NEW 52 REVIEW: Hawk & Dove #1

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Hawk and Dove are back and in Washington D.C. What’s new about the partnership? What did we keep and what did we lose? Find some answers after the jump.

HAWK AND DOVE #1
Writer: Sterling Gates
Artist: Rob Liefeld
Colorist: Matt Yackey
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Cover Artist: Rob Liefeld and HI-FI
Editor: Rachel Gluekstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously in Hawk and Dove: Hank and Don Hall became the heroes Hawk and Dove, the avatars of War and Peace, respectively. Don died and was replaced by Dawn Granger. Hank went crazy, became a bad guy, and died to be replaced by Dawn’s sister Holly. Holly died during the Blackest Night and Hank was one of the people resurrected so as he and Dawn could be a focus for the Brightest Day, specifically for Dawn and Deadman to get together. Now with the relaunch, it’s still Hank and Dawn, but what have we kept and what have we lost?

DIVE INTO THE ACTION

So not quite immediately into the action, but close enough, right? We open with the “self proclaimed science terrorist” Alexander Quirk talking about how the government is corrupt and blah, blah, blah, send in the Monsters of Mass Destruction, (Yes, this does sound quite awesome) and this is part of a report announcing that no one knows where the plane he claimed to hijack is or if it even exists.  Now we get to the fun, the plane exists (duh) and our heroes are in it (of course). We get an enjoyable fight scene showing off the questionable teamwork between the two that does a good job of implying the lack of trust Hawk has for Dove. Also, techno-zombies, cool. After the mostly reasonable landing (they only damaged the Washington monument, not destroy it) we start to meet supporting cast.
The first is a member of the D.C.P.D., Washi Watanabe, who mentions that the pair had worked with them previously. Unfortunately he is mostly dismissed by Dove and just growled at and hated by Hawk. The next we meet Hank’s father, who has something to do with law enforcement though it’s not made clear, who seems overly critical of Hank, though he does know of the whole hero business. The last we’re introduced to is Deadman, which is awesome. I had enjoyed the relationship creation between him and Dawn in Brightest Day and I’m glad it is one of the things that were carried over. While we meet these people we also get some background/origin stuff that barely explains some of the tension between the pair. Essentially, Dawn’s not telling Hank something and Hank misses his brother.
The final page is a bit of a reveal showing a new bad guy who is hunting our heroes, but that’s all we get, other than that he looks like Hawk after a swim in the sewers.

BACK TO THE 90’S

I rather dislike Liefeld’s art. After reading Blackest Night, Brightest Day, and Birds of Prey I was interested in seeing a Hawk and Dove ongoing. When they announced the book as part of the DCnU I was excited, until I saw the latter half of the creative team. And, unfortunately, my reservations were justified. The faces either look ridiculously flat or sharpened to a point. Half of the action poses are set up as though each body part is in a separate step of the move. I am honestly unsure as to what color Hank’s costume should be as it ranged through the entire gray-scale, completely from white to black. Hank’s eyes were also at least three different colors while out of costume. At least Dove wasn’t the busty Amazonian that I was half-expecting, though she seems a bit curvier than I recall, and it seemed like Liefeld never knew what to do with her hair as it is never in a similar position and always looks juxtaposed to where I expected it. One last thing, why does Hank always look constipated?

BOTTOM LINE: WAIT FOR ISSUE TWO

The writing was ok, with the characters feeling too simple as Hank went from angry to whiny and then back to angry while Dawn was simply passive and remote the entire time. I’m also not sure what elements are still pulled from the previous DCU as there is no mention of Hank’s death and resurrection, but Deadman and Dove are still dating, and this mostly confuses me. I guess I’ll take another look next month, but so far Hawk and Dove barely gets 2 out of 5 stars from me.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