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Comic Thoughts: DC's 'The Movement' (Issues #1-2)

Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment
The Movement is a new book headed by writer Gail Simone and artist Freddie Williams II. It's about a group of kids who are tired of the bad behavior as well as negligence on the part of the Coral City Police Department, and have decided to do something about that. Apart from trying to signal to them that they aren't doing enough, they've also taken it upon themselves to take care of the homeless, misunderstood, and sometimes disturbed masses that tend to fall on the wayside, or taken in by the police because they're strange. On top of that, there's a killer on the loose, and everyone's kind of worried about it.

I picked up The Movement because I'm a fan of Gail Simone as a person and a writer. After reading the first two issues of this book though, I'm not sure I'm much of a fan, as much as I'd like to be.

The book starts out in the middle of a bad situation. Things just kind of happen and we meet people. I like that aspect, but then again, I had to read the first issue twice to make sense of all the different things going on. The amount of characters isn't the problem, but I think part of it has to do with the artwork - I had a hard time following along and knowing who was who. That and, just stylistically, I don't think the artwork with the story - I feel it should be more on the gritty side. The colorist (Chris Sotomayor) did all he could to make it look darker and everything, but I think the line work just didn't match with the writing.

There isn't really a clear chain of command between the main characters. Not with the main team, and not with the police team. Everyone in the main team kind of does what they want, and don't have a clear plan through which to reach their goal. I get who the leaders are supposed to be, but they aren't as commanding as leaders should be, and can't control their one wild character who could completely ruin things for every person in their association and all of the others they help. Meanwhile, the police chief, being portrayed as a decent human among the slime is virtually powerless to make a positive difference, and he is in turn misunderstood by the main team (they're called Channel M, or The Movement).

The kiddos are so impulsive and set in their minds that all cops are awful that they don't even consider they could cooperate with the good ones. I guess in that sense, the book succeeds in capturing angry young people. They're sloppy and confused and desperate to change the situation they're in. I think this is a case where the story is probably good, but just not for me. The kids are angry, maybe too angry. It's like a wave of anger was just flowing out of the book and into my body, because even I tensed up a little while reading. And I didn't feel tense because of the parallels between some of the things going on in the book and real life, it was purely a reflection of the mood of the book. Everyone's pissed off. I don't want to read a book that just makes me feel upset or agitated.

Though I was excited for this book before it came out, I'm not sure I'll be sticking around for too long. I plan on giving it a go for at least one or two more issues before deciding whether I'll stick around for the long run or just drop it. I want to like this book, but it just isn't doing it for me. I'll be back with my thoughts as I keep trying to love it.