REVIEW: C.O.W.L Volume 1

Story By: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
Art By: Rod Reis
Cover By: Trevor McCarthy

C.O.W.L concerns the exploits of the Chicago Organized Workers League, a group of superheroes with a large government contract who have now rid their city of all traditional super powered crime and now face a point where they have become irrelevant. With the city seeing them as no longer needed the fight to stay alive as a group do they move with the times or cling to memories past and try to ensure that they will always be needed?

Higgins and Siegel writing on this book is nothing short of masterful, in these opening 5 issues they handle such a large ensemble cast with great care and attention, making sure that they spend adequate time with the major players within the organization, giving them great character moments, yet make sure that we never get too focused on one characters. Whilst at the same time making sure that the narrative flows so smoothly as you transported from character to character and seeing how the events of the story shape their lives and how they react to it. The plot itself has so many twists and turns and what starts out as a simple investigation into a super criminal soon turns into something far sinister and darker with many surprise twists along the way, which I will in no way spoil for you here.

Rod Reis’ art is nothing short of amazing, the water colour style and colour palette chosen makes this feel like an old grainy film instantly transporting you back into 60’s Chicago. Particular care and attention has been paid to the setting and Reis’ has worked wonders in bringing a Chicago of over 50 years ago to life. The characters costumes and designs all echo the silver age of super hero comics and really help to make you feel right at home  in the setting and in some cases you can see how some of the costumes have been influenced by some of comics more prevalent heroes costumes from that age.

This is a very different kind of superhero book, it feels like it has drawn some of its influences from Watchmen mainly in the fact that the golden age of these heroes has now passed and the life they once led is in its final death throes. It nails absolutely everything right on the money for me and provides and interesting thought provoking read that even echoes modern life in some respects. Any fan of comics, whether superhero or not should check out this book and fall in love with such a well-crafted story you will be anxious to get the next issue just to see what the creators have in store for these characters next and what the final fate of C.O.W.L will be.

By Matt Deery

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5/5

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