C.O.W.L. - Can Superheroes change with the times? ~ What'cha Reading?

C.O.W.L. – Can Superheroes change with the times?


Image comics puts forward an interesting question. Do we need our heroes to be ageless? Unchanging? Bastions of the things they represent? Or can time and experience change them and how they do their jobs? Now I think we have seen characters like Batman, Superman, Green Arrow change over the years but it has been primarily accomplished through “retcon” or “re-imagining”. Can a superhero title really treat its characters as people? Higgins and Siegel show us how it’s done.

Here’s the press release Image Comics…

Superheroes face change in 1960s Chicago in new graphic novel

C.O.W.L. - Can Superheroes change with the times?

The Chicago Organized Workers League once stood as the embodiment of the Golden Age of superheroes — a union for Chicago’s best hopes against the scourges of organized crime and supervillainy. But in C.O.W.L. VOLUME 1: PRINCIPLES OF POWER by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis, it’s 1962, and everything has changed. The last of the supervillains has been defeated, the public is cynical, and scandal and corruption plague the once-irreproachable organization.

In this Fall graphic novel from Image Comics, C.O.W.L. must re-invent itself for changing times — but will it survive the process?

Co-writer Higgins, who made his name in comics writing Batman and Nightwing at DC Comics, commented on the difference between writing about his own superheroes and writing for company-owned characters in an interview on Image Comics’ website.

“Our characters can change,” he said. “As much as I love writing guys like Batman and Nightwing, there’s a very set standard when it comes to who they are and what they can do… how they’re allowed to react to certain things and what decisions/mistakes they’re allowed to make. We don’t really have those limitations in C.O.W.L., which means being able to explore these heroes as real people, watching them grow and change… for better and for worse.”

Artist Reis’s retro, stylish art on C.O.W.L. has been widely hailed as perfectly conjuring the early ‘60s, as does Higgins’ and Siegel’s story, which depicts a once-static organization adapting to the rapid cultural change of its time.

C.O.W.L. VOLUME 1, specially priced at $9.99, will be in comic book stores on October 29 and bookstores on November 11. It is available for pre-order now.

unnamed unnamed

unnamed unnamed unnamed

C.O.W.L. VOLUME 1: PRINCIPLES OF POWER by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis, cover by Trevor McCarthy

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-111-7
  • Diamond Comics code AUG140586
  • 128 pages, paperback, full color
  • $9.99
  • Rated Mature
  • Collects C.O.W.L. #1-5
  • In comic book stores 10/29; bookstores 11/11

About Author

Julie Hegner has been descending the geek rabbit hole since she watched her first episode of Star Trek at age eight. A longtime fan of Trek, Who, X-Files, and the Whedonverse, it was only a matter of time until hanging out with other geek girls and repeatedly watching Tom Hiddleston led her to the awesomeness of comics. She takes a special joy in reading about ladies who kick ass, but in general anything with a good storyline floats her boat. You can tweet @julz91 on Twitter.

Got a comment? Let's hear it!