Superhero comics need more diversity and I think the lack of it is slowly killing the genre as older more set in their ways readers are not being replaced fast enough by newer, younger fans. There I said it. It's ridiculous still that in 2016 we still have so many pale, male and stale heroes running about the DCU and Marvelverse. Strides have been taken towards getting more black and female heroes out there, but it isn't enough. And you can count the number of homo/bisexual heroes allowed to headline a book on the fingers of one hand that is missing nearly all its fingers (where are you now, Batwoman? you will be missed Midnighter. Stay swinging both ways John). Fortunately there are creators like Gail Simone out there who have made exceptional amounts of effort to include minority characters in her stories. The Movement was a New 52 series that sadly only ran for twelve issues before cancellation (Deeee Ceeee!! *shakes fist*), but which gave us a team of that included not only gay and lesbian members but also a disabled one and even the return of a Bengali female hero she created for Secret Six who is officially asexual, a sexual preference that is usually treated with pity and "oh you'll grow out of it when you fall in love" type crap. Yes, The Movement is basically the most "Gail Simone" comic there has ever been, but I applaud her for it. She also shows an interest in dealing with issues raised by the Occupy movement as well as being unafraid to show a city where the police are corrupt and bully the underclass relentlessly hence the formation of "The Movement" to stick up for the less fortunate of Coral City where they are based. Simone is aided in this by Freddie Williams II's expressively gritty, thick lined artwork that gives the whole thing a more down-and-dirty look than your more usual superhero comic.
I'll introduce the characters before we get started, they are Virtue, who can ride peoples emotions and use the power she takes offensively and acts as the defacto leader of the group; Tremor who can cause localised earthquakes; Mouse who can speak to and control rats; Katharsis (who was introduced in Simone's Batgirl run) who doesn't have powers but can fly using home made wings and has superior hand-to-hand combat skills; Vengeance Moth who can form a glowing green moth shape around her and use it as a shield and fly when doing so, and they are joined in the first issue by Burden whose powers manifest as a demonic style possession. They range from being in their late teens to early twenties which helps explain some of their more ill thought out plans.
|Officer Whitt sexually harasses a minor.|
Before he can ogle her boobs, he hears his words being played back, suddenly they are surrounded by masked figures with smartphones replaying his words over and over. Back at the precinct the Captain is shown video footage of the incident being played on the news, provided by the hacker group "Channel M". Furious he tries to fire the officers, Whitt laughs the incident off saying the girl looked older than sixteen. Officer Yee says the captain can't fire them as the force is now run directly by the city council and he'll have to go through them. Then he is told "The Cornea Killer" has struck again.
We cut to a young man, Burden standing outside a church. He looks lost and lonely so the pastor invites him inside even though Burden says bad things happen to him in churches. The captain is at the scene of the Cornea Killer's latest victim and notes a puddle of water under the dead body, same as the other victims. He tries to send Whitt and Pena away from the scene, another officer called Yee says they are "good cops."
|Burden's power manifests.|
Inside the church, Burden is levitating and tells the captain "hell says hi by the way." Mouse then rides in on a wave of rats and introduces himself as the Prince of them. Burden turns normal again and begs the pastor for help. Outside, Tremor uses her earthquake powers to disable the cop cars. The captain, now outside the church, calls for reinforcements, then Virtue comes up behind him saying "I see you captain, and you are trespassing".
|Mouse, the Prince of Rats.|
Virtue: "You're in the tweens. From tenth street to twentieth street, that's ours now. No one wants you here."
The captain says there is a killer in the church. Virtue says there isn't, there is just a screwed up kid who has been told he was possessed and has the superhuman powers to make it happen, "we'll look after him".
