The Movement #12

The final issue. I’m heart broken. This was a consistently good series with unique characters and nods to the rest of DC Comics, Gail Simone’s other titles and Coral City’s sister city Gotham. 

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Freddie Williams II has always provided art that well suits the feel of this title, but it’s above and beyond when we’re treated to a 2 page spread of Virtue’s ultimate dream for “The Movement”: Virtue and crew are fighting side by side with Justice League bigwigs. Mouse vs. Cheetah, Katharsis sword fighting against Deadpool, Virtue throwing down against Sinestro. It’s gorgeous and really showcases all that Channel M’s hacktivists could have accomplished. I’m so bummed. Virtue thought they could be big like the JLA, but with a twist, they could show people that empathy was as important as strength, that anyone could be a hero, “But then I remembered that I live here. In the ‘tweens. And they were never going to ask us to join a club that lives on mount Olympus.” 

24 hours ago (after a “we’ve come so far” montage where Burden cracks a joke and Mouse finds a new woman to like) Mr. Cannon infiltrates the sweatshop. He tells them that his son is the Cornea Killer. And that he needs to be stopped. The Movement confronts them and offers him an easy way. Come quietly and he’ll go to the police… if not, “the ‘tweens gets some of its blood back.” The Cornea Killer does not comply. In a twist, Cannon has Whitt on back up to take out The Movement. 

The Cornea Killer sacrifices himself in front of Whitt’s bullet to save his father. But it’s too soon, Vengeance Moth takes out Whitt before anyone dies. We get Holly’s whole backstory as told to Captain Meers and it all ends on a note of hope instead of death or disbanding. 

Gail Simone did a wonderful job wrapping everything up, I hope to see Virtue make a comeback somewhere in Gotham. I enjoyed the DIY nature of the heroes in this book, they’re a resourceful bunch, I’m sure they’ll pop back up somewhere. I hope. I’m really sad to see this one go. It’s one of the only DC series that I read and the only I actually consistently enjoy. I think this could have gotten a better start is it wasn’t billed with the Green Team. That one didn’t appeal to me and I think there was a huge misconception that you had to read BOTH; so people missed out. 

Comicbook catch up #3

Featuring: Uncanny X-Men #20, X-Men #13, Harley Quinn #5

Uncanny X-Men #20- Maria Hill is still attempting to interrogate Hijack. Then Maria’s brain gets hijacked. By telepath mutants and present day Cyclops, AKA Scott Summers: face of a group of deviants, devil in disguise, killer of Charles Xavier, egomaniac… etc. Maria Hill has been compromised. Continuity is a major issue. She is “a lesser character” but has been playing important roles in comics I read. As far is this series is concerned, style and dialogue are on point. 

Maria Hill crushes on Cyclops. By the way.

But out of the exchange all that Cyclops learns is that the enemy is using Cerebro to find them. Eva encourages Emma to yank cerebro. And then suddenly Scott jets to talk to “old blue buddy” Beast. Emma is left behind. …polite students pretend not to notice. Outside of the Jean Grey School: Scott is stopped by big leagues Storm, Rachel Grey +Iceman and then attacks AS SHIELD finds what’s happening.

X-Men #13 Vampire Jubes on the cover =so promising… Image

Mann’s art gets front and center instead of being the last 5 pages. Psylocke and Storm have a woman to woman about who is really leading this X-Men team. Psylocke say that Storm should throwDOWN (and I agree.. Rachel is a latecomer in this crew. She’s not the leader.) Water color backgrounds are gorgeous (but there is less care taken when Mann’s art was 5 pages- still it looks AWESOME) Jubes is there while Beast does Shogo’s check up; but he also wants to know more about the side effects of vampirism on Jubilee’s end…  Rachel Grey is bumming. And I don’t blame her, progeny of the Phoenix and whatnot. but her drama vs. Storm’s?! Ororo any day. 

Then one of the kids get hit: Primal. Quentin Quire couldn’t trace it. (and he can’t take that; he’s young no one can tell him he’s wrong) Turns out… this shot was made with surgical precision. Literally. Surgeons had that gunshot was intentionally made not to hit his heart. 

