and Tremor duking it out with fists and flying leaps is one of the best moments in this issue, by far, and it was certainly quite entertaining.
All in all, an enjoyable issue, but not as good as the other ones. Which is just fine, since the others have been really good so the series is still among the best (or near-best rather) comics for me right now.