New 52 Review – “Hawk and Dove #1”

A pair of heroes brought to the front lines in recent issues of Brightest Day and Birds of Prey also have a title of their own now.

General Information

Title: Hawk and Dove #1

Author: Sterling Gates

Illustrator(s): Rob Liefeld (art), Matt Yackey (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Two very recognizable versions of Hawk and Dove are acting as the avatars of war and peace respectively. They have a few trials to undergo, not the least of which is the fact that they don’t complement each other very well. On top of that, one of them as a secret.

High Point

The cameo by Deadman. DC may be deliberately avoiding crossovers for the forseeable future, but this is still clearly a shared universe.

Low Point

The history of these characters seems unchanged, and it is not particularly simple. As a result, this is one of the most exposition heavy issues of the relaunch, and it includes heavy-handed akin to 1980s TV dialogue to boot.

The Scores

In the midst of a relaunch, using the most recent incarnation of a character doesn’t feel original. Add in the class dialogue of “and character X can never know” and we get a pretty good idea of where the character conflicts in the near future are going to come from. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is exactly what you’d expect from Rob Liefeld. Some like his style and some hate it, but it’s unique and consistent. If you know what Liefeld’s art has looked like in the past, you know exactly what it will look like now: dynamic poses, clear emotions, anatomical liberties. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is okay, but it’s so exposition heavy that it feels like it drags. I give it 4 out of 6.

The one dimensional versions of the characterizations are very clear for Hawk, Dove and Hawk’s father. The rest of the cast doesn’t get enough time to establish themselves. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response should have been better. We know on the second page that Hawk’s old partner was his brother and that he felt his brother would have done a better job than the new Dove. Did we really need five pages of exposition later to say the same thing? The fun this should have been was replaced by tedium. Those aren’t even the only expository pages. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow starts strong, and lags heavily when the expository second half kicks in. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, this is a title that has potential, but there was so much history awkwardly jammed into this first issue that I didn’t get enough content for this title to make the final cut. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Hawk and Dove receives 25 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman