Published on June 25th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
C.O.W.L. #2 – Comic Review
Geoffrey Warner is in the middle of contract negations to keep C.O.W.L. active within the city of Chicago while Grant and Karl answer a call that could be superpower related.
Motivation is the theme in this second issue of the gritty super powered crime comic from Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel. They illustrate an edited history of the Superheroes journey through the early twentieth century but highlight that there are omissions that C.O.W.L. Chief Warner doesn’t want people to remember. These elements will no doubt come back to haunt the team in future issues but this month’s story focuses on Grant. First the reader is shown his uncomfortable relationship with his son and then allowed to witness the affects this has on his judgment. He is full of doubt and self loathing and this initiates some poor decisions on his part. Just like the history sequence from earlier in the issue, there are hints that there is something else going on that the reader does not know about but we’ll have to wait to find out what that is.
The writing in this issue is more focused on a small number of characters and as a result is much tighter. The narrative is easy to follow and has a better structure so that it’s possible to relate each strand to one another creating a better feel of the over all story. Unlike the first issue, the writers have made the characters empathetic and likable which allows the reader to become more engrossed in the story.
The character design also has more definition. Rod Reis’ artwork is cleaner and more impressive because of it. The characters facial expressions are strong and emotive and the contrast between the conversational scenes and the action sequences is brash but exciting. There is a fight scene involving Grant that moves from confrontational to brutal to emotional with a series of slightly different artistic choices. The colour drains from the page as the violence increases and Reis adds more panels to portray the hectic action.
This issue lays a lot of ground work, hinting at secrets yet to be revealed, and begins to create real characters that you would want to follow month on month. After the first issue I wasn’t sure if this would be a comic I could get into but after the second I’m intrigued. There’s scope in this story that could be compared to the Watchmen but the artistic style and focus on the Police Force aspect differentiates it enough from that classic. Hopefully this comic will continue along in this vain and not return to the jumble that was issue 1.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writers: Kyle Higgins/Alec Siegel
Artist: Rod Reis