REVIEW: Hawk & Dove #2

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Or – “My Spell-Check Wants To Call It ‘Hank & Dave’.”

So, this artist called Rob Liefeld is a big draw on a high-profile relaunch of a title called ‘Hawk & Dove.’

I expect that Dukakis will really start pushing for the White House soon, and I hear there’s this thing called a “Stealth Bomber” in the works…

(Yes, that was a 1988 joke…)

HAWK & DOVE #2
Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciler: Rob Liefeld
Inker(s): Rob Liefeld & Adelso Corona
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Colorist: Matt Yackety
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, on Hawk & Dove:  When a mysterious presence empowered brothers Hank & Don Hall (not to be confused with Hank & Dean Venture) with super-powers, they named themselves Hawk and Dove, partly as a reference to supporters and detractors of the Vietnam War.  It was the 60′s, things were different then.  After Don died in what we now have been told was not a massive Crisis on Infinite Blah Blah Blah Fishcakes, his avatar was taken up by Dawn Granger as the new Dove.  For a while, there was a guy running about called Kestrel as well, as apparently bird-motifs are all the rage among the Lords of Order & Chaos (revealed to be the source of the brothers power.)  Last issue, things got real as Hawk and Dove returned to action and… stuff…  happened.

It was tough getting through issue #1, to be honest.

OSPREYS AND KESTRELS AND DOVES, OH MY!

We open with a character called Osprey (whom I cannot find any data on, and I don’t personally recall) tied to a chair and bleeding in some very odd ways.  The implication is that he is a hero, and that he has been beaten and captured by another avatar, this one in brown and gold, calling himself Condor.  It’s an interesting bit of character play, until a girl wearing Princess Leia’s cinnamon bun hairdo (not a joke, folks) arrives with a ceremonial dagger and guts Osprey with a few magic words.  Abracadabra, change-o range-o ree, Leia is transformed into yet a fifth avatar, this one called Swan.  (It’s kind of interesting to me that they choose two avian avatars so closely associated with Battle of The Planets/Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.)  Their costumes are pretty much palette-swaps of Hawk and Dove, with a few minor linework differences, and the promptly being the evil french-kissing of evil, while simultaneously talking out loud about their plans to find and subjugate the heroes of the book…

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE ‘DUCK’ & ‘FLAMINGO.’

The aforementioned Hawkendove are busy elsewhere, still fighting the zombie-cyborgs that were menacing Washington DC last issue, seeking out the oddly-named Alexander Quirk.  There’s not a moment in the entire issue that isn’t presented exactly straight-forward and ham-fisted, from Hawk’s interaction with Lieutenant Watanabe, to the argument between Dove and Deadman about their nascent relationship, to Hank’s interactions with his father (drawn EXACTLY like Hank himself, only with white hair.)  Our heroes end up at a fund-raiser, bad things happen, transform into Fiery Phoenix superhero forms, and end up face-to-face with their evil duplicates.  I am well-known as someone who doesn’t love Rob Liefeld’s art (which proves to be surprisingly readable here, although still stiff as hell, especially with Hank’s once-and-probably-future-girlfriend Ren) but the story doesn’t really do even it’s primitive energy justice…

THE VERDICT:  HARD TO LOOK AT, HARDER TO READ.

I get that I’m not the target audience here.  It’s a straight-forward action comic, and the artist certainly has his fans, but all in all, I’m left completely unruffled by the book.  It’s not really bad enough to harangue, and while there are a few things to praise here, the whole issue comes across as uninspired, familiar and hackneyed.  We’re given a quick sketch of evil which is then clad in the oh-so-very-trite “Dark Mirror” business, and shown the Cliff’s Notes version of all the necessary story beats:  The noble police contact who may or may not trust or heroes, the struggling romance, the proud father who doesn’t know his kid’s secret.  Hawk & Dove #2 is the superhero comic equivalent of Mad Libs, showing us nothing that we haven’t seen before, and doing it with dull portentiousness, earning 1.5 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day:  Should I have seen this Osprey cat before?