The Movement #11 (Comics Review)
Knowing that The Movement is coming to a close next month doesn’t exactly fill me with joy. This is something I have touched on before, and it is still something that I cannot get over. A most unconventional series it has been, and I love it for that. But more than that, I love it because it has given me such awesome characters as the members of The Movement, each with a different personality and each with a different story that all comes together. Gail Simone and Freddie Williams and Chris Sotomayor and everyone else really do need to be commended for all their work on this title.
Sadly, The Movement #11 shows what this book really could have been like. Up until now we have seen the group tackle some pretty big challenges as they took on the entire Coral City Police Department and corruption in their city. They’ve been beaten black and blue and they have given as good as they got. And now, in the penultimate issue, we go back to a very personal story, something we’ve only seen glimpses of before. Stories like these are why I love Gail’s work, and I really wish that The Movement had at least twelve more issues in it.
After everything that happened of late, things are winding down for The Movement, in more ways than one. As the story starts, we see Holly share a very intimate scene with her girlfriend. You hear that people? We had an honest-to-god relationship between two women in this issue, which I think makes Holly one of the extremely few characters in DC comics who is involved in a same-sex relationship. Off the top of my head, Kate Kane and her partner (Batwoman), Bunker (Teen Titans) and Alan Scott (Earth 2), come to mind. So you could say that Holly is in great company here. Recently, in an issue of Batgirl we had a member of Batgirl’s supporting cast come out as transgender, so it is awesome to see that Gail has been taking these chances with minor characters, and that she has been making it all work. She doesn’t make a big deal of it. These things happen. They are natural. Right on.
The bulk of the story deals with Burden aka Christopher’s family. His family cast him out years ago because he was the host to a demon, and they were religious orthodox folk who would beat up on him for his failings. This has been hinted at before, but we finally get to see all the gory details. Christopher’s preacher brother Joseph comes to Coral City to take his brother back to their community compound, to face his sins and be judged. Of course, the Movement doesn’t stand for any of that nonsense and very soon we are heading for a confrontation between Christopher’s friends and his family.
The intent of the story is clear, despite its violent and bloody trappings. This is meant to be a commentary on the state of our world right now. What happens to Christopher here isn’t something that is different from what happens to people out there today. In the guise of a superhero story, we are being told that it pays to believe in each other and to find the best in them. Boy scout characters like Superman, that’s what they are all about. Be patient, be understanding, and don’t be judgemental.
Christopher’s story is very moving, in part because of all the things he is made to suffer here. And the old adage comes to mind: wolf in sheep’s clothing. That’s the basic concept of the story here.
On the art side, we have Freddie on pencils and Chris on colours and Carlos M. Mangual on the letters as always. And once again, I have to say that I loved the artwork. Such a completely different style, very grim, very gritty, very… busy. No complaints on that front. If I have any complaints, they have to do with the cover, which was pencilled by Raymund Bermudez and coloured by Chris. I… don’t really like the cover. In part because it shows Christopher’s Jacob as much older than he is and with a beard that the character doesn’t even have! Plus Christopher’s demon is some kind of octopus or something, which was just totally weird.
Still, the interior work is what matters most to me and that part is excellent. With their penultimate issue, the team members remind us what the story has always been about and they show the incredible promise of what we will be missing once the series comes to a close next month. Sadface I am.
Posted on April 4, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Burden, Characters of Colour, Chris Sotomayor, Christian Mythology, Comics, Comics Review, DC Comics, Demons, Disabled characters, Female Characters, Freddie Williams II, Gail Simone, Gay Characters, Humour, Lesbian Characters, LGBT Characters, New 52, Religion, Review, Review Central, Same-sex Relationships, Superheroes, The Movement, Vengeance Moth, Vigilantism. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.