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26 of 52: Hawk and Dove #1

by on September 9, 2011

When the list of the new 52 comics was released, I notice a few obvious trends.

  • Don’t screw with what is working (Green Lantern, Batman)
  • Fix the big continuity/tragedy messes (Hawkman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, etc.)
  • Leave the Legion alone, their fans have suffered enough through the years.
  • Bring horror and war comics back to the proper DC Universe
  • When all else fails, Nostalgia!

So DC decided to bring back Hawk and Dove as a comic book title. It makes sense from a momentum standpoint, as Hawk was resurrected during the Blackest Day mini-series. But on the other hand, they are bringing back a series that was last printed in 1991 and lasted only 28 issues.

But, I was one of those readers back in the late 80s/early 90s. I read the original mini-series that introduced the world to the art stylings of Rob Liefield, and the entire run by Barbara and Karl Kesel. To be honest with you, I loved the series and loved the characters.

So, despite my Rob Liefield art trepidations and my lack of familiarity with writer Sterling Gates, I dove into Hawk and Dove #1

Hawk and Dove #1
Writer: Sterling Gates | Artist: Rob Liefeld

If you don’t know. Hawk and Dove are superheroes who are the human avatars of the God of War (Hawk) and the God of Peace (Dove). Originally Hawk and Dove were brothers Hank and Don Hall, but Don died in the Crisis (on Infinite Earths). Replacing him was Dawn Granger, a girl who was given the powers to reign in Hank’s warlike tendencies. In Blackest Night, Hank Hall was brought back from the dead (I’m not explaining Monarch!). In Brightest Day, Dawn Granger and the newly resurrected Boston Brand (Deadman) became an ‘item’.

Okay, you now know as much as I do:

Synopsis

Evil Scientists are back baby! Alexander Quirk is a science terrorist who has his minions and zombies hijack a plane to crash into the nation’s capital. Hawk and Dove get aboard to stop that from happening. The zombies (were apparently hidden in the plane somewhere) surprise Hawk and Dove, who are able to defeat them, but the wing of the plane clips the Washington Monument.

Afterwards Hawk and Dove talk about how they weren’t working together on the plane. They are interrupted by Washi Watanabe who is part of the DC police department. (Shout out to the old series, was a nice touch). Washi suggests that Alexander will seek revenge, and that they could work together to find Quirk.

Hank talks to his father about his relationship with Don and Dawn, giving us the mandatory 3 page super-hero origin synopsis. At the same time Dawn is hanging out with Deadman telling him that she is keeping secrets from Hank. At the end, a new hero/villain arises that looks to be part of Hawk and Dove’s future.

Analysis

The only word I can use to describe this comic book is bland. The story was just there. All of the Hawk and Dove tropes were put in, and they went through the motions, but there was no real reason to read this comic book over another one. They play Hank Hall up to being a jerk, and they play Dove as being wishy-washy.

The artwork was fine. Liefeld’s art never bothered me as much as other people, but there were such art clichés throughout the book that really bothered me: Zombies with pointed cyber claws, hero teeth grinding, police officers with ‘cool’ sunglasses, unnecessary scowling, heroes landing on cars crunching them beneath their feet, and objects being thrown to the floor and breaking. And there was one scene where Dove is seen in Dawn Granger guise, for no reason whatsoever.

For me, the nostalgia is fine. However, this feels like nostalgia without the lessons learned from the previous series. And if this is a reboot of sorts, then they should introduce them from the beginning, and not assume that we know who Hawk and Dove already are.

Questions

  1. Washi Watanabe was given the ‘not sure if you can trust him’ rub from the artwork, is he on Hawk and Dove’s side, or does he have ulterior motives?
  2. What secret is Dawn keeping from Hank.
  3. How can Deadman and Dawn be a couple when Boston is dead.
  4. Hawk’s father seems rather sinister in this issue, on purpose or just overblown cliché?
  5. Who is the hero/villain on the last page of the book, and what is his relation to Hawk and Dove? (Didn’t look like Kestrel)

Verdict

Executed better than Batgirl, but I am less inclined to give this book the benefit of the doubt. There is nothing in this comic book that you couldn’t find in 100 other comic books. And to be honest, those 100 other comic books have a better chance of still being published this time next year.

Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. Was just kindof there.

C

Will not be picking up issue #2

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From → Comic Books, DCnU

One Comment
  1. I also wont be picking up #2 for OMAC either, not impressed with either.

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