Hawk & Dove #1


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Hawk & Dove #1


  • Words: Sterling Gates
  • Art: Rob Liefeld
  • Colors: Matt Yackey
  • Story Title: First Strikes
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 7, 2011

Hawk and Dove take a bombastic flight through Washington, D.C.

Nothing says exciting like an all-out brawl between heroes, zombies, and henchmen aboard a plummeting jet about to crash into the Washington Monument.  Writer Sterling Gates not only opens Hawk and Dove with an action-packed battle, but uses this sequence to perfectly introduce the avatars of war and peace and their new nemesis, Alexander Quirk.  Quirk, a self-proclaimed “science-terrorist,” aims to destroy the choking system of checks and balances within Washington, D.C.’s political system, which lays the groundwork for a fascinating ideological dichotomy between the heroes and Quirk.   

Both Hawk and Dove’s characteristics and personalities are put on full display over the course of this sequence, with Hawk barking orders and defiantly confronting terrorists, while Dove calmly and level-headedly navigates the falling aircraft.  Gates perfectly nailed the voice of Hank Hall.  Hall’s abrupt, harsh, and even combative voice steals the show in every panel the fierce hero shows his face.  Gates even delivered the funniest line of the week as Hawk battles the aforementioned walking-dead enemy while proclaiming “nobody likes zombies anymore!”

Beyond the extended action scene introducing the titular characters, Gates reintroduces Deadman and attempts to clear up any confusion regarding all three characters’ history coming out of Brightest Day.  Whatever friendly feelings the two partners had at the end of Brightest Day are gone, however, as neither of the two heroes share a shred of respect for the other, and in fact are more contemptuous than ever.

Gates’ character work is brought to life by the talented artist Rob Liefeld.  In several instances throughout the issue, panels are split to simultaneously show the reactions of both Hawk and Dove, with Hawk’s gruff grunts being compared to Dove’s calm whispers.  When characters are out of costume, on the other hand, facial features tend to change depending on their orientation on the page, with cheek bones changing size and noses becoming more or less pointed.  Considering the majority of the issue takes place with both heroes dressed as Hawk and Dove, however, this is merely a minor issue.

Sterling Gates delivered an incredibly fun take on Hawk and Dove, one that reintroduces the heroes while focusing on the future.  Alexander Quirk’s political motives serve to perfectly compare the two avatars as partners, while also fostering an ideological battle for the rest of the series.  Hawk and Dove is as much a book about character as it is about superheroes.

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