Review: Hawk & Dove #1

Written by Sterling Gates, Art & Cover by Rob Liefeld

Solicitation Info (from Previews): Hank Hall is not happy. He’s not happy to have Dawn Granger as a new partner in his war on crime. He’s not happy that she’s dating the ghostly Super Hero, Deadman. He’s not happy to learn that someone is trying to plunge the United States into a new civil war! Now it’s up to Hawk and Dove to root out the forces behind this conflict and stop them before they turn the U.S. into a wasteland! And who is the monster lurking in the shadows, watching Hawk and Dove from afar? Find out in this new series from Sterling Gates (FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST) and artist Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood)!

Bias: I’m a big Hawk & Dove fan, and I’ve collected everything they’ve been in whether good (the Kesels was the pinacle of perfection, in my opinion) or bad (they were more or less an afterthought in the most recent Birds of Prey book, weren’t they). As such, I’ll definitely be getting every issue of this title, and hoping it’s good enough that it sticks around. Rob Liefeld is a pretty good choice, as he has a history with the characters, and while his artwork isn’t the most polished of styles, it brings an energy and excitement that I would rather have. (I’d rather have both, but if forced to choose between the two, I’d rather have energy and excitement to polish and perfect anatomy.) Troubling, though, are the costumes of the main bad guys – the story may give us a reason why they’re practically copy cats of the main character’s outfits, but without reading the books, it gives an air of lazy character design…

What I liked: I think I’m going to enjoy this title, and I think that’s saying something. (I would’ve collected it regardless, but I’m rather picky about how Hawk & Dove are portrayed, so whether I liked it or not was still in debate.) We’ve returned to an earlier attitude, while still encompassing the history of the characters (It’s mentioned that they’ve been partners for three years, but Hawk still doesn’t approve of Dove being Dove – she’ll never live up to Don’s legacy in Hawk’s mind.) Hawk has always been at his best when he’s angry, and I’m glad to see a return to that emotion (he spent most of Birds of Prey being depressed). Dove is the calm center of the book, who still gets irked by Hawk’s attitude.

What I disliked: I like the logo, but every time I see it in the comic, I get annoyed by the coloration of it on the cover – it looks much cooler with Hawk in red and Dove in blue (I also prefer the extended line ending rather than going off the page). The bad guys we’ve seen previewed elsewhere weren’t the ones Hawk & Dove fought. While the bad guy they did fight set the stage for upcoming stories, I was curious to find out the reason why Condor and Swan looked so much like Hawk and Dove (with mostly just coloration differences). Still, they’re on the cover to #2, so the wait isn’t too long. That’s what I get for paying so much attention to the previews available online. 😉

Verdict: This was always going to be a part of my Hawk & Dove collection, but I would probably have collected it anyway – can’t wait for issue 2!

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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One response to “Review: Hawk & Dove #1

  1. My favorite scene was the conversation between Hank Hall and his dad. It fleshed out Hawk’s character, and gave a lot of insights into his upbringing and why he is the way he is. Hawk’s insanely high standards that he placed on Dove were explained a bit when his dad said “Son, you almost destroyed one of this nation’s treasures. You could’ve done more damage than this Alexander Quirk character would’ve done.” I’m pretty sure what Alexander Quirk had planned was worse than whatever Hawk could’ve done preventing him. Hawk idolizes his dad and views his brother as perfect in retrospect (though they fought like cats and dogs when he was alive). So “Hawk angry!” is more complicated than just that, and this scene went a long way toward explaining that. Gave me a lot of hope for how Sterling Gates will treat the characters.

    I loved the nod to Captain Arsala (a supporting character from the old ongoing Hawk & Dove series), and am curious to see what the relationship the title characters will have with the DCPD’s Special Crimes Unit. I’ll be curious to see if they turn out to be supporting cast, or antagonists. (Maybe it’s just me, but the close up of Washi Watanabe’s mirror sunglasses covered eye looked ominous.)
    I’m also curious what Dove’s secret tie to the old Dove is. I hope it’s not retreading the previously done story about how she became Dove at the same moment that Don died – that his death was directly related to losing his powers so they could be given to Dawn. It’s a good tale, but it’s been done, and I’d love to see that Sterling Gates has something of his own to add to that particular part of the mythos.
    We saw that Dove could see (or at least hear) Deadman, but I’m curious what happens when their relationship gets serious.
    Dove mentioned that “There are always two of us—an avatar of war and an avatar of peace.” I’m curious if that means that they’re going a different direction than the original idea of Terataya, Lord of Order, and T’Charr, Lord of Chaos being in love and using Hawk & Dove as an experiment for the other Lords of Order and Chaos to witness. Time will tell…
    Condor was seen as a last page reveal (Swan wasn’t shown at all), but I believe the solicitation information specifically listed them in issue 2, so I’ll be curious to see their introduction, as it does seem to point to more of the mythos behind Hawk & Dove, and I’d love to see what this new creative team has planned in that respect.

    The mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5 showed up on page 27, on the top panel, slightly apart from a small crowd. Having read all the titles that came out this week, Batgirl is still the only title I haven’t been able to find her in…

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