They will find the killer themselves, then she tells him to "get the hell out." The captain goes into the church now Burden is gone with the Movement but the pastor and his flock are now all wearing masks and tell him he is no longer welcome.
|Mouse, Tremor, Virtue, Katharsis, Burden|
They have quite a few normal people hanging around there as well, one of them is the girl Whitt tried to sexually assault and she slaps him hard. Virtue puts them in a cell, Pena says they are sorry for what happened but Whitt tells him to shut up. Whitt says putting them in prison makes them no better than the factory owners who locked the workers in and caused their deaths.
Tremor says he has a good point. Virtue agrees, "that kinda stung actually". Then Vengeance Moth appears and says Mouse is losing it and freaking some of the kids out. Virtue leaves her guarding the prisoners, she offers them a fruit snack. Mouse is grieving the loss of his favourite rat "Mr Trouncer." Virtue comforts him and gets him to calm down.
|Nooo, not Mr. Trouncer!|
The Movement have a meeting in the childrens playroom. Virtue asks the others what she thinks they should do with the prisoners. Tremor says they should let them go, "this whole plan is ridiculous". Angrily, Katharsis says they should mess them up. Virtue says no, that's evil, which is what they are trying to fight. Katharsis also asks why Burden is there with them, Virtue says they need more muscle.
Burden: "You are speaking of me as if I had superpowers. I don't. I'm possessed by a dark lord of hell. My soul is foreit."
Tremor returns to the subject of the prisoners. She says she thought the whole point was to show them confessing their misdeeds, "if we start torturing prisoners, I'm out".
Katharsis accuses her of being a spy, someone has been leaking Channel M secrets and she believes Tremor is the source. Katharsis says the Cornea Killer is out there taking eyeballs from homeless people and she is going to investigate and she departs saying she knows who to ask about all this. The others decide it's time to go and see "the Witch".
|Katharsis questions James Cannon.|
Katharsis puts up a good fight against the goons, but is overwhelmed. Cannon says to take her to the precinct, he is going to interrogate her himself and when he is done she'll beg to tell him where her friends are. The others are not doing very well battling Rainmaker.
Elsewhere a homeless man is begging out on the streets when a small raincloud appears above his head. Realising this is the calling card of the Cornea Killer he tries to run but is cornered. He begs the Killer not to harm his dog, "I'm not a monster" replies the Killer.
At Movement headquarters, Vengeance Moth brings the cops some burgers. Whitt deduces that because the burgers are still warm they must be close to a burger joint. Vengeance Moth says she'll have to be careful round him. Whitt says that imprisoning them for a first offence is something the police wouldn't do, so are the police "more merciful" than they are? Vengeance Moth says she isn't the person they should be talking to about all this, they should talk to the person who set it all up, Virtue.
Rainmaker: "He looks at Coral City like it's a failing business and he smells blood in the water."
He wants a perfect city, with everyone in their neat little boxes. He doesn't hate them, they are just "in the way". Virtue asks her to join them, but Rainmaker refuses saying she just wants to be left alone. But before she departs she gives Virtue her number and tells her to call her sometime.
Then they get the news that the cops have Katharsis. She is shackled to a chair in the police station and is being brutalised by Cannon. Virtue appears in the captains office and she apologises for telling him about his wife cheating on him. She proposes an exchange of prisoners, he explains she doesn't get to come in here and make demands. Virtue says she tried to be nice, then she shows him a large crowd of protestors that have gathered outside.
Virtue: "I tried to be nice. Now we tear your damn 'house' down to the ground."
Virtue says she can read his emotions, he is angry but there is fear there as well. He says her people will never win and will get hurt trying. Virtue just wants her "soldier" back. The captain asks her who made her this way "who are you?" Virtue responds soon it'll be "easier to ask who we aren't."
|Virtue and captain Meers.|
Mouse: "Being poor doesn't make someone bad. I just want people to know that."
The captain orders everyone into riot gear to quell the mob now in the station. Virtue meanwhile has flown off. Down in the interrogation cell, one of the officers is having second thoughts about what they are doing to Katharsis.
