C.O.W.L. #1
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C.O.W.L. #1

Writer: Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel Artist: Rod Reis Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 28, 2014 Cover Price: $3.5 Critic Reviews: 28 User Reviews: 5
7.7Critic Rating
8.0User Rating

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.

  • 10
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero May 27, 2014

    It's always hard to imagine reading a "new" comic and getting something that actually feels new. How many different superhero comics have we all read over the years? The great thing is, we haven't really read anything like C.O.W.L. You can feel the enthusiasm, care, and attention that Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel are pouring into this series. It's practically oozing off the pages. And wait until you see Rod Reis' art. It's simply incredible. Make sure you check out C.O.W.L. This is a series you'll want to read right away. Don't wait until later. Heck, I don't even want to wait for issue #2 now. You're really going to dig this series. Read Full Review

  • 10
    All-Comic - Erik Gonzalez May 28, 2014

    Don't forget about our C.O.W.L. giveaway either. Higgins and Seigel signed copies of #1. Head over to our giveaway page for more details. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    We The Nerdy - Kristina Poffenroth Jun 2, 2014

    Overall, I think we have a lot to look forward to in this comic, and I am very excited to see where this series goes. The nine years Higgins has put in to developing this story and these characters is bound to pay off, and this is a good intro to the sort of action, corruption, and subversion that a superhero labor union 1960s Chicago has to offer. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    AIPT - Jordan Richards May 28, 2014

    C.O.W.L. #1 is a fantastic and gorgeous looking period piece/superhero tale. This series is off to a great start already with an intriguing setup, interesting cast of characters, great feel and tone and absolutely beautiful looking artwork. This could be one of the best indie superhero comics coming out, so be sure to not miss out! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Spectrum - Shawn Hoklas Jun 2, 2014

    This first issue introduces us to plenty of characters, but the two most interesting are the ones not in costume. The Union Chief/ex hero, as well as the primary investigator John Pierce who seems to be the moral center of the story steal a lot of the scenes and deservedly so. Higgins and Siegel have balanced C.O.W.L.'s heroes and regular people effectively which ultimately make this series all that more interesting. This first issue provides a unique twist on the superhero genre, and gives us an art style that's both fresh and exciting to look at. I'm on board for this all new series and you should be too! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    One Quest - Chris Cobb May 31, 2014

    So if you're a fan of super hero comics, but you want something different than what you're use to getting at Marvel or DC check out C.O.W.L. it may just scratch that itch for you. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Noah Sharma May 31, 2014

    This book is stunningly illustrated and written as if with a chisel. Like some beautiful lovechild of Watchmen andJSA: The Golden Age drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, C.O.W.L. demands greater transparency, safer working conditions, and your attention. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Following The Nerd - Sarah Barclay Jun 7, 2014

    Frankly, I'm really excited for this book. I can't wait to see where this team goes with it. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    IGN - Jeff Lake May 29, 2014

    Great galloping gargoyles, Batman, Rod Reis can draw. Every page and panel is worth an extra second's pause, the artist deftly marrying superhero melees with every day police work. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    Nerds On The Rocks - Frank Lanza May 28, 2014

    Even if this concept has been done before, I like the direction and unique touches the creative team is bringing to this book. Everything feels gritty and real right off the bat, which is no small feat for what is, at its core, a superhero book. For an opening issue it's already established a large cast of characters, a deep backstory and enough intrigue and conflict to last a couple of arcs. I'm very excited to read future issues of this book, if they're all as good as this first issue then we have a lot to look forward to. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Geeked Out Nation - Jess Camacho May 28, 2014

    C.O.W.L. is undoubtedly going to be an exciting series. With so many directions to go, there's no way any superhero fan can pass up this title. The premise is unique, the characters are gripping and the art is fantastic. Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis have a series here that is on the bubble of a massive success and it'll be fun seeing where this goes. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Rhymes With Geek - Matt Lune May 27, 2014

    Overall this is looking to be a series with many influences. Part Mad Men, part Watchmen, C.O.W.L. stands alone in its class. The characters are clearly set up with the long game in mind, this first issue barely scratches the surface of the players involved, and itll definitely be rewarding to see their stories unfold. Keep an eye on this book, I have high hopes for the series moving forward. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Big Comic Page - Gary Kane May 27, 2014

    The big sell for this book was always going to be the 'star power' of the creative team, but there is definitely something truly interesting here, and using this opening issue as a launchpad this series has lots of potential. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Word Of The Nerd - Yamini C May 28, 2014

    Nonetheless, the fully-formed world presented within C.O.W.L. #1 is exciting to fall into. I usually hate "gritty" stories, but this issue achieves that flavour without losing all the fun escapism that is the cornerstone of superhero comics. It feels like the spiritual amalgam of Gotham Central's street-level cop drama and Mad Men's 1960s socio-cultural exploration " with all the intricate plotting and character work of both, and lots more capes (and cowls!) thrown in. And as far as I am concerned, it totally works. Another! Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Therapy - Kevin Finnigan May 30, 2014