So Shogo tries to be …ummm… claimed by “The Future” Jubes didn’t do vampire stuff…

#THEFUTURE

Harley Quinn #5 THE DOCTOR IS IN

still bored. the art is the same. atmosphere is the same.

Harley Quinn #4

This series has been less than thrilling. Let’s recap:

#0– was hilarious and stunning. A who’s who of comic book artists paying homage to Harleen Quinzel. It was awesome.

#1– didn’t live up. It was a slow start with inconsistent art. Still, I was hopeful that once Harley got settled into her new Brooklyn home things would ramp up.

#2– Poison Ivy comes to visit in a plot that (inadvertantly- I hope) paints animal/environmental activists as nut bags. With a little Gotham star-power courtesy of Dr. Pam Isley, I liked it… but it didn’t do much in terms of overall plot. 

#3– A lovepotion/date rape drug gets HQ in some trouble with some ex-cons. Nothing happened. And it wasn’t funny enough to make up for it.

But I said I would give this series 5 issues to go somewhere. Because I have faith in Amanda Conner and I want Harley to do well… But I only have so much time and money. And I don’t have it in me to hate read this the way I’ve been hate reading Forever Evil. 

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And #4 made some headway in convincing me to stick around. This issue was funnier, zanier and we made some (slight) headway in finding where all these Hitmen are coming from. Harley puts on her regular people disguise and heads to her therapist job at the nursing home which leads her to taking a patient’s family hostage. She misses a roller derby match which leads her to an impulsive decision to take the other team out of contention. When she makes it back to her office she meets up with Sy Borgman, formerly Syborg, a retired supe who recruits her to finish a job that he started in the sixties against Russian Mafia. 

Now that sounds promising!

The art: Stephane Roux kills it in this issue. Hey Paul Mounts does colors! While not as bright and Shiny as the back pages of the X-Men, our colorful Harley Quinn stands out against dingy urban backgrounds and her sparse office. 

Dammit. I’m going to keep having to buy this, aren’t I? Check out the variant cover: Awesome.

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Nerd News-Day Tuesday

Getting in shape for spring?

Check out geeky themed customized home workouts designed by Neila Rey:

My faves include- Hunger Games Tribute Workout, Thor: Strength of Asgard, Blade Runner, Super Saiyan, and Dragonborn.

Will Lupita Nyong’o appear in Star Wars VII? Rumor has it.

Check out this video of Superman with a Go Pro!

Comic Book Resources has the scoop and some pics from the set of the upcoming Fox show Gotham.

Anime Boston is this weekend and I’ll be on the scene Saturday! Let me know if you’re around!

Short posts today. But I’m heading out to do that Thor workout, catch you for the Marvel:Assembling a Universe live tweet tonight?

The Movement #10

The Movement is cancelled, but has til issue 12 to wrap things up tight and Gail Simone seems to be tying up loose ends already.

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I love this cover by Stephane Roux. Their spirit animals, the surprise and determination. Perfect.

 

Channel M take the KO’d Batgirl back to the sweatshop to unmask her, but Virtue with her camera phone and Batgirl groggy on the floor gives Barbara some Killing Joke flashbacks and she flips out on everyone…

…except Katharsis who has gone after Horizon. And they fall in Insta-Love. Katharsis and Horizon hook-up and while Katharsis isn’t usually affectionate, she is VERY impulsive so… I’ll buy it. But I had to suspend some disbelief to consider that she would actually behead Horizon after it’s discovered that he’s killed two police officers in Coral City. Virtue decides to hand him over, with a promise from Batgirl that she’ll check in on him. He just wanted to be a hero, he’s not in control.

While Katharsis was getting her groove on, Mouse was getting his crush squashed.

Mouse: Do you not like my rats? Some girls don’t like rats, Katharsis said.

Tremor: No, it’s not that. Mouse, I’m asexual.

Mouse: a sexual what?

Vengeance Moth: Poor Mouse. I thought being around kids with powers would be all hookups and booty calls.

Burden: I never understand anything anyone says anymore.

