Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel
Art, Colours: Rod Reis
Lettering: Troy Peteri
Cover: Trevor McCarthy
This seventh issue of C.O.W.L. marks the start of a new story arc, The Greater Good.
In the first arc, that ran in issues 1 to 5 (issue 6 was a stand-alone story), we saw the Chicago Organized Workers’ League, the self-defined “first superhero labour union” in the world, clash with the Major, who seems to be planning to depower C.O.W.L. to the advantage of a more regular Police force. There was a strike, and there were talks. Lots of talks. Meanwhile, C.O.W.L. non-superpowered member Grant Marlow was assaulted and hospitalised while John Pierce, another C.O.W.L. member who was planning to denounce a weapons leak within the union, was murdered. To wrap things up we saw Geoffrey Warner, the leader of C.O.W.L., ask a boss of the local mob to organise a wave of crimes committed by superpowered individuals in order to highlight the importance of the supers in law enforcement.
This issue opens still in 1962 – probably only a few hours after the conclusion of #5 – with a superpowered criminal attacking a corner shop (for just over twenty cents), the discovery of Pierce’s dead body and Marlow’s release from hospital.
Higgins and Siegel are once again brilliant at bringing us back to the 1960s, with their dialogues going from the slightly pompous of the politicians (and Warner) to the rough and gritty of the Police and the everyday people.
Rod Reis’s art is something different: each panel seems inked and then oil painted, but the characters have the slightly over the top expressions that characterised comics back when the story is set. This is particularly noticeable in the opening sequence.
Interesting developments for our unionised superheroes, then, with the biggest danger coming from within C.O.W.L. itself… a thrilling read.