The Movement Axed By DC Comics

The Movement Axed By DC Comics

The Movement Issue 1

Issue #12 of the politically-oriented DC Comics series will be its last.

It's had a good run, but like most good things, it couldn't last. The Movement, DC Comics' attempt to grapple directly with the current political climate, has been cancelled. Co-creator Gail Simone broke the news yesterday on her personal tumblr that DC has opted to discontinue the series after the upcoming publication of it twelfth issue. Three issues remain before it completes its run.

Launched in May, 2013 as part of DC's ongoing New 52 reboot, The Movement was expressly imagined as a reflection of current political conflicts. Inspired in part by the Occupy Wall Street movement, it features strong themes of social justice, with a super-team made up of members of the DC universe's 99% battling corruption, social injustice and even sexual abuse in fictional Coral City.

Simone, who created the series with artist Freddie E. Williams II, is an old hand at exploring political overtones in comics. In 1998, she cofounded Women in Refrigerators, a site devoted to discussing the disproportionate use of female comics characters as plot devices via death, injury or depowering. She broke into mainstream comics during the 00s, and in addition to The Movement, has written for DC's Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman, among many other credits.

Simone isn't angry about the series' cancellation, thanking DC for its support and acknowledging that low sales were to blame. She expressed hope, however, that if sales don't decline further with this announcement, DC may opt to make use of the team or its characters in some form in the future. (Readers: Go help make that happen. The series is pretty great.)

Here is Simone's full statement:

Okay, so this is sad, but the Movement is ending with issue 12.

Unfortunately, this book just never found a big enough audience. The people who loved it, loved it hard, but that number was too small.

I am bummed about it, we wanted to do a book that didn't read or look like anything else out there, and I think we accomplished that. I take the responsibility, I think it took a little while for people to really adopt the characters, which was a conscious choice but also a risky one in this very cautious market where people have to be extra careful of which books they choose.

Whenever a book is cancelled, people often get mad at the publisher-it's understandable, but in this case, we received nothing but support from DC. They knew it was a dicey prospect, a book not set in Gotham or Metropolis with no known heroes, and an unusual core theme. They knew it was a bit risky commercially and they did it anyway, and they let us run out to twelve issues to finish it properly, when almost any other publisher would have cut it earlier on.

I have a bunch of people to thank. First, everyone at DC, but Dan Didio especially. Dan championed this book and it wouldn't have happened without him. He said it was time we had a book like this, and he believed in us and was a cheerleader for the book all along. Jim Lee also had kind things to say, and that means a lot.

Second, I have to thank the people who inspired some of the characters...Jay Justice was a big inspiration for Virtue, I saw her cosplay Batgirl and I just wanted to WRITE that so badly that I made a character so I kinda could. Also, thanks to Jill Pantozzi and Al Davison for help with Vengeance Moth, so that her being in a wheelchair wasn't simply a surface detail, but MOSTLY to the great B.A., who was my biggest inspiration and supporter on this character and who looks exactly like VM and makes me smile all the time.

I want to thank our spectacular editing team. I do not have enough good things to say about these guys, Joey Cavalieri and Kyle Andrukiewicz. They are the kind of editors you dream of getting but rarely actually get. They cared about the book, they cared about the readers and they cared about the characters. I know it's hard to imagine but that is actually considered a little old-fashioned in some places. They were always 100% supportive and never changed anything except for the better. If you see a book with their name on it, you want it, it is guaranteed to be good.

The biggest thanks has to go to the art team, with colorist Chris Sotomayor and most especially, Freddie WIlliams II. I have rarely worked with an artist so dedicated, so creative and so rewarding to collaborate with.. Freddie is the reason the characters looked so amazing and unique, he designed them all (except for Tremor, who he adapted). If you want Burden's jacket or Tremor's cloak, it's because of Freddie. If you recognize the characters, if you fell in love with them, it's because of Freddie. Freddie, you amaze me and thank you, thank you, thank you, for always doing such amazing work even with a pain-in-the-butt writer like me. You are the best. And Chris, your colors made everything better, you paint emotion like no one else. THANK YOU.

I have to save the corniest, but truest thank you for the audience. I know this book wasn't for everyone, but a lot of you stuck with us and tried to spread the good word and you made every issue worthwhile. Because of you guys, it was worth all the hard work. Thank you so much for the reviews, fanart, fanfic, cosplay, and lovely comments. They warmed our hearts over and over again.

This is the end of this book, hopefully it won't be the end for the characters...several of them have been popular with readers and creators, and maybe we will see them again.

There are still three more issues, and they are CORKERS. Please stick with us until the end, you will be glad you did, and if we keep the numbers the same without going down after the announcement, it makes it much more likely that the Movement will appear somewhere else, hopefully somewhere awesome.

Mouse, Virtue, Katharsis, Tremor, Burden, Rainmaker and Vengeance Moth thank you all so, so much!

Source: Bleeding Cool

Permalink

Really not that surprised to hear about this. Like most forms of entertainment media: people read comics to escape from the problems and issues with the reality they're living in. There's nothing wrong with having some references here and there to the current political climate, but to make an entire super-hero comic series around it? Ehhhh, just seems like this was doomed for failure from the start if you ask me.

Good job DC, maybe if you advertised you're book it could have lasted longer. seriously I didn't know this think exited until now.

RJ 17:
Really not that surprised to hear about this. Like most forms of entertainment media: people read comics to escape from the problems and issues with the reality they're living in. There's nothing wrong with having some references here and there to the current political climate, but to make an entire super-hero comic series around it? Ehhhh, just seems like this was doomed for failure from the start if you ask me.

comic do that all the time it nothing new. In fact, some of most famous comic-books ever do that. If more that they didn't advertise it.

To a point, escapism aside, this probably could have done a lot better if it had been appropriately advertised/organised within the company. As I understand it almost no other DC comic directly referenced that particular run or even used it for scene setting etc.

RJ 17:
Really not that surprised to hear about this. Like most forms of entertainment media: people read comics to escape from the problems and issues with the reality they're living in. There's nothing wrong with having some references here and there to the current political climate, but to make an entire super-hero comic series around it? Ehhhh, just seems like this was doomed for failure from the start if you ask me.

I'm not sure you read many comics. If you want to read comics dealing with contemporary politics there are plenty to choose from. And the best of them are far from being unsuccessful.

You might as well argue that people don't want to see movies or TV shows about current political topics because they watch them to escape from reality. Of course we know that's not the case at all, and comic books are no different.

Breaking news. Comic book that sells basically nothing gets cancelled.

Colour me unsurprised.

Can't say I even heard of this one, speaking as someone who only has casual knowledge of ongoing cape comics.

So how was it, to those who did like it? A political based comic is always going to be a mine-field. Was a pretty even handed look at things, or was just the author preaching at people? The latter is rarely fun to read for long, even when you agree with the person in question.

Canadish:
Can't say I even heard of this one, speaking as someone who only has casual knowledge of ongoing cape comics.

So how was it, to those who did like it? A political based comic is always going to be a mine-field. Was a pretty even handed look at things, or was just the author preaching at people? The latter is rarely fun to read for long, even when you agree with the person in question.

I have occasion to have dealings with comic freak at work. Her own personal politics is of the left but she told me that the comic sucked. I suspect I would find it preachy but her objections was that it was just loose collection of ideas that just didn't work dramatically. The writers never got beyond the wouldn't it be cool if we had some disenfranchised members of minority groups as SUPERHEROES.

Okay DC... now Simone has more free time to write a new series of Secret Six. Do it!

(Really, that series was awesome. If you haven't read it, read it.)

PuckFuppet:
To a point, escapism aside, this probably could have done a lot better if it had been appropriately advertised/organised within the company. As I understand it almost no other DC comic directly referenced that particular run or even used it for scene setting etc.

