C.O.W.L., or the Chicago Organized Workers League, consists of individuals with powers and some without. All members of the league, whether it is the telekinetic Radia or the honest detective John Pierce, are out to fight a common enemy: the villains that commit crimes and threaten the greater good of the city of Chicago. The premise may sound redundant, however, there are particular examples that utilized the genre of superheroes in a very unique way. C.O.W.L. has the potential, and to a certain extent captures an early feel of the impact that Watchmen would have not only on the genre, but also on comics as a whole.
C.O.W.L .is really shaping up into a great comic book. This issue gives us some context on another powered member of C.O.W.L., Kathryn Mitchell/Radia, and the distinctly unpleasant experience of being a female superhero in 1962. I really have to applaud this comic for taking a look at just how a woman would have been treated then (and in many respects is treated today), giving it a sense of historical authenticity.
C.O.W.L. is a comic book that combines crimefighting with the politics of organized labor. The comic borrows characters, setting, and ideas from Kyle Higgins’ earlier comic The League. There are elements of film noir at work here, both in the shadowy art style, and the mystery that is unfolding in the comic. The book certainly has all the elements of a solid mystery: set in a city known for powerful players and corrupt politics, a dead man with dangerous information, and people with reasons to be paranoid.