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. 

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

Nerd News-day Tuesday

Daily Beast ran an article about therapists using comic books to help children through difficult times. Losing loved ones, bullying, facing fear. Notably; recommending the Bruce Wayne/Dick Grayson dynamic for foster children. It’s gaining legitimacy, but actually began in 1941, right after the very first Superman comic hit stands, Dr. Lauretta Bender touted the benefits of using superhero stories to treat adolescent patients. At a time when superheros were being accused of corrupting youth and causing them to commit crimes, Bender was speaking out about the importance of these tales. Comic books are still somewhat touted as a waste of time, applying important academic/therapeutic uses stands to further legitimize this form of storytelling. Read more about the history and research here.

In the world of real life heros; Ellen Page reveals she is gay. Kitty Pryde came out and proud at an HRC event on Valentine’s Day. In other X-Men news; This one is so late to the game, but I just read it. Chris Claremont’s reaction to The Wolverine. KP is playing less of a role in the upcoming film than she did in the comic storyline. I wonder what Claremont will think of Days of Future Past?

In the DC Universe, Gail Simone’s The Movement gets axed. What a shame. I love that series, but only 3 more issues.. hopefully they can round out some of what they started up. Which is crazy. The hacktivists at Channel M are about to unmask Batgirl for crying out loud! Gail “doesn’t blame DC,” so I’ll refrain my ranting and just say that it was cool they gave something so different a shot. Coral City was to Gotham was Worcester, MA is to Boston. Only my Central Mass readers will get that, but whatevs. I hope to see Virtue, Katharsis and Vengeance Moth make appearances in the DC-U in the future! It was great to have a series that focussed on activists being their own heroes and helping each other even with meager resources. Diverse cast, awesome origin stories. I’M SO BUMMED.

But, nerd news-day comes full circle. Gail Simone is penning Savage Wolverine which we should see out in May!

ISSUE #19 –

• He’s the best there is at what he does – but what if he has a bad day?
• Logan collides head first with some bad luck on the worst possible day. Can Jubilee lend a hand?
• It’s Wolverine’s no good, very bad, extremely awful day by Gail Simone (Batgirl) and Somebody!

Hold the fucking phone! I hope Jubes does some vampire stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!1

And… a teaser trailer for the Guardians of the Galaxy

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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The Movement #8

In the last issue of this story arc we begin with Erik Yee standing up to fellow officer, Whitt who is proposing that they go and exert some influence on the Channel M kids. Vengeance Moth is scraping herself off the floor and Burden has gone full out hideous demon and is brawling with the Graveyard Faction. 

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Virtue, Tremor and Katharsis are still at the hospital looking after Mouse. All unaware of the trouble at the warehouse since the Graveyard Faction is using a jammer. Virtue misses her date with Rainmaker. 

Pena and female officer Fricks stand with Yee against Whitt. When the Captain arrives he fires Whitt. Soon after the injured Yee reveals that his checking up on Virtue has lead to some interesting results: She’s dead.

Mouse comes around… and lays a kiss on Tremor. And now thinks that they are in love and are going to get married and live in the sewer and she’ll be his rodent princess…. yikes.

Meanwhile Vengeance Moth, concerned that the fight between Pallas and Burden is going to cause the building to cave in, knocks out leader of Graveyard Faction and disables the jammer she calls Virtue. But now Anguish is pissed off and Ven is exhausted and helpless. Luckily Katharsis lands a blow on the leader of the Graveyard faction while Tremor makes sure the building holds. Virtue shows off the extent of her power when she uses the fear the Vengeance is feeling to paralyze the previously mega tough Anguish.

With the Graveyard Faction banished from Coral City, The Movement’s next challenge will be: …Batgirl?! 

Some major reveals. Ven gets down on some action. Burden embraces his dark side. Yee and Meers mend fences. Whitt’s off the force but of course, this doesn’t mean he won’t rear his ugly head some time in the future, if anything he is more likely to go villain and blame The Movement rather than his own aggressive actions.. And what’s up with Virtue? A great way to round out the Graveyard Faction’s story arc… Can’t WAIT to see what’s next!

The Movement #7

Tremor and Katharsis put their trouble behind them as they tend to Mouse. 

The Graveyard Faction follows Virtue who, while making haste to come to Mouse’s aid, leads the villains right to the warehouse.

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Vengeance Moth, left in charge, vows not to let the Faction in. We also get a little more backstory. She has muscular dystrophy and is a recovering addict, while she has super powers she gets tired really easily. But we get a taste of how powerful she is. 

