Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Hawk and Dove #1


By Andy Frisk
September 7, 2011 - 12:02

Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, respectively Hawk and Dove, are Washington DC based super heroes who are powered by the metaphysical Lords of Order and Chaos. Each have their own super powers and represent the diametrically opposed, yet powerfully complimentary, ideals of war and peace and, much more vaguely, the political right and left. Originally created in the late 1960s by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates, the crime fighting pair has been in and out of popularity over the decades, and different characters have inhabited the monikers of Hawk and Dove over the years. Originally, Hank Hall and Don Hall, who were brothers, embodied the personas of Hawk and Dove. Don, having lost his life during “the worst crisis the world’s ever seen” (code for a DCU Crisis), has been out of the picture for some time, with Dawn Granger inhabiting the role of Dove. Hank isn’t thrilled about having Dawn for a partner, and is pretty critical of her, even though Dawn appears to be every bit as capable of performing her duties and balancing out Hank’s hyper violence and unfettered action as Don was. It is this conflict which the talented Sterling Gates latches onto here in the first issue of the DCnU’s Hawk and Dove series, to great effect. He uses this conflict as a larger thematic tool that unifies the story, and allows him to branch out into some even larger and more interesting ideas on the war and peace metaphorical dichotomy, as well as the idea that just because one might be a “hawk” or a “dove” it does not make one necessarily enemies or even extremists, especially in Washington DC…

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Sterling Gate’s excellent storytelling, evidenced by the thought he’s put into the characters and the themes his stint on Hawk and Dove (hopefully a long one) looks to engage in, and his brilliant work with Jamal Igle on Supergirl are the main reasons that I decided to give the DCnU’s Hawk and Dove a chance. I wasn’t disappointed. While it isn’t necessarily the most engaging read out there, Hawk and Dove #1 lays some seriously tight groundwork for the series thematically. He introduces some new characters that will definitely allow for Gates to explore some really interesting ideas on the state of American politics and the seemingly insurmountable divide between the political left and right. He'll do so by using the metaphor of the partnership of Hawk and Dove as crime fighters, who will be tasked to take on some real politically extreme enemies. Gates' introduction of one particular new character, who is the very definition of extremist and whose ideas make Hawk and Dove’s philosophical differences look insignificant, will really help him develop this theme well. Gates looks to be setting up Hawk and Dove as an allegorical tale about how preparing for war while promoting peace, leaning forward with a respect for tradition, and balancing action with thought, or otherwise generally promoting a moderate view, will lead to the achievement of much more in economic, political, social, and personal terms than refusing to compromise and work together will. If only the members of the Congress could each be comped a copy of Hawk and Dove #1…

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Before you decide to pass on this book though, if you’re a hater of politics and philosophizing, it is, first and foremost, a superhero book that's loaded with action and super heroics. There is a rather larger amount of set up in this first issue, but developments look to point towards plenty of fisticuffs and action in further issues. Sterling Gates is a master of character development and, if his aforementioned run on Supergirl with Jamal Igle is any indication, Hank Hall and Dawn Granger are in great hands. For the first time in their history, they might finally end up being the highly engaging characters who live up to their potential and are worth investing time (and money) in. Unfortunately though, Rob Liefeld is Gates’ artistic partner on the book. I have never been a Liefeld fan. His anatomy is horrible, his facial expressions are all the same, and his lack of detail and real world authenticity is detestable. He pretty much embodies everything that I detest in poor sequential art. Gates did such a fantastic job on Supergirl though that I’m going to continue to read Hawk and Dove…while hoping that DC Comics takes into consideration reuniting Gates and Igle, if Igle is game or available that is…(hint, hint, Mr. Igle!).

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Overall, I’m looking forward to some great storytelling in Hawk and Dove that should more than make up for the lack of great art. Sterling Gates made Supergirl into the most dynamic and interesting character in the DCU during his stint on her book, odds are he’ll do something similar with Hank Hall and Don Granger aka Hawk and Dove.

   

Rating: 7 /10


Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53

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