She has a flashback, she was an immigrant to the US as a child from Laos. She joined the police force, but one day, frustrated by a creep who murdered an immigrant girl like her and got off, she hunted him down and showed him the meaning of fear. And so she ended up on the run.
|Katharsis being "interrogated".|
Virtue finds her and says she senses Katharsis is going to be killed, also a tank and choppers are on their way. The rioters corner a cop and start crushing him, Burden comes to his rescue and has a flashback too. His deeply religious father scourged him daily to try and beat the devil out of him. But it didn't work, so Burden left home to protect his loved ones.
Tremor faces the tank and disables it saying The Movement are her friends, "I have much to atone for. And please tell Waller I quit". Rainmaker also appears and takes out the choppers for them. The captain makes his way down to the sub-basement where Katharsis was being held, but Mouse, Burden and Virtue have got there first. He allows them to leave, and Virtue tells him to clean his house, "it's positively filthy".
|The Movement take care of their own.|
Newsreader: "Some citizens, discontented with what they see as an abusive, uncaring authority structure, have called these people 'heroes'. For all our sakes, let us pray that they are right".
Next day there us a meeting of the city council. Cannon says he is bringing in some additional firepower. The council is considering abandoning the city, but he shows them news reports of The Movement in other cities saying where would they go?
The captain meets with Virtue in a diner, he tells them he knows they are planning to put the two cops on trial. Virtue realises they have a leak. He tells them superhuman help has been summoned to deal with them. He offers her a civilian board to deal with police malfeasance, they go back to patrolling the tweens and civilians can ride along with police at their own risk. Virtue thanks him but says they can't stop it now, it's already in motion.
|Whitt and Pena on "trial".|
Whitt keeps raging that he has nothing to say, and "you're fooling yourself if you think this changes anything." Meanwhile Mouse is outside composing a love letter to Tremor. A sex worker nearby is confronted by the Cornea Killer and one of Mouse's rats goes and tells him, so Mouse goes to investigate. He rides in on his wave of rats and starts fighting the Cornea Killer as the sex worker makes her getaway.
Vengeance Moth escorts the cops back to their cell while the "court" deliberates. Whitt grabs her chair and tips her out of it. Pena is immediately apologetic, but angrily she floats upwards surrounded by a moth shaped energy field. Katharsis tackles Whitt saying he has reached a new low attacking a woman in a wheelchair.
|Vengeance Moth gets mad, Mouse comes to the rescue.|
Mouse and the Cornea Killer fight to a standstill, then suddenly a gang of superhumans appear. The Cornea Killer introduces them:
Cornea Killer: "Coral City's new police force, the Graveyard Shift. Consider yourself an all your little friends evicted."
Katharsis and Tremor start brawling as they do so the people viewing the live stream start tweeting about it. Vengeance Moth evacuates the building as people are scared of what Tremor's powers could do. Then Virtue appears and breaks them up. She reads Tremor's emotions and says she is scared, scared for Katharsis's soul if she becomes a murderer.
|Tremor and Katharsis work out their differences.|
In the tunnels, Whitt makes plans to return and "bust a few heads". Pena says he just wants to forget this place. Who really scares him is the guy with the rats, who is currently battling Graveyard Shift. He puts up a valiant struggle but the sheer numbers tell against him.
|Mouse vs. The Graveyard Shift.|
Burden has transformed into his demonic self. She pretends she has some holy water she is going to pour on him and his emotions show extreme fear. She pulls that fear out of him and tells Burden he is free now. He is delighted, saying "Bless you. Bless you" in gratitude.
Cannon is outside walking home to his penthouse when a single rain cloud appears above him. Then the Cornea Killer appears and says "Hi dad. You won't believe the night I've had." Tremor and Katharsis are much more friendly to each other now and grudgingly Katharsis says she'll rein herself in a bit more. The call a truce and shake hands. They leave the diner only to be confronted by Mouse, badly beated and tied up, strung from a lampost with the sign "I've been a bad rodent" hanging off him. End volume one.