Kyle Higgins has brought C.O.W.L. to life! Along with Alec Siegel and Rod Reis! Based on characters from Kyle’s short film The League This will be a SPOILER FREE Review!
Principles of Power – Chapter 1: Motivation
Kyle Higgins, you know him as the masterful Nightwing Scribe, and he goes beyond all expectations in the Batman Beyond Universe… But now he brings you his creator owned title C.O.W.L. When I first heard about this I was stoked! Because this is based off Kyle’s short film The League, which you can get on iTunes and READ MY REVIEW of it. After reading the issue I’m still a bit confused with the timeline. The comic takes place in 1962, yet “The League of Heroes” was started in 1946, and the events of the film… I have no idea where those land. However I assume this is in between the start and finish of C.O.W.L. Maybe Kyle will read this review, and comment on it LOL! I do have to say that I love the logo and the main cover. The logo was done by Eric Wight who was a part of the Batman Beyond Cartoon series, he has also done many other things in comics.
Everyone knows since I found Kyle Higgins in comics, that I’ve loved his writing style. This however is something totally different than anything I’ve seen him write. Granted based of his own short film The League… This is no kids comic I’ll tell ya that. But can you imagine a 1960s Chicago with a superhero labor union? That’s what C.O.W.L. is. For those that don’t know C.O.W.L. stands for Chicago Organized Workers League. In this first issue Kyle sets up the League and what they have to deal with. There are many characters to keep track of, and Higgins along with Siegel on the story and writing make it all come together. There are multiple plot points going on all at the same time. For a new comic series it might seem frantic, but I was able follow along with most everything.
The Grey Raven is the C.O.W.L. chief, and the idea that superheroes are a business is very interesting. There’s a page in the book where two of the league members are talking about checking something out. One says to the other that the overtime is already approved. So with a superhero labor union this isn’t your average superhero book… In most other comics heroes do their work for the sheer satisfaction of doing the right thing. Well C.O.W.L. members are getting paid to be heroes. Since this takes place in 1960s Chicago that aspect of the story makes so much sense. And just because this series is set in the 60s does not mean it has to be campy. Hell Ibarely noticed any campiness in this issue. Are there things that we need explained sure…. like outide of being the Chicago Organized Workers League….. tell us what their bottom line is, tell us who can join, and so on. I’m very intrigued for the next issue, and the story here captivated me. I’ll say again this is a comic solely for adults. Hell a kid even curses in this book.
Rod Reis’s art is amazing in this issue. It really feels like I’ve been transported to this era of Chicago. It’s dark and gritty where it needs to be, and then it has these moments of brightness. Looking at this art in the way the story plays out it’s like night and day. There are certain aspects of it that show the seedy underbelly of Chicago, and then they show us Chicago’s put upon face. The colors and designs on the characters are all well done. Although there were a fre times where I could decipher the heroes from the villain in the issue. Maybe it was just my eyes.
Overall C.O.W.L. #1 was a good issue, but I’m waiting for it to build up a little more. As well as explain a few things. I did very much enjoy the story and art. Looking forward to issue #2! You can get C.O.W.L. #1 from Comixology digitally or any of your local comics shops!