Skip to Content

‘C.O.W.L.’ #2-The series is hitting its stride

‘C.O.W.L.’ #2-The series is hitting its stride

C.O.W.L. #2apr140562

Written by Alec Siegel
Art by Rod Reis
Published by Image Comics

The series is starting to pick up steam with this issue. C.O.W.L. #2 explores the relationship that some of the heroes have with their families, the ongoing negotiations between C.O.W.L. and the city of Chicago, and the mystery of how Skylancer had classified C.OW.L. schematics in his possession.

The issue begins with Grant Marlow, an unpowered sharpshooter, taking his son, Jack, to school along with Karl Samoski (who has superpowers). Jack is resentful it seems over his father’s relatively low status and makes this clear to Grant and Karl. Elsewhere, Geoffrey, the chief of C.O.W.L. is working on a newspaper story intended to put a positive spin on the organization’s history in Chicago by rewriting the history of the organization. This sheds on some light on where many of these heroes came from, as many of them got their start during WWII. Lastly, we see John Pierce continues to brood on how Skylancer acquired those classified documents. John has a conspiratorial mind (he worked for the O.S.S. during WWII and is no stranger to dirty tricks) and already thinks that somebody in C.O.W.L. was passing documents along with the intention of keeping a threat present for C.O.W.L. to face.

One of the reasons that this issue is more engaging is because it focuses on a smaller cast of characters. There are only five named characters in C.O.W.L. in this issue, and focusing on them tells more a focused story while familiarizing the reader with just who these people are. The first issue had a lot of new names and new faces with only minimal background, and the art tended to obscure or shadow the features of people’s faces. The art style is lighter in this issue, which also makes it easier to tell which characters are which.

Of all the subplots going on here, C.O.W.L.’s contract with Chicago is the most interesting. The tension between Grant and his son isn’t quite as engaging because we’re only just beginning to be familiar with who Grant is, so feeling sorry for him because his son is kind of a jackass is pretty forced. On the other hand, the way that Geoffrey manages and oversees C.O.W.L. is fascinating. He’s successful, but also completely self-aggrandizing in the way that successful leaders are. Uncovering the truth behind the organization’s history will be good reading. Likewise, John Pierce is interesting to follow as he works his way through this mystery.

There was one inconsistency in a character’s biography that didn’t make sense. This issue offered Arclight’s biography and said that he first acquired his powers in 1957 while working in some intelligence capacity in Europe. However, the next paragraph says that he joined C.O.W.L. in 1956, where he quickly gained notice for his abilities. This is probably a pedantic thing to notice and critique, but in a book where details could potentially be really important, this sort of inconsistency is confusing.

– Zeb Larson

COWL02_Page10 COWL02_Page11 COWL02_Page12