Hawk & Dove #1

Hawk and Dove #1

C-

Guest post by: Craig Colbrook

Hawk & Dove is a missed opportunity. You may be surprised to know that it’s any kind of opportunity. After all, Hawk & Dove is one of DC’s most silly — and least loved — concepts. But since the concept is so silly, and has so few dedicated fans, it’s just begging for someone to take it and run. Unfortunately, the new creative team, headed by Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld, doesn’t do that in this issue.

In our debut issue, Hawk and Dove fight the creations of a politically aware super villain and confide in their loved ones about the strain of their new partnership. Meanwhile, another avian-themed adventurer stalks them.

I do like bringing some explicit politics into Hawk & Dove. It seems a natural fit for the embodiments of war and peace. But I HATE the whole “Oh, both parties are TERRIBLE! We need someone unconnected to the process!” argument. It’s just a way of sounding like you give a shit without saying anything. I guess it’s okay, since they put that speech in the mouth of the bad guy, but that’s really the only political thought in the book.

I also think it’s clever how Gates and Liefeld lay out the scenes of Hawk and Dove’s personal lives — Hawk and his father mourn a dead man, while Dove hangs out with, well, Deadman. But these scenes are HEAVILY dependent on prior continuity, which is a bizarre and frustrating choice for a first issue, especially one that gives you a perfect excuse to ignore that continuity.

Of course, this is sort of a homecoming for Rob Liefeld, and, well, he’s a known quality at this point, isn’t he? Here is a much better takedown than I could ever compose. I can tell you that the digital edition of the comic does his art no favors — when the page can be viewed that much larger, all of his flaws and cheats are that much more obvious. The sketch lines, the anatomical breakdowns, the terrible sense of space and motion — it’s all bigger and more in your face.

So, all around, Hawk & Dove represents a failure to capitalize on new chances. And yes, this is only the first issue; yes, there’s still time. But if Gates, Liefeld and the rest of the creative team don’t get going soon, Hawk and Dove will just have to wait for some other team to find something to say with them.

Pull list verdict: DROP IT

tags: hawk and dove, rob liefeld, sterling gates, the new 52

  • Kyle G.

    I had suspecions about this book.

    About the existing continuity I wanted to know a little more. Did it feel like you needed to know about or have read those previous stories to really know what was going on? Most stories will hint at prior events so i can forgive that if everything is clearly explained.

  • colby

    I felt a little lost by it, and at first, I was worried that that was my failing. I hadn’t read up on recent H&D, and then I suspected I should’ve . But really, for a new #1, I think you owe it to your readers to explain things a little better. I’d actually be pretty forgiving of exposition in this case; but I came away not really knowing why Dove hangs out with Deadman, what happened to the brother, or even how they originally got their powers.

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