This May, Kyle Higgins (Batman, Nightwing), Alec Siegel (Captain America, Avengers), and Rod Reis (Justice League) take readers back to 1960s Chicago, in a time when the once-celebrated superhero labor union C.O.W.L. struggles to maintain their public image and regain the confidence of the people.
A rise in “super powered” individuals dates back to the closing days of World War II after the deployment of the atomic bomb. In response, Geoffrey Warner (then known as The Grey Raven) spearheaded the campaign to bring heroes together in Chicago…and struck a contract with the city for the heroes’ services. But while C.O.W.L. once stood as a beacon of hope against an epidemic of organized crime and a loose “brotherhood” of villains, the organization is now in a position where it must prove its worth to an ever more disillusioned public…while overcoming great threats from both inside and outside its offices.
Although Geoffrey, aka The Grey Raven is the character responsible for first organizing the heroes under one banner, C.O.W.L., he’s not the only character readers will get to know. “While Geoffrey is definitely a major player, both within C.O.W.L and within the story, the book is very much an ensemble piece, allowing us to explore C.O.W.L. from a number of different viewpoints,” said Siegel. “These characters range from some of the “top tier” heroes, to members of the Investigations and Patrol Divisions. We’ve also got spouses, reporters, Chicago Police Detectives, jailers, and City Hall.”
The concept for C.O.W.L. has been marinating with Higgins for quite some time. Its first appearance was in his college film, THE LEAGUE. “As someone who loves history, comics, and crime fiction, 1960s Chicago was always the perfect era for C.O.W.L. In fact, it’s what got me to take the idea of organized superheroes seriously,” said Higgins. “Between the politics and labor unions in Chicago, and the rise of Marvel Comics, the early ’60s are one of my favorite periods in American History.”
“With this I project tried to play around a little with references for comics and illustration,” explained Reis. “Stuff like ’80s graphic novels, noir and ’60s illustration, to create a fun and exciting way to tell the story.”
Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis’s C.O.W.L. is projected to debut in May 2014 from Image Comics.