We heard back in February that Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II were teaming up for a new series called THE MOVEMENT. In the announcement, Simone said, "It's a book about power -- who owns it, who uses it, who suffers from its abuse." With the angle of politics and themes that came from Occupy Wall Street, many have been left wondering what this series will be like. We had the chance to ask Gail some questions to get a better idea.
Comic Vine: How deep into politics in the DC Universe are you going to get?
Gail Simone: Pretty deep. The fun of something like the MOVEMENT is that it’s a logical extension of how citizens who aren’t media giant journalists, Gotham billionaires, or mythical princesses view the way power works in the DCU.
How does someone feel when the world is full of superheroes, but all the problems of the world still exist?
CV: Are you taking 'real-world' ideas and situations and give them a comic book twist?
GS: Yeah, it’s still an adventure/superhero story. We don’t want people to feel they’re being preached at, it’s not that kind of book. At the same time, a lot of readers are finding some of the tropes about superheroes—they date back to the 1940’s. It’s a good time to relook at those elements.
I’ve been thinking about this book as if the very concept of the Teen Titans or the X-men were created today, rather than half a century ago.
CV: What can you tell us about the characters involved? Are they all new characters or will we see some familiar faces?
These are new characters, very young, very passionate, very fiery. Their leader is only sixteen years old. She’s smart as hell, but how much wisdom does anyone have at sixteen?
AND there’s gonna be some fun characters we have not yet seen in the New 52 who make a powerful return, as the series goes on…but that would be telling!
CV: Did you and Freddie work together on the character designs?
GS: We did, but he pretty much nailed them immediately. I had suggestions, but he just ran with them like a house afire and made everything a million times better. I love the designs, every one.
Freddie is a whirlwind of creativity. The art in this book is moody and funny and sexy, it’s all the stuff I love in a comic. I love that slightly unsavory feel.
We are also fortunate enough to have the amazing Amanda Conner do the covers, and her influence is definitely felt, she and Freddie have created something wonderful, visually.
CV: Can we assume you're going to write some really kick-ass situations so Freddie can show off how amazing of an artist he is?
GS: This is a good assumption! Freddie is amazing at the action stuff, but he’s equally great at the character stuff. It’s a lovely partnership…he writes back with these great design ideas, these innovative layouts and panel arrangements. It’s a joy.
If you’re used to Freddie’s larger than life heroes, this is going to surprise you.
CV: Will we see other DC characters and heroes involved in the stories?
GS: Absolutely, everyone who knows my work knows I love the connectivity of the DCU. The thing is, how does someone like Batman or Superman view these kids? They’re outlaws, they are reckless, they’re powerful, they’re uncontrollable.
And they’re pissed.
No one in this group is exactly JLA material. Which is part of why I like ‘em.
CV: THE MOVEMENT is launching the same month as THE GREEN TEAM. Will there be any correlation between the two series?
GS: There is a shadowy connection…there are hints almost from the very start. And it’s fair to say the two groups won’t exactly see eye to eye…
I am a huge Franco and Art fan, any book they do gets an automatic read from me.
CV: With a focus on how innocent people are affected in the DC Universe versus superhero antics, what can readers expect in this series?
GS: I think every superhero fan has read a news story at some point and felt, “I wish Superman was real, he’d fix this.” It’s not just a wish for heroism and adventure, it’s a feeling we all have that the world isn’t entirely fair, and we all yearn for champions, for people who can make a difference.
A lot of the Movement is about those classic emotions, it’s just that the crimes and the heroes are updated for a new audience. It’s bold and surprising, and the characters are a blast. It reminds me of the first time I read the X-Men, or Teen Titans, it feels like something new and that’s exciting.
I hope everyone gives it a shot, a lot of fun DCU lore is going to show up in this book!
THE MOVEMENT is in stores on May 1, 2013.