Review: C.O.W.L. #1

Cover by Trevor McCarthy

Cover by Trevor McCarthy

Written By: Kyle Higgins & Alex Siegel

Art By: Rod Reis

Published By: Image Comics

Written by Zakk Saam







The wait is over as C.O.W.L.#1 hit comic shops this week. The long awaited comic from writers Kyle Higgins (Nightwing, Gates of Gotham) and Alec Siegel (Captain America: Theater of War) follows the Chicago Organized Workers League, a superhero union during 1960’s Chicago. A cross between the Justice League and Mad Men, C.O.W.L. explores corruption and change during a changing time period.

Founded upon Higgin’s senior thesis film the League (2008), which was co-written by Siegel, the team uses a story and theme from which they are obviously passionate about to return to after so many years.

The book opens in 1962 with C.O.W.L. members Blaze, Radia, Recon, and Arclight taking down Skylancer, the last of the Chicago Six while defending the city. Taking down the last of the 1950’s villains group, C.O.W.L. ends the last visible threat to Chicago. But with the last of threats eliminated, does the city still need C.O.W.L.? Or should C.O.W.L. be reward with a new contract with the city?  Geoffrey Warner, formerly the Gray Raven, the original Hero and current C.O.W.L. Chief, speaks to the residents of the city, saying things are better than maybe they actually are.

Rod Reis’ (Teen Titans, Aquaman) artwork is horrifyingly beautiful. Reminiscent of The Dark Knight Returns in its style and execution, Reis captures the corrupt feel of the 1960’s with his color pallet choice and use of shadows.

Skylancer's final stand. Art by Rod Reis.

Skylancer’s final stand. Art by Rod Reis.

Expect this story to play out in similar to fashion to Alan Moore’s Watchmen, a story in which we see the world as if heroes existed all along.  What changes to history will be affected by these heroes presence, are they involved themselves or just bystanders during a turbulent period in American History?

Overall, this is an exciting new book, that follows Image’s reputation of pushing the bar. It’s hard to put a new superhero book out into a market that’s flooded with them, but C.O.W.L. is different enough to keep us guessing. Unlike something from the Big Two, these characters can grow, can change, can die. And those are the stories we like to read. Nothing is off limits to this creative team and you can expect the story to be better served for it.

Story: 9/10

Art: 9.5/10

Overall: 9.5/10

Want to know more about Zakk’s adventures and escapades? Follow him on Twitter: @ZakkSaam