Review: C.O.W.L. #11

COWL_11C.O.W.L. is one of the best series on the racks right now. Or at least it was, because this is the final bittersweet issue. Set during the 1960’s in Chicago, C.O.W.L. #11 is published by Image Comics and written by Kyle Higgins and Alec Seigel with art by Rod Reis weaves a complex story that follows the Chicago Organized Workers League during its struggle to negotiate a new contract with the city of Chicago. The story is set against some fantastic art work. Without giving anything away, this is a comic that focuses as much on the political intrigue of superheroing as a paid career as it does the superheroes themselves. The writing team explore some really interesting questions here, chief of which is “what if superheroes are unionized?”

With C.O.W.L. #11 being the final issue in the series, this is not an ideal jumping on point for new readers. That isn’t to say that if you’re entirely unfamiliar with C.O.W.L. that you can’t pick up and enjoy this comic, but you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t read the story up until this point. Rod Reis‘ artwork in this issue is absolutely phenomenal, and while fans of the series have come to expect some spectacular panels, there are several pages in C.O.W.L. #11 that exceeded  my expectations. Even though he has provided consistently great artwork throughout the series, Rod Reis has excelled in the last issue of the series.

Likewise, Kyle Higgins and Alec Seigel have crafted an epic tale of corruption stemming from the desire to be needed. At times C.O.W.L. has felt more like a story about the power of a workers union than one about superheroes; that the union in question is one for career heroes is beside the point.

Although it was delayed by a couple of months, C.O.W.L. #11 is an excellent finale to a series that has captivated fans from the very beginning. If this is the first time you’ve heard of the series, then look for the trade. If you’ve been reading from the beginning, then hopefully you’ll understand my enthusiasm for the comic books. C.O.W.L. has been one of my most anticipated titles every month, and while I’ve been waiting to get this final issue in my hands for a long, long time, it really is bittersweet.

C.O.W.L. #11 is an absolutely brilliant comic book that caps off a series where the creative team clicked right from the beginning. I may be waiting a long time before another series pulls me in the same way this one did, but it was worth every issue. If you haven’t read C.O.W.L. then I strongly encourage you to read the series; I can’t recommend it enough.

Story: Kyle Higgins and Alec Seigel Art: Rod Reis
Story: 9 Art:10 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

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