Published on November 9th, 2023 | by Matt Fischer
Throwback Thursday Review: Hawk & Dove #1 (2011)
Summary: Final Thoughts – I get what they were trying, but the execution is terrible. It’s very easy to see why this only lasted 8 issues.
Gates & Liefield
After being in and out of comics for several years, The New 52 is what led me back into comics, full time forever. My goal is to review each one of the first issues they released as part of The New 52 imprint. That’s A LOT of comics to read and go through. Wish me luck!
Background – Hawk and Dove are back in their first ongoing series in what seems like 20 years! Thanks to the New 52, everything old is new again! What will our intrepid duo look like? What will their origin be? Will Dove still have a thing for Deadman? Let’s find out!
Writing – The writing is just a mess. On paper, one could see that it definitely COULD be cool. Fighting enemy agents on an airplane that’s about to crash into the Washington? Sounds great! Zombies that appear out of nowhere on the same plane? DOPE! Where It call falls apart is in characterization and continuity.
The duo of Hawk and Dove are meant to be harbingers of Peace and War. That doesn’t mean Dove can’t get angry or that Hawk can’t be calm. That also means that Hawk is allowed to be smart and Dove can be a little hot-headed. What we get is the extremes of their normal emotional bases. Hawk is written like a lunkhead who literally just enjoys beating the crap out of things and a Dove who just abhors violence. Instead of helping Dove land the plane as she adjusts the wings manually, he just pulls up on the yolk and proceeds to complain and moan about how she could be helping more. Afterwards, Hawk meets with his father who says the following:
“Son, you almost destroyed one of this nation’s treasures. You could’ve done more damage than this Alexander Quirk character would’ve done.”
He then proceeds to scream at his son for the next few pages, with Hawk ignoring his lack of action in the previous scene and blaming everything on the fact that Dawn is not Don. Zero accountability is taken by the man.
We then switch over to Dove and Deadman, who are talking about the same events, with Dove exclaiming that Hank can never find out her connection to Don. As you can see, I keep bringing up Don Hall. I’ll get to that in a bit.
Before I do though, let’s talk about Alexander Quirk. He’s your generic terrorist who also happens to be a scientist. We see a televised (online?) interview he gives saying the same old stuff about cutting the rot out from America and how two-party systems suck. That’s all we get.
Now to Don Hall and continuity. It has been widely discussed over the past 12 years that DC really didn’t have a clue of what they were doing or have a game plan when they rebooted their universe. We get explicit mention that Don Hall (the first Dove) died in the “worst crisis” ever. This reference is one of a handful we got during the opening salvo of New 52 books. It’s never mentioned again and considering Hawk and Dove got (spoilers!) canceled with issue 8, we never heard of it again in this book. Now, in hindsight, an in-universe explanation could be that time was still solidifying after Doctor Manhattan removed 10 years of time from the timeline. In real life it’s painfully obvious that DC just didn’t know what was still in continuity and what wasn’t.
The issue ends with a brown costumed Hawk (who is NOT Hawk but goes unnamed in this issue) popping out the Washington monument pond and punching a zombie. His name is Condor. There, I made it so you don’t have to read more than this issue. Writing: 1 out of 5
Artwork – Look, I’m just going to say this about the art: either you enjoy Rob Liefeld or you don’t. I have seen plenty worse pages filled with art before this boo and even worse art after this book. Rob came along at the perfect time in the 1990’s. People were screaming for pouches and armor and all that type of stuff. Does his art look a little dated by 2011? Yes, it definitely does… but if you launch into this book knowing what you’ll be receiving, it’ s not terrible. Oh, and before anybody asks, the characters do have feet in this book. Score: 3 out of 5.
Pandora sighting: She’s by the fountain near the end of the book.
Final Thoughts – I get what they were trying, but the execution is terrible. With below average writing, a lack of continuity to even understand character motivation, and art you either love or hate, it’s very easy to see why this only lasted 8 issues.
Final score: 2.5
Writer: Sterling Gates
Illustrator: Rob Liefeld
Colorist: Matt Yackey
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Release Date: 09/07/11