It could have also done better if they had picked something other than the idiotic and childish Occupy Wall Street as their framework for the "current political debate." OWS has been in the dustbin of history for over a year. And only writers at Salon and Slate even take those guys seriously anymore. Most who care to know who OWS is think it's a laughingstock. Deservedly so.

It was doomed to failure because the people who support the message of OWS probably doesn't dovetail with comic book readers very well. Very small middle in that Venn Diagram.

I checked out the first issue, but didn't really like it. It was trying too hard to cash in on the zeitgeist of the whole occupy thing. The fact that it's a comic based on political themes, dealing with people who feel marginalised by those in power wasn't the problem. That's basically the premise of the X-Men. The problem was that the characters were shallow and obnoxious, at least I think they were as the whole thing was also pretty forgettable. Gail Simone is usually a reliably good writer and I've enjoyed other stuff she's written.

Vivi22:

RJ 17:
Really not that surprised to hear about this. Like most forms of entertainment media: people read comics to escape from the problems and issues with the reality they're living in. There's nothing wrong with having some references here and there to the current political climate, but to make an entire super-hero comic series around it? Ehhhh, just seems like this was doomed for failure from the start if you ask me.

I'm not sure you read many comics. If you want to read comics dealing with contemporary politics there are plenty to choose from. And the best of them are far from being unsuccessful.

You might as well argue that people don't want to see movies or TV shows about current political topics because they watch them to escape from reality. Of course we know that's not the case at all, and comic books are no different.

The failure of this series would disagree with that notion.

As I said, there's nothing wrong with dropping references and such - which I'd imagine is what you're talking about - in entertainment media with regards to the current political climate. Look at Elysium, for example. But having the basis for your entire story being set in and around the current political climate is a mistake.

Big_Willie_Styles:

PuckFuppet:
To a point, escapism aside, this probably could have done a lot better if it had been appropriately advertised/organised within the company. As I understand it almost no other DC comic directly referenced that particular run or even used it for scene setting etc.

It could have also done better if they had picked something other than the idiotic and childish Occupy Wall Street as their framework for the "current political debate." OWS has been in the dustbin of history for over a year. And only writers at Salon and Slate even take those guys seriously anymore. Most who care to know who OWS is think it's a laughingstock. Deservedly so.

It was doomed to failure because the people who support the message of OWS probably doesn't dovetail with comic book readers very well. Very small middle in that Venn Diagram.

The problem lies with the venn diagram of comic book writers and the occupy movement. Thats a much bigger crossover.

albino boo:
The problem lies with the venn diagram of comic book writers and the occupy movement. Thats a much bigger crossover.

Well, that too. Writers in every industry are far more likely to be liberal. But that's just the reality we have to deal with.

I had to look this up to make sure I was thinking of the right comic.

I can't say I'm really surprised. My limited interest in this was due to the inclusion of "Rainmaker" from Gen-13 as I'm a big Wildstorm fan and have still been holding out that they might pick up that universe which was getting kind of interesting in it's post apocalyptic form, however it seems less and less likely with so many Wildstorm characters making their way into DC.

At any rate, the problem with addressing "real world issues" in comics is that they do not apply to the way how those realities are defined. In DC for example a lot of characters are philanthropist billionaires who run corporations that crusade for the greater good. The evil and greedy corps thus do not have anywhere near the same kind of influence that they do IRL. Basically for every Lexcorp, you've got Wayne International, or Queen Industries. Not to mention that the press has guys like Superman using it for a cover, largely so they can find the bad guys and pummel them relentlessly, and characters like "The Question" go running around providing information for other heroes and the like.

As 'edgy' as it might seem to have some heroes take down some cops who are sex abusers, it's really not that big a think when you've had vigilante heroes dealing with corrupt cops for decades now. I mean in Batman they make a big deal about that which is why you have this thing with Batman pretty much siding with "good cops" (even if they don't like him) and it's a big part of why the Commish works with Batman because he realizes with all the organized crime in Gotham he can't always trust his own people.