It’s too good. It’s just too good. But Channel M got a glimpse of the big time with Batgirl, and a friendly goodbye between Virtue and Batgirl suggested that Virtue might stop by Gotham sometime. It was good to see them interact, Batgirl is stronger, more capable but she saw the good in what the unglamorous Virtue and co. were accomplishing.  Batgirl is used to the money and the resources and the bad guys going to Arkham. Virtue is used to scraping by and things not being so cut and dry. 

The Graveyard Gang, who got their buns kicked a couple issues back officially quit. The Cornea Killer is still out there though! Next issue promises to bring Burden’s Angel Brother! The next couple of issues are going to be epic, but unfortunately will likely feel rushed the way this one did. Freddie Williams did a great job on the art as well, the layering of the panels during Batgirl’s Killing Joke flashback was particularly epic, snapshots, jumping between reality and memories conveyed urgency and fear really well.

I’m gonna miss Coral City so much! waaaaaah

Harley Quinn #3

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Conner killed this cover. Or should I say nailed, murdered and shish-kabobbed it? Harleen Quinzel floats above, doe eyed and content (cute slippers, too) above corpses that have been hacked up with saws, hatchets, wrenches, scissors, rakes an sporks. Heart Grenade graffiti papers the background. 

Inside; a checkerboard format has Harley going through a haunted house ride. It’s Valentine’s Day there on planet Harley and a creepy surgeon reminds her of her bad boyfriend, Mr. J. Suddenly, she’s ambushed by a hit man dressed as a Nosferatu. She disarms him, shoot’s him and leaves him for the underemployed nerd to clean up.

She walks by happy couples with a rain cloud overhead and then sees Big Tony sitting on her steps with a bouquet. They weren’t originally for her, they were for Queenie, but she takes them anyway. But it’s not what she wants. HQ wants unconditional love, someone committed (pun or not?). While she sets her flowers by the window, she sees that her recent house guest, Poison Ivy has left her some goodies. One of the potted plants has a not that says “For finding LOVE” she eats a couple of the berries…

Then she gets a call: she got the therapist job at the nursing home. She feels the need to celebrate and gets decked out in leather leggings and a strapless dress. Harley hits the street, heading to a singles bar. 5 minutes later she crosses in front of a prisoner transport bus. The driver falls immediately for Harley, he loses concentration and crashes. 8 murderers, 2 serial killers, 2 mass murderers, and arsonist and a pervert escape …and they all catch Harley’s scent. 

They start this creepy “yum. yum.” “mine” thing at her and she says, “I ain’t none of yours.” They chase her up the road where she finds WE B TOOLS and goes on the search for her weapon of choice.

She makes her stand with weed whackers, a proband tank, axe, wrench, nail gun… She take particular vengeance with the pervert… a female police officer shows up to investigate and she falls for Harley, too. Our girl runs for home and slingshots Poison Ivy’s love plant out the window. Big Tony comes in, asks for the flowers back, he’s gonna go after Queenie and fight for her. HQ gives him a freaky berry to give him the edge (well, that’s rapey). 

Harley goes to play with her dogs and goes on an anti-Valentine’s Day rant.

I still don’t know what to make of this series. It’s zany. I like Harley. But there’s not enough happening yet. I wanna know who put the hit on HQ, issue 3 seemed a little early for a Holiday Themed side track. 

Also, Harley giving Tony the berry after she got harassed, assaulted and nearly chopped up for dinner. She gave him less, so that wouldn’t happen to him, but it would still trick Queenie into falling for Tony. Queenie who’s on a date with someone and doesn’t like Big T. Consent is absent there. That’s not romantic, it’s gross. In the final panel we also see that Queenie’s date has fallen for Tony. Love potions are equivalent to date rape drugs, consciousnesses are altered in order to achieve a certain result. It’s not hilarious it’s a fucking crime. 

The Movement #9

Gail Simone does doubles down on the awesomeness as Batgirl infiltrates Coral City. Ms. Gordon is trying to track down a superpowered young man to turn over to the PD, but in the tweens; they don’t just hand over citizens to corrupt cops. Batgirl gets held back by Channel M kids and their “I see you” catchphrase.

