Book: C.O.W.L. #5
Writers: Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel
Artist: Rod Reis
Summary from Comixology: “The end of the first arc and a huge turning point for the series! John Pierce and Geoffrey Warner square off over C.O.W.L.’s big secret, Radia faces public outcry, and Arclight resorts to lethal force…against one of his own.”
C.O.W.L. is one of my favorite current series, by far. In fact, with Thor: God of Thunder ending last week, it might just be the most anticipated book on my pull list on a monthly basis. This issue closes the first arc of the story, but really sets the stage for what’s to come. In the author’s section, Higgins states that this is where the story was originally going to start, but wanted to take the first arc to flesh out the characters, as well as develop/explore the circumstances that lead Geoffrey, the head of C.O.W.L., to make the decisions that he does. I, for one, am very happy he did so. The first arc has set up the key players and motivations that will make what is to come all the more interesting.
There is a lot of good in this book. The story is very solid when seen in relation to the previous issues (which is, you know, how a story generally works), and has a pretty shocking finale that made my jaw drop. Higgins and Siegel have done a great job making you care about the characters, so when one of them is killed it’s rough. Higgins explicitly states that there will be no comic shenanigans that will bring the character back either, so there is no coming back in C.O.W.L. The political motivations, and seeing just how far Geoffrey is willing to go to save C.O.W.L. will have my interest piqued for a long while. One thing I like about this book is how the art and story actually feel like a collaboration. A lot of comics can feel disjointed in spots because the art doesn’t seem to feet the feel of the story, but that is not the case here. Rod Reis is doing some amazing work on this book. The characters have a Mad Men-esque feel, and the settings are just great.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (records are a distant precursor to Spotify), there isn’t really any bad here. This particular issue was a little less action-oriented than some readers might like, but it serves the purpose of driving the story into the next arc. Higgins and Seigel don’t Michael Bay their book by subtracting plot, adding explosions, and calling it a day.
The Final Say
The first arc of C.O.W.L. has been a lot of fun. This issue had some crazy developments that should lead into some great story lines. I give it a solid 4 out of 4, but this definitely isn’t the book to start with seeing as how it is the end of the first arc. This is a fun story with great art, so go pick up the first five issues, or get the trade that is hitting shelves any day now.