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Comic Book / The Movement

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We are faceless. We are limitless. We see all. And we do not forgive.note 

The Movement is a series from DC Comics which started in May 2013 as part of the New 52, with scripts by Gail Simone and art by Freddie E Williams II.

Set in Coral City, The Movement centers around a group of superpowered teens who take matters of justice into their own hands after the corrupt local police department is exposed. But how will the rest of the world react to these teens? And with so much power at their disposal, can they really be trusted to work towards a greater good?

There are a couple of cops in Coral City who are trying to genuinely do good, but it's an uphill battle for them.

Because of low sales, the series was cancelled at issue 12. Gail Simone has said that DC Comics has shown nothing but support for the book and knew it was a risky book to sell.

The Movement contains examples of:

  • Astral Projection: Holly, AKA Virtue, can read people's emotions and ride their emotions to their point of origin.
  • The Atoner: Tremor's backstory reveals she has Survivor's Guilt from being the only survivor in a drunk driving car crash. She wants to make up for it by joining the Movement and quits being a mole for Amanda Waller.
  • The Beastmaster: Jayden, AKA Mouse, controls mice and rats. He loves every one of them and considers all of them to be his favorite.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with Katharsis. She gets beaten bloody multiple times during the series.
    Virtue: Oh, honey... you have got to quit getting hit in the face.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Vengeance Moth.
  • Big Bad: Jack Cannon wants to create a city with no poor people by forcing them all to leave.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When the cops send choppers against the Movement, Rainmaker lends a hand and takes them out.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Jack Cannon has Bambi and Sheraton.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Katharsis gets captured and Jack Cannon personally beats her to get info. She doesn't break easily.
  • Crossover: In issue 9, Batgirl comes to Coral City to track down a superhuman vigilante who killed two muggers. She ends up meeting the Movement, who think the vigilante shouldn't be taken in. It doesn't help that Katharsis, a former lackey of Batgirl's archenemy, is part of the Movement.
  • David Versus Goliath: Little Yee standing up to hulking Whitt.
  • Demonic Possession: Christopher, AKA Burden. It's ambiguous whether or not he's genuinely possessed or simply has metahuman powers. Burden thinks the former, but the rest of the team thinks the latter.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Two crooked cops are recorded by the Movement sexually harassing a girl. This motivates the Movement into taking down the police department.
    • Inverted with the police captain, who seems to be one of the few cops who genuinely wants to protect the city. This still doesn't keep the Movement and their supporters from acting holier-than-thou towards him.
    • Played with in the case of Katharsis, who was seen as this by her fellow officers after what she did to an accused rapist, but sees her own actions as justified.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Roshanna, AKA Tremor, can cause earthquakes by touching the ground.
  • The Dreaded: Rainmaker, AKA Sarah. Her weathers powers make her a powerhouse and the Movement only stops her by threatening to harm one of her followers.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Jack Cannon does not condone the Cornea Killer's actions; though he wants to get rid of the poor, he doesn't want to slaughter them all.
  • Eye Scream: A serial killer called the Cornea Killer is on the loose. The killer murders homeless people and cuts out their eyes as an M.O.
  • Genius Cripple: Discussed when one of the captured cops asks Vengeance Moth if she's the one who set up the headquarters to be off the power grid with an internet connection, which she denies. Also possibly a Mythology Gag to Gail's earlier work on Birds of Prey, which featured the wheelchair-bound super hacker Oracle and the fact that people made comparisons when Vengeance Moth was first introduced.
    Vengeance Moth: I get this a lot. Because everyone in a wheelchair is automatically Stephen Hawking, right?
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The Movement seeks to help the downtrodden, but engages in some questionable methods and counts a brutal Knight Templar among their numbers. The police run the gamut from honest cops doing the best they can in the situation to corrupt sleazebags.
    • Pointed out by the unrepentant cop of the two captured by the team as detailed below.
    • In issue 9, Batgirl comes to Coral City to arrest a vigilante who committed an accidental murder in Gotham. She seeks out the Movement for help and while they understand each other, Batgirl wanting to turn in the murdering vigilante causes them to butt heads.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: In issue #9, Virtue forces the filth-loving Mouse to take a bath and wear nice clothes. Who knew that the Prince of Rats could look good in a suit?
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kulap Vilaysack, AKA Katharsis, previously appeared as a villain in a Batgirl story arc. Though she herself hasn't really changed; it's just that her new team won't let her get away with the things she did while working for Knightfall.
  • Heroic Build: Though it may just be a quirk of the artist, Mouse tended to bulk up when he got into a serious fight or was making extensive use of his powers.
  • In the Hood: Burden wears a hood as part of his outfit when he joins the Movement.
  • Irony: The Movement imprison two Dirty Cops in a factory that was previously used to lock up innocent workers. One of the cops points this out and Virtue can't think of a comeback other than "shut up".
  • Kid Hero: The Movement's leader Virtue is only 16.
