Sunday, September 11, 2011
The New 52 Review: HAWK & DOVE #1
WRITER: Sterling Gates
ARTIST: Rob Liefeld
COLORS: Matt Yackey
LETTERS: Dezi Sienty
COVER: Rob Liefeld and Hi-Fi
32pp, Color, $2.99
Hawk and Dove are comic book characters created by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates. They debuted in Showcase #75 (1968), and starred in their own comic book, The Hawk and the Dove, which ran for six issues from 1968 to 1969.
The characters are Hank Hall, who is the Hawk, a conservative, hot-headed reactionary. His brother is Don Hall, the liberal and pacifist Dove. The Dove was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths. In 1988, a Hawk & Dove miniseries, with pencil art by a young Rob Liefeld, introduced the new Dove, Dawn Granger.
Liefeld and the Hank and Dawn version of Hawk and Dove return in the New 52 Hawk & Dove #1. Based in Washington D.C., Hawk and Dove take on an airplane hijacking initiated by Alexander Quirk, the self-proclaimed science terrorist who wants to change politics. Quirk’s most fearsome creations are powerful zombies that prove to be difficult to beat down and keep down. Meanwhile, brewing under the surface of the main story, we learn that Dawn Granger is keeping secrets from Hank Hall (because she admits this to her boyfriend, Deadman).
After DC Comics announced that they were re-launching their superhero line “the New 52,” I started hearing that people were comparing the preview art for the new books to the initial Image Comics titles of the early 1990s. Well, the new Hawk & Dove is like a “classic” Image comic book. This is indeed a throwback comic book. Thanks to the art by Rob Liefeld, an Image Comics founder, readers who remember Liefeld’s New Mutants, X-Force, and Youngblood will have a disappointing feeling of déjà vu from Hawk & Dove. Some artists get better with age; others see their skills decline in one way or another. I have to give Liefeld credit for staying the same – for better or for worse.
Hawk & Dove #1 is not at all good, nor is it particularly bad. It is stubbornly, disgustingly, mediocre and average, but it isn’t all Liefeld’s fault, although every line of his art proudly carries the banner for rank amateurism. I’m not familiar with writer Sterling Gray, and I am disappointed that my first encounter with his work is this pedestrian effort.
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