Writer: Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel
Art: Rod Reis
Publisher: Image Comics
Summary from Comixology: “NEW STORY ARC! Before he started C.O.W.L., Geoffrey Warner fought for Chicago as the city’s first hero, THE GREY RAVEN! But what started him down the path of crime fighting? Witness the origin of Chicago Superheroes, the War Years, and the formation of C.O.W.L. as told in the sellout issue written by C.O.W.L reporter and comic book writer Randall Winters.”
I have loved the first five issues of C.O.W.L. Out of the (relatively few) books on my pull, it’s one that I consistently look forward to. When I looked at the previews for this book I was intrigued. The cover (pictured above) was unlike anything they had put out, but looked like it was going to be fun. If you are unfamiliar with C.O.W.L., this is actually a decent jumping on point, but you can find the first five issues collected into this trade paperback (which is definitely worth the $8.59).
This book was an all around success. The writers and artist were able to tell the back-story of Geoffrey Warner (aka the Grey Raven), the founder of C.O.W.L., and do it in a very unique way. Instead of using the industry norm of various flashback sequences, C.O.W.L.#6 is written as if it were a biographical comic from the early sixties as it would exist in the world of C.O.W.L.. The art is purposefully reminiscent of the Silver Age of Comics. The pages look like they are aged, and the art appears to have the Ben-Day dots that were popular in the 60’s era pulp comics. As far as the story goes, it works well as an origin story for the Grey Raven, while also capturing the feel of those old time comics. The internal dialog is very similar to what you would see in the Batman and Superman comics of the era. I wouldn’t mind if the next few issues, or at least other characters origin stories, were done this way. Another cool addition that helps keep the Silver Age illusion going is that all of the advertisements are done with a 60’s vibe, even when it is for a modern book like Scott Snyder’s Wytches.
There really aren’t any. This book was an imaginative take on how to do an origin story, and it was spot on. C.O.W.L. #6 attempted to capture the look and feel of Silver Age comics, and it went above and beyond.
The Final Say-
This book really surprised me. I figured I would enjoy it as I had the previous five issues, but I thought C.O.W.L. #6 was superbly done. I am a sucker for vintage – my first car was a 1970 Chrysler Newport – and this issue resonated with me. Higgins, Siegel, and Reis knocked it out of the park on this one. I have to give this book a 5 out of 5. Go pick it up! It’s a brand new arc and doesn’t need a comprehensive study of the previous issues to enjoy.