Meanwhile, Virtue and Katharsis are reading Mouse for his “date” with Tremor. She’s still not buying it. Partially because of the rat in her heart shaped candy box. Vengeance Moth enters and tells the team that they’ve got their first real super in Coral City.

But Batgirl has done her homework and knows just wear to go to get the Movement’s attention. She quickly does, but instead of teaming up vigilate to vigilante, Batgirl threatens them. Says she could find some reason that The Movement should be incarcerated. Even to other vigilantes The Movement is too fringe, too anarchist! Katharsis busts in with a personal grudge, seems Babs took her down when she was working for Knightfall in Gotham as one of The Disgraced (funfact: Kulap Vilaysack AKA Katharsis is Gail Simone’s creation, she first appeared in Batgirl #10) They tire each other out some, and Batgirl proves to be the superior fighter… Then Virtue invites Barbara to partake in her fave problem solving technique, Milk Shakes and Donuts.

Elsewhere, Captain Meers and Yee -still banged up from his tussle with Whitt- are getting closer to discovering Virtue’s identity. Her current alias is Holly Rae Hunter, but in her past life she has seizures, she was “presumed dead” and her father was so depressed that he robbed a bank in a suicide by cop. Meers shot him.

So there they are in the diner with their capes and cowls, trying to get facts straight. Batgirl keeps staring at disabled supe Vengeance Moth who calls her out, “You keep staring at me. It’s okay, wheelchairs freak some people out, I guess.” Might I add- I totally loved this exchange, Batgirl was paralyzed by the Joker and became Oracle:

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Joined Birds of Prey, worked for the US government, helped the JLA and went toe-to-toe with able- and hyperable-bodied villains. She had been in a wheelchair since 1988’s the Killing Joke. When the New 52 but Babs back in her cape and cowl disability advocates went fucking nuts. And for good reason. Simone, for her part, said that she didn’t agree with disabling Batgirl to begin with- she was paralyzed by the Joker to advance the plot for the male heroes, and she feels that it wasn’t fair to keep her in a wheelchair while all these other characters were being regenerated and resurrected. So now Babs has a chip in her spine and did some serious rehab, which got her back to the vigilante lifestyle (Batman got his spine broke in the third Dark Knight film, he just got his suit upgraded, why should another member of the Batfamily have to deal with real world repercussions?). But I felt like Simone was calling herself out via her new -albeit minor- disabled superhero. 

They tell Batgirl she’s not going after her perp, Horizon. They’ll handle it. Batgirl protests and Katharsis KO’s her. They decide to take her back to the sweatshop and unmask her.

Which of course happened in Forever Evil with Nightwing.

Are The Movement setting themselves up to look like bad guys? What kind of heat is this going to bring?

In the final pages we see Horizon going too far.

What did you think of this issue? I really dug the cross over. And no matter where you side on the Oracle/Batgirl debate:

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Harley Quinn #1

Harley Quinn #0 was so frigging awesome. One might think it would be tough to follow that up… and they’d be right.

Unfortunately the official first issue of Harleen Quinzel’s first book didn’t rock my socks off the way that issue 0 did. 

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Dr. Harley and her little furry friends leave Gotham and their exploded dumpster home behind and head for Brooklyn. She inherits her building as promised… but there is a catch, the tenants- including a Danzig look a like- are behind on their rent, she’ll need to collect and then make half a fortune herself as she tries to pay for the building. So she paints herself up human for a therapist job at a new-agey drug free clinic and joins the roller derby- All the while dodging assassination attempts. 

Newbie Chad Hardin’s art is detailed and suits both Harley and Brooklyn. However it seems as if even on the same page he can’t decide whether he’s going for Harley: playful scamp in a skimpy clown costume or stonecold icequeen sexpot. There’s nothing wrong with big boobs or skimpy clothes, but when facial expressions take the serious and sexy at random intervals and necklines and cupsizes change at random… I’m miffed.

I do have hope for this series yet. Harley is showing off her sensitive and independent side and we’re rooting for her to foil the assassins and their benefactor. Unfortunately, fans got a slow set up with this first issue.