  • Knights of Cerebus: When the police fail to stop the Movement, Jack Cannon calls in a group of sadistic metahumans called the Graveyard Faction. Their first act? Beating Mouse within an inch of his life.
  • La Résistance: The Movement, against the Coral City Police Department. Having superpowered teens and the disenfranchised also helps their cause.
  • Magic Feather: In issue 6, Virtue and Vengeance Moth perform an exorcism on Burden to cure his demonic possession. In actuality, Virtue just located and removed his fear of possession. To fight the Graveyard Faction, Ven tells Burden that they faked the exorcism and he transforms into his most monstrous form yet to fight the villains.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Those who side with the Movement wear metallic masks that hide their entire face; similar to Anonymous.
  • Meaningful Name: Some of the Movement's members have codenames that reflect their powers.
  • Mission Control: Vengeance Moth stays at the hideout to keep an ear on the streets. While she does have powers, her muscular dystrophy makes her incredibly weak, physically.
  • The Mole: Tremor is a spy for Amanda Waller to keep an eye on the Movement. She defects because she considers the Movement her True Companions.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Gail Simone had worked on the Gen¹³ reboot following Wildstorm's "Worldstorm" reboot. She's since reintroduced Rainmaker specifically to the DCU while Fairchild and Grunge both appeared in Superboy.
    • A character named Ms. Smythe in #5 is mentioned to have a deceased husband. This may be a nod to the Mr. Smythe from Secret Six, who attempted to run a prison to house Artemis and her Amazon sisters before he was killed by Deadshot.
  • Neutral No Longer: Rainmaker in issue 4, who decides to help the Movement after initially hoping to stay out of it.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The factory where the Movement hides out was horrific even by Gilded Age standards.
  • Origin Story: Issue 4 tells the backstories of Mouse, Katharsis, Tremor, and Burden.
  • Prisoner Exchange: When Katharsis is captured, Virtue offers the police captain to exchange her for the two cops the Movement has captured. He angrily refuses, largely because he's unaware that Katharsis is in the police station, forcing the Movement to take Katharsis back the hard way.
  • Retcon: The details of Katharsis' backstory are changed from "castrated an accused child molester later found innocent" to "scarred, but didn't castrate, a rapist and murderer who got away with it." Word Of God suggests that Unreliable Narrator may be at work and later in the series we'll get another perspective on the incident.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The early advertising declared "We Are The 99%!" In fact, the Movement seems closer to Anonymous than Occupy, but still topical.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: James Cannon essentially owns the Coral City police outright.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The Movement (except Mouse) mostly wear modest outfits. All but one of the Graveyard Faction wear sexy, revealing outfits.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Rainmaker gives Virtue her number. Virtue loudly denies having any interest in calling her... but does pocket the number.
    • Mouse has feelings for Tremor and in issue 6, he tries to write a love letter to her. In issue 8, he kisses her and tells the team they going to be married.
  • Take That!: After noticing her staring, Vengeance Moth tells Batgirl that some people seem to be uncomfortable around people in wheelchairs. This may or may not be a swipe at DC's decision to cure Babs' paralysis so that she could be Batgirl again.
  • Team Mom: Vengeance Moth. The first thing she asks the two captured cops after introducing herself is if they want a fruit snack.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Katharsis is the most violent of the Movement. She is willing to kill or at least do a lot of bodily harm to her enemies. The others have to keep her from going over the edge.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Word Of God is to take Katharsis' backstory as related by her, especially in regards to what she may or may not have done to an accused rapist, with a grain of salt and that we'll get another take on it later.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Mouse. Combined with his lack of shoes, it makes him look like a street rat.
  • Weather Manipulation:
    • Rainmaker can create rain and lightning storms.
    • The Cornea Killer: He leaves a puddle around his victims to frame Rainmaker.
  • Wham Episode: Issue 6 has Burden having his demon finally exorcised (though not really), Tremor and Katharsis making amends after their fight, and them finding Mouse beaten up and left hanging by a lamppost by the Graveyard Faction.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Tremor gives the team, especially Virtue, a wake up call in priorities when she points out that they have been focusing almost entirely on building up their own reputation via two corrupt police officers while a serial killer is still at large in the city, all while exploiting Burden's demonic side when he clearly needs help and is only getting worse from all this.
  • Winged Humanoid: Katharsis wears mechanical wings she built herself to fly.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In order to get rid of corrupt Officer Whitt, Officer Yee goads him into beating him up in front of the station's last working security camera. It would have taken months to prove that Whitt was dirty, but assaulting a fellow officer is an immediate firing offense.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: May be the case with Burden. Virtue believes he has a metahuman power or mental illness that causes him to shift into demon mode, which was reinforced by his mother's belief that he was possessed or demonic.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The police and the mayor of Coral City label the Movement as terrorists. The disenfranchised call them heroes. It's still unclear which they are.