Hawk & Dove #1

Hawk & Dove seems like a strange choice for their own title in the reboot.  I’d always considered them a strange relic of the 1960s, a reflection of America’s struggle with war and peace or aggression and pacifism. As time went on and first Dove was replaced and then Hawk, the characters seemed less and less pertinent. They became generic “Order vs. Chaos” characters and more of a Superhero version of the Odd Couple.

This is another of the comics that is set a little further in the future of the reboot world. Hawk and Dove have already been around long enough for the first Dove to die and be replaced. The original Hawk and Dove in this series have the same relationship as they did back in the 60s: they’re brothers. The new Dove’s place in the scheme of things is a little different and a little more soap-opera-y. While all of the titles I’ve read so far seem a bit rushed in pacing, trying to establish too much too fast, this title also has some weaker writing.

Too much of the title is characters standing around (or flying around) talking to each other, giving the exposition that sets up the backgrounds, secrets and potential conflicts that are to come. While there are a few flashbacks, with this much backstory, more would have been better. Even better than that would have been either starting earlier in their history or just getting the stories going and letting the backstory happen.

This is the first title I’ve read so far where the art is jarring and sure enough it is by the hack Rob Liefeld. It seems no-one can go long in his world without talking through clenched teeth, maybe he’s been taking lessons from Howard Chaykin.

This is the first title I’ve read so far where the art is jarring and sure enough it is by the hack Rob Liefeld. It seems no-one can go long in his world without talking through clenched teeth, maybe he’s been taking lessons from Howard Chaykin.

And I just have to comment on this pair of panels near the end of the issue. In the first panel, we see several people walking by a reflecting pool, proportions seem normal. Adults are similar heights, the kid is shorter, the reflecting pool wall is around the height of one of the steps in the background, it seems like it’d come half-way up to the kid’s knee. Of course, the wall’s shadow seems like the light source is on the ground to the top of the panel.

Then in the second panel, the world has been affected by The Angle Man! Wait, no, he’s not in this issue. Maybe some other reality warping villain? Nope. Did Escher take over? Again, no. Somehow the child is kneeling in a hole and his dad has fallen on his side, though his tie still hangs towards his belt. Or maybe the wall has grown enormously, judging by the shadow that now has a completely different light source. Several, really since the wall now seems to have shadows both in and outside the pool. But then there’s still the problem of falling dad to explain.

 I’m sure the real lesson here is that if you look too closely (i.e. at all) at Liefeld’s art, you’re bound to be confused and disappointed.

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