    C.O.W.L. starts off with a great issue and shows this series has a lot of promise Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Multiversity Comics - Zach Wilkerson May 29, 2014

    “C.O.W.L.” feels unique amongst the large number of books currently published at Image. While it may not have the star power of top tier books like “Saga,” “Southern Bastards,” or “Deadly Class,” it makes up for this with a well developed world and compelling character dynamics. “C.O.W.L.” wears it influences on its sleeve, but isn't beholden to preconceived notions. With a strong vision, engaging characters, and a great high concept, “C.O.W.L.” has all the makings of a great, long-running series. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Comicosity - Maxwell Majernik May 28, 2014

    Issue #1 was a nice introduction to the C.O.W.L. universe. The comic had it's fair share of ups and downs, but it has the making to be a hit. I think the title will gain traction as it goes on and the setting and characters become more fleshed out. Patience will reward you if you stick with C.O.W.L. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comics Bulletin - Lance Paul Jun 3, 2014

    You can bet the highly original C.O.W.L. will remain on my sub-list for a few more issues assuming the plot doesn't flatline. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Coming Up Comics - David Melton May 27, 2014

    I'm interested to see where this story goes; even though it covered a lot of ground in its first issue, it left a lot to be answered. I have read it a few times now and like it more and more each time through. This comic isn't going to come out and tell you what's going on; readers will have to do a little detective work and reading between the lines on their part, but I found that to be fun. I'm interested to see how the first arc unfolds and where Higgins and Siegel take these characters. Not what I was expecting, but that might be better. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Graphic Policy - Brett Schenker May 28, 2014

    Overall, the comic is an interesting start, it just doesn't quite hit the mark as far as how it's pitched. I'll definitely check out the next issue, and here's hoping we'll see more of its premise there. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Book Resources - Meagan Damore Jun 3, 2014

    What "C.O.W.L." #1 lacks in world building, it makes up for in heart. Although the series is off to a shaky start, Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis have certainly got a strong premise and its merits are just beginning to shine through in this debut issue. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Newsarama - Lilith Wood May 29, 2014

    C.O.W.L. #1 starts off gorgeous and exciting before bogging down into dark, dense panels of grim conversation. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Unleash The Fanboy - John McCubbin May 27, 2014

    C.O.W.L. gets off to a good all be it questionable start as bar the confusing opening sequence the series itself seems very interesting, showing a lot of promise. Recommended. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Florida Geek Scene - Peter Schmeiser Jun 4, 2014

    The main ideas behind C.O.W.L. are what appeal to me. The time period is a bit of a mystery, but so many book try and figure out how to make crime fighting a possible business model, and I think Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel may have cracked the code on a believable vehicle for readers to believe. Superman can save people out of the goodness of his heart, but we all know Spider-Man has bills to pay. Being a superhero is an occupation we all want when we are 6, but it doesnt pay the bills, which is a weird thing in a capitalist society. Despite the watery illustrations, Im intrigued by C.O.W.L. and I will be back for issue two. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Bastards - Erik McAlister May 28, 2014

    Now try to think of my score more in terms of my enjoyment level, and not a measure of quality. I tried to dig it, but I probably won't continue reading it. Maybe I misunderstood what the overall feel of the book would be when I first heard about it, I don't know, but it definitely won't be added to my pull list. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Front Towards Gamer - Lido May 28, 2014

    I said once that the main criteria for a good first issue for me is if there's a good central premise but C.O.W.L. has forced me to amend that: a good premise only goes as far as what the authors are willing to do with it. In the case of C.O.W.L. the premise has a lot of potential but I'd recommended waiting for a later issue to see if the series is really going to live up to it. Not currently recommended. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose May 28, 2014

    Higgins and Siegel have some real potential on their hands with their core concept, one that can prove to be smarter and more complex than the standard capes-and-tights or capes-and-cops fare. One might argue that the authors needed time for setup, in order to introduce their brave new world - but I'd argue right back that this world isn't enough to stand on its own. In today's crowded marketplace, one shot is not just all you get to make a good first impression - one shot is just all you deserve. The idea of C.O.W.L. is that there's a better way to do superheroics, and on that score, I'm in full agreement with Higgins and Siegel. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    Kabooooom - Matt Morrison May 28, 2014

    On the whole, there is little to recommend C.O.W.L. #1. The story fails to utilize its concept or its time period, the characters are shallow and the artwork is an overall mess. Those who are interested in a retro superhero story detailing a society adjusting to an organized superhero group would do well to look up the Eisner, Harvey and Shuster winning series The New Frontier. Read Full Review

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