Meeting the Movement
Look, I get that this series is supposed to ride the very delicate moral ambiguity line, but there's a different fine line between true moral gray, and forced. Don't get me wrong, most of this issue is the same kind of gray I love, but there's this one scene that absolutely infuriates me because of how stupid and shallow it paints everyone. The headquarters of The Movement is an abandoned factory that had horrendous conditions, underage workers, etc. And the doors were locked to prevent the women from taking breaks for 'gossip and idle chatter.' And the locked doors caused them all to die in an earthquake, and the owners of course claimed it was closed and empty at the time. So when they lock up the complete asshole crocked cop, he claims that them locking him up there is the same as the factory owners with the dead women. Tremor and Virtue claim it's a fair point and frankly, THAT'S A LOAD OF ABSOLUTE BULL. The factory women? They hardly had any choice. They were the poor and despondent who had no other place to go, and were punished for the factory owners' greed. This cop here comparing the situation? HE'S LOCKED UP FOR A FREAKING REASON! He's not some innocent starved child trying to scrape together enough money to eat once a week, he's an abuser of authority and attempted child molester. I'M PRETTY SURE THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE THERE. HE DESERVES TO BE LOCKED UP, and he was locked up with the intention of locking him up as retribution. The factory women were simply victims of corporate greed. I mean, I can see him being stupid enough to compare the two, but how stupid are Tremor and Virtue to agree with that line of logic?
As I expected, after the trial by fire intro last issue, this time we get to actually 'meet' the characters for the first time, to really get in their heads and know them as characters, not just fighters. Mouse, whom I initially dismissed as my least favorite, proves to be all sorts of complicated, there's definitely some serious childhood trauma buried in there and I'm actually eager to pick his brain more. Virtue demonstrates the potential for combat she seemed to be missing in the first issue, Katharsis and Tremor are flashed out, and we finally get to meet the one stranger from the first cover, Vengeance Moth. There's clearly a lot we don't know about her, and I'm keeping a close eye on her because she fascinates me on a variety of levels.
One common complaint about the first issue was that some people felt it was hard to see these metahumans trashing a whole group of policemen as underdogs, but this issue helps sell that notion. Their core combat force is small, and if they push too much, they WILL be overwhelmed. Plus they have a whole complex full of children and innocents to keep an eye on, and declaring war would put them at a huge disadvantage with their huge group of harrowed dependents.
In Conclusion: 4/5
There's a lot going on in this issue and I love it, it all works out really well. This issue jumps right into fleshing out everything that the first issue lacked, and it helps set aside all the little nagging concerns I had before. But there's still that utterly stupid moral 'quandary.' It's a minor scene, but the stupidity is SO overwhelming that it's hard to ignore.