C.O.W.L. volume 1: Principles of Power
By Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
ARC e-book, 128 pages (paperback)
2014, Image Comics
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
From NetGalley: Welcome to the “Chicago Organized Workers League”- the world’s first Super-Hero Labor Union! While C.O.W.L. once stood as a beacon of hope against an epidemic of organized crime and an unbeatable “brotherhood” of Super-Villains, the union now faces its fiercest foe yet-a disillusioned public. In targeting the last of the great villains, C.O.W.L. attempts to prove its value to the world and to each other, while staving off villainy from both outside and inside its offices.
This was a gritty superhero comic, set in Chicago in the 60s and it reminded me a bit of The Watchmen, in the sense that these heroes are more flawed than what we’re used to, and they’re struggling to remain essential to human society. I enjoyed this concept, but sadly I had a little trouble following the plot (it’s probably me, not the plot).
I had a hard time keeping track of the characters – I think part of this was due to the fact that some of the artwork was very dark, and partly because I was reading this on a computer screen. There was a character sheet in the front, displaying the heroes and their aliases, but I was too lazy to keep scrolling back to it – this is a feature that I think wouldn’t be a problem if I was reading a physical book.
But because I sometimes couldn’t tell which character was which, I couldn’t always follow the plot. I eventually managed to figure out what was going on by the end, and the cliffhanger did leave me wanting more.
With comics, I prefer to have multiple issues to read through, rather than just reading one volume per year, or whatever, so I’ll probably wait a while before I pick this series back up.