In short it just doesn't work, sort of like when they decided to do the 9/11 attack in comics and had all these heroes mournfully staring at the towers going down, and I think Marvel even had Doctor Doom laughably acting like that went too far or whatever (I didn't read that, just heard about it). It's a big deal IRL, but buildings get wrecked in comics all the time, in Marvel that's pretty much Tuesday for "Damage Control Inc". If two power houses like Superman and Zod go at it in the middle of downtown you'll be lucky if all you lose is two buildings (not to mention the sheer amount of devestation caused in the cross-country battle between Superman and Doomsday). In Marvel you have this guy called "The Hulk" running around and the army periodically cutting loose on him, never mind some of the classic fights between say "The Thing" and "The Hulk" in downtown New York (The Thing typically gives The Hulk a pretty good fight, even if The Hulk typically starts to come out on top, it's a classic comics matchup).

To do something like "Occupy Wall Street" you'd need a new comics universe for it, and probably to an approach like "Ultimate Marvel" where super beings are just starting to appear, rendering this kind of activism more relevant, and asking questions about what would happen if super-powered vigilantes started acting in the interests of current political movements say tomorrow.

I myself have in the past said that I sort of agree with some of the principles of the "Occupy" movement, but at the end of the day what they do is meaningless given their unwillingness to take action. People who can just fly over you in a private helicopter and land on the roof of the building where they work do not care if your squatting on the sidewalk, in the end all your doing is creating a nuisance. People tend to forget that non-violent protest has a core of violence, and unless you start seeing what are tantamount to violent riots, and terrorist acts, (which helped propel the civil liberties movements) along with the non-violent protests, it's pretty much pointless. Rome might not have been built in a day, but it wasn't built by unwashed squatters discussing politics and smoking dope either. A story examining a group of super beings who DO start engaging major corporations and the like and the moral questions that this raises COULD be interesting in the right world/context (ie not an existing comics universe with a long history and tons of philanthropist billionaires already being some of the world's greatest... and quite genuine... heroes). It could raise questions about what is terrorism, and whether those tactics are bad, or only bad depending on what purpose they happen to be in service in. As well as perhaps making analogies to things like the abduction of Patty Hearst at the hands of the SLA and similar things, while examining the overall context. Done correctly you could very well wind up with something akin to "The Authority" around the turn of the millennium which ventured the question as to whether these guys were the heroes, the villains, or something else entirely.... albeit the nature of that particular world as established prior to that run made it fairly easy to cheer for them even if you don't agree with their overall politics in a real world sense, simply because everything in Wildstorm was just so totally screwed up (for example their version of the USA is nothing like the USA in real life, and you even had stories starting with bad guys operating "66 levels above presidential clearance" and things like that. Half the government was at one point taken over by aliens that were literally the inspiration for biblical demons at one point I believe, with the other half being ultimately controlled by unaccountable black ops. that had become totally autonomous).

Proofs once again that all this social justice bizz does not sell in the real world. People buy comics for escapism and for interesting stories about people with super powers... not to get the feeling they are constantly preached at. That and that real world issues are absurd in a world where alien invasions happen every thursday and the world is allways just an inch away from being completly obliterated if it werent for super heros.

People dont want to deal with real world issues in their chosen form of escapism because thats why its called escapism. They have to deal with real issues all day long and dont want to have it slapped in their face even when they try to get away from it for a moment.

Holy shit! Is that female hero fully covered? As in she's not dressed in a kinky swimsuit? (Yeah, I know she still has massive tits and zero body fat but it's at least a step in the right direction).

I'm kind of interested in this now, not because of the political crap but because there is someone called 'Vengeance Moth'. Is their weakness bright lights? To the interwebs!

Ok I found this:

http://www.comicvine.com/vengeance-moth/4005-90036/

Powers include being an 'attractive female' (I shit you not).

I certainly would have picked this up had I known about it.
Considering the inherent ideology of superhero comics runs from obnoxious libertarianism at best to straight up fascism at worst, it might have been nice to read a comic grounded in Anything Else.

(Unrelated: Wow, ads in Captchas, now I've seen everything, and it is terrible.)

 

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