Review: C.O.W.L. #5
writers: KYLE HIGGINS & ALEC SIEGEL
artist: ROD REIS
cover: TREVOR McCARTHY
32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50
The end of the first arc and a huge turning point for the series! John Pierce and Geoffrey Warner square off over C.O.W.L.’s big secret, Radia faces public outcry, and Arclight resorts to lethal force…against one of his own.
I’ve read every issue of this series and with this issue, the action definitely picked up. When this series debuted, comparisons were instantly made to the TV series Mad Men, due to the placing of this series in the 1960s, complete with the sexism that was the norm in that period. The main difference between this series and Mad Men is that after a couple of episodes of that series, I had a good handle on who the characters were. With this series, I’ve had problems remembering who is who in this series. Maybe too many characters were introduced at once, with too many many subplots floating around. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything about these characters, except that after this story Arclight looks to be the apparent heel in this story. Unfortunately, most of the time, he is, albeit naturally, referred to by his first name.
I appreciate what the writers are going for here. Unfortunately, I think the scope is too large, too fast. Too many comics keep the world too small, but probably the best way to go here would be to start small and expand out, but the cat is out of the bag. Therefore it falls to the artist to try to give the characters, well, character. Rod Reis has an outstanding style, reminiscent of Bill Sienkiewicz. Unfortunately with two characters looking so similar that only a bandage on one’s nose differentiates them, I’m still uncertain of who Arclight really is. I can’t begin to tell you who Radia is. The artist is great, but I don’t know that he’s right for this story.
It’s a shame, This series debuted with very high expectations and has failed to meet them. I hope the direction can turn in the next story arc.