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.