Comic Vine Review


C.O.W.L. #4 - Principles of Power, Chapter 4: Unity


In a world where superheroes can form a union, you have to prepare for the possibility of a strike.

The Good

You have love the premise of this series. We've all seen superhero comic after superhero comic. We all appreciate the large fantastical stories and events but when you throw in some realistic aspect, of course I will be hooked. There are times when I ponder how some aspects of comics would relate in the real world and vice versa. With C.O.W.L., we have the idea of superheroes forming an organized union. This might have brought good things to Chicago in the 1960s but when negotiations didn't go as smoothly as all would like, the city is seeing their heroes on strike.

This is what separates this comic from the vast number of superhero comics on sale. With the strike on, we get to see the different sides and situations related. While we have some great visuals, this is a comic you really want to read. There is a lot to be seen in the dialogue and you'll want to pay close attention.

Rod Reis handles the majority of the art with his splendor and style we've come to love. There are some pages by Stéphane Perger. This gives us the opportunity to see the characters and world depicted in a different style. I'll touch on this a little more in a bit, but it is interesting, in a way.

The Bad

I mentioned the change in the art. It's cool, in a way, but it's also a big pet peeve of mine when it comes to single issues. Having the art shift to a different style causes an interruption in the flow of the reading. It's like you're watching television and someone changes the channel when you weren't looking.

The strike is a big part of the story but we don't see too many details on it here. Mixed with the investigation John Pierce is conducting, the story is split between the different plot lines that leave you eager to see more. That's a good thing in a way but it also makes you feel like you're left hanging.

The Verdict

C.O.W.L. is not your typical superhero comic book. Set in Chicago in the 1960s, we get a nice mix of superhero action laced with some real world ideas. Superheroes forming an organized union has a lot of merit. With that aspect such a big role in the title, we get to see what happens when that organized union goes on strike. With heroes on the picket line, what will they do when there are bad guys that need to be dealt with? Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel continue to flesh out the world they're creating. Rod Reis does an amazing job, as usual, on the art. He is joined by Stéphane Perger, which gives us a different taste of the world, although it does cause a slight distraction in the reading experience. C.O.W.L. is a comic that should definitely be on your pull list.