The Movement #12 (Comics Review)

And so it all ends. Last year DC Comics took a big chance with its new series The Movement. It featured vigilante street-level heroes who wanted to stamp down corruption in their city and they took the easy approach of going at their enemies with all the power at their disposal, and the power of the people. The series was a gamble because it featured an all-new cast in an all-new city-setting, doing something that superhero comics hadn’t really done before, and the series ended up being a commentary on team dynamics, family relationships, and accepting people for who they are, irrespective of religion, faith, sex, gender or romantic interests.

This week, The Movement comes to a close with its 12th issue, and a fantastic send-off it is too. The series has always been about diversity in comics, given the fact that we have characters spanning the racial and ability divide. We have an Indian-origin superhero, we have a disabled superhero, we have a black superhero. And this is what I’ve loved about the series from the start and this is what Gail Simone reinforces in this last issue, in what is the Movement team of heroes going out with a bang, as heroes, and perhaps something more.

The Movement 12This is a finale issue. Because of the lack of significant sales numbers, numbers enough to keep the series going, DC Comics had to pull the plug and no one knows how long it will be before we ever see these characters again. So, I was expecting this issue to be a grand farewell as these characters took their leave of us, the readers, with the promise that someday they will be back and that they are best not forgotten by us. What we got instead is a simple story that highlights everything that has been great about this series from the get go. Gail doesn’t really go for any grand gestures here, but she does show us what this time could have been like if only they had been given the chance.

For when it comes to DC comics, there is one team that stands above all the others, the Justice League. Disparate heroes brought together by the strength of their will and their determination to fight the evils of the world, to fight the fight that others can’t. When you look at it, this is exactly what the Movement is. Virtue, Tremor, Burden, Mouse, Vengeance Moth, Katharsis, these characters embody these traits, these qualities, these attitudes and more. They are all each of them flawed to one degree or another, but they do take the first step in ridding their society of its evils, of making their city safe from the predations of those who would see it fall into anarchy and despair.

In this issue, the Police Chief finally tracks down Virtue in her secret identity and has a bit of a chat with her about what she wanted to accomplish with the Movement. And Holly lays it all out for him, holding nothing back. She tells him what she wanted her team to be, what she wanted them all to be like. But, she realises that that was only a dream because the Movement had to stay what it is, and not be something that it couldn’t be. That’s at the heart of this issue. And Gail Simone contextualises all of this by having the team go after the Cornea Killer in what is the biggest showdown of this series to date. The heroes don’t hold anything back, and neither does the Cornea Killer, or his ally.

At the end, the way that Gail Simone takes her final bow on this series (for now, I tell you! For now!), all I’m left feeling is a sense of despondency, because I don’t know when I will be seeing these characters again. The final two pages of this final issue of this series are almost heart-breaking, but also joyful. The Movement was always for the little guy, the common guy, and that is what the characters and the writer remind us of, what we should take away from this series now that it is done and over with.

As with the entire run so far, Freddie Williams II is the artist on this issue with Chris Sotomayor doing the colours and Carlos M. Mangual doing the letters. However, the cover this time is by Stephen J. Segovia, with Chris doing the colours on it. I loved the art in this issue. Given that Holly talks about her dreams of one day the Movement becoming a part of the Justice League, there are some great splash pages and full-page panels to that effect in this issue. And the cover itself is composed in a similar manner, to evoke that very feeling. Whether we talk the pencils or the colours or the inks, this issue was definitely this team’s best on that front.

I’m really, really sad to see The Movement end like this. DC has taken a lot of chances in the New 52 continuity on new books, but none bolder than this I dare say, and it is sad that the gamble didn’t pay off. I would have loved to have seen this series go on for another year or two at the least, to give these characters a chance to live and breathe in the wider DC-verse. Guess that’s just a dream for now.

Either way, The Movement #12 ends on a great note and it features the best of what the entire creative team could give us, building on everything that has come before this. This was definitely a great issue to bow out on.

Rating: 9.5/10

More The Movement: #1, #2-3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11.

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Posted on May 10, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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