The Review 52: Hawk and Dove 1
As a DC fanboy who has recently been delving more and more into the depths of the Marvel Universe, reading the New 52 has felt like a breath of fresh air. And while Hawk and Dove has never been my favourite DC publication, I have to give a nod to both writer Sterling Gates and artist Rob Liefeld. Both have done their part and then some in this issue to create decent story and artwork out of a series that has never really seen that much attention, and that I personally have never really enjoyed.
The story begins with an action sequence taking place over Washington D.C. in which Hawk (Hank Hall) and the newly appointed Dove (Dawn Granger) are attempting to stop a terrorist attack. The political implications are wicked sharp here, as the terrorist (Alexander Quirk) has hired an apparent group of mercenaries to crash a plane into the Washington monument. The attack is barely foiled, and the biological component of the attack (zombies, of course) are prevented from wreaking havoc upon the district. After a recap of the origins of the original Hawk and Dove (Hank’s brother, Don, was originally his partner) and an overview of the teams current situation, the issue ends with a zombie being pulled out of the pool around the Washington monument by a very Hawk-like villain who apparently really wants a piece of the team. The banter back and forth between Hawk and Dove was done well, however in my opinion Dove could have been portrayed as a stronger female figure. It certainly seemed that Hawk did all the heavy lifting and Dove fiddled around uselessly with airplane controls, and while it is true that Dove is supposed to be the Avatar of Peace, it’s not like she hasn’t seen her fair share of combat (see her badass contribution to the fight against the Black Lantern Corps in GL: Blackest Night). Gates has a history of penning stories of strong women (Supergirl), and it is my hope that Dove is given her time to shine in this reboot.
From an artistic perspective, this issue granted me a distinct wave of nostalgia, as Liefeld’s style is extremely reminiscent of his 1990’s work. His style certainly hasn’t evolved very much, but I would argue that that adds quite a bit to the overall feel of the issue. As an artist myself I have to admire the ferocity and grittiness put into Hawk’s demeanour, and the exaggerated femininity which Dove portrays. The issue is full of giant muscles, badass poses, really, really tight fitting spandex and general ninetiesness that many of us grew up seeing. Spot on considering the written content it accompanies. After putting the comic down, I came to the conclusion that the comic was much better than I expected it to be when I walked out of the store. This is a series to be read for sure, and DC has made the right choice in rebooting it for new fans who may be confused with the complicated background. Both characters have been set at odds with each other, and it is clear that there will be an interesting back and forth dynamic between them. Two nemeses have already been loosely established, setting up the series for what could possibly be a great reboot.
Final Score: 3.5/5