C.O.W.L. Vol.1, Principles of Power (Higgins/Siegal/Reis)

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Written by: Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegal
Illustrated by: Rod Reis

** Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. **

"Welcome to the 'Chicago Organized Workers League' - the world's first Super-Hero Labor Union!

While C.O.W.L. once stood as a beacon of hope against an epidemic organized crime and an unbeatable 'brotherhood' of Super-Villains, the union now faces its fiercest foe yet - a disillusioned public.

In targeting the last of the great villains, C.O.W.L. attempts to prove its value to the world and the each other, while staving off villainy from both outside and inside its offices."

The premise of C.O.W.L. looked really good to me when I first picked it up. Set in the sixties, superheroes being on a payroll just like any other hard working citizen should be, the apparent tension between the head of the League and the City Council. Add a supervillain into the mix and it could be great, prefect even.

The story however didn't meet my expectation. The team wasn't what I expected, actually it was really boring. We don't get enough back stories to really sympathize with anyone. What was biggest problem for me was that there not only was only one female character in the team (and I can excuse that given the time period it's set in) but she doesn't really stand for herself. That is not until she gets a kick the "right" way from her team mate. Until then she just let herself to be treated like a dumb bimbo that has to have a man (boyfriend) to speak for her. She doesn't really put up a fight in that aspect.

Over all the story was quite ordinary detective story with some super heroes added. Not really much to go by.

What I found really disturbing was the art. While it wasn't exactly bad and I really enjoyed the issue covers (each issue was oriented on different team member) it was really difficult to read the story. It took me a while to figure out what it was and then I found out there was no lines around the bubbles. It was ok with the white ones but within the first couple of pages there are also bubbles in very pale colours and I could barely make out what was written there.

I can't say I didn't like it at all but I don't think I'll be reading the continuation of this story, it just failed to pull me in.

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