Whitt and Pena, the butthead cops who harassed young Kristen and landed themselves on trial and imprisoned by the Movement are free and they try to rally fellow officers- without the Captain’s knowledge. Officer Yee (the one who was sleeping with the Cap’s wife) stands up to Whitt, saying that he owes the Captain this. 

The Captain comes to meet Virtue at the hospital where she is with a comatose and critical Mouse. He gives her a file: everything he has on the Graveyard Faction. Mercenaries hired by the shadow government. Captain Meers is an honest cop, somehow, and doesn’t like this anymore than Virtue, but he knows that as a man of the law with his force deep inside the government’s pockets… he is powerless.

After Ven flies, blinds and rains fire on the Faction she is shot down with a raygun. The newly exorcised Christopher AKA Burden tries to save his new crush, Ven. But without “his curse”, he is helpless against them. 

So Vengeance Moth does something she doesn’t want to. Because what she wants is to help people. But what she needs to do is save everyone. She tells christopher that the exorcism was fake and that he needs to let the devil back inside of him.

And then he turns into a big charcoal demon with a Venom tongue and tentacles coming out of his abdomen/genital region. IT’S NUTS  

Up next is a showdown which will end the Graveyard Faction, with any luck. I hope Katharsis makes it back in time to kick in some more teeth. I just love seeing how busted up Whitt is, that would be a good look for the Cornea Killer or Anguish. OOOooh, or you know what? I hope Rainmaker comes back to help!

I liked getting more backstory on Vengeance Moth and seeing her use her skills. She’s sweet and savvy. It’s interesting to read Gail Simone writing another character in a wheelchair (Batgirl Barbara Gordon is currently written by Simone, who wrote Babs as Oracle back in Barbara’s Birds of Prey days). There was some blowback with making Batgirl able-bodied again -thanks to the help of an electrical chip implanted in her spine. But Batgirl has the luxury of privilege, something Ven does not. Vengeance also snarked at Whitt for assuming that she rigged up the tech at the warehouse, saying that not every person in a wheelchair is Stephen Hawking, interesting dig by Simone since Oracle was a hacker, ruling countries and vanquishing bad guys from behind a computer screen. But that’s one of the great things about this series. The Movement is using everything they have got to get out from under an oppressive system. Out from under corrupt cops, weird mercs and the crushing weight of class warfare. 

The Movement #6

(Why is this one so LATE?! …I’m so sorry!)

Our hacktivists, The Movement, left off last issue with Katharsis ready to give the cops they had hostage/on trial a beat down when they tried to escape (after knocking Vengeance Moth out of her wheelchair). Tremor caused an earthquake that knocked Katharsis off balance, (and somehow Ven.. who was floating) and the cops got away.

So Katharsis is facing down Tremor. Tremor says she close the tunnels and open new ones and the cops will never get back there. Katharsis, who sees her as a traitor (and she’s right, Tremor has been the mole, the snitch, if you will). The “ViewTube” Channel is broadcasting the soon to be brawl, with one, freyafourA commenting: “this just shows that two women can’t get along lol!” Because women have to be representing their gender all the damn time.

Vengeance Moth… ummm… is not glowing and floating as we’d seen her last, she’s on the floor, having been pushed from her wheelchair. Tremor and Katharsis start brawling, which scares the hell out of everyone, since they are underground, Katharsis is a bruiser wielding a sword and Tremor is literally a walking earthquake. So the humans flee.

Virtue and Ven calm the situation down and they prepare to perform an exorcism on Burden (who isn’t really possessed but has mental health problems and superprowers). 

Mouse, meanwhile, is fighting the Graveyard Faction and Cornea Killer. The Graveyard Faction was hired by the Wealthy inhabitants of Coral City when they got fed up with the Movement. The Cornea Killer is trying to wipe out poverty one homeless person at a time… by killing them… and taking their eyes.

The Graveyard Faction must be the strangest assemblance of villains… Anguish, Arson (who barfs fire), Monster baby, the Cornea Killer (who makes a single raincloud over his victims), and Pallas… 

But not this Pallas:

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Hmmm..

Anyway, the villain Pallas is a man. He looks big and durable… maybe he could be part Themysciran… wait, how does that work?

Anyway, Virtue gets an idea to take the fear from Burden so that he feels cured. She also baptizes him with vitamin water (with mango essence!). Katharsis and Tremor talk it out over sundaes and no one knows that Mouse is in danger until it’s too late.

Roshanna and Kulap walk out of Calvin’s and see Mouse strung up. 

Everything is going wrong, with the world watching, how will the Movement get back on track?

Calendar Man is still reporting for Channel 52 underground since the Crime Syndicate’s take over. So we get our little media update on Bane, the Penguin, et al.