Hawk and Dove #1
Can I tell you a secret? Will you promise not to judge me?
I…well…this is kind of hard to say…
I Love Rob Liefeld.
Please, stop laughing. I really honestly and truly mean it. Not so much his art (though I don’t hate it near as much as most people), but the man himself. How many people do you know or know of who constantly get kicked and beaten down, drug through the mud, and create ire and hate simply by attaching their name to an endeavor only to keep coming back for more? Furthermore, how many people do you know who do that and are actually excited when they come back for more? Hell, even John Byrne seems to have given up, but not Rob. Sure you may laugh at his crazy anatomy and scratch your head over the inexplicable number of lines on every character’s face, but if you actually gave Rob Liefeld the man a moment of deep consideration, you’d have to admire him at the least.
I wonder how many people would have bought Hawk and Dove #1 if ANY other artist would have been assigned to the project? I wonder how many people didn’t buy Hawk and Dove #1 because Rob Liefeld drew it? Well believe it or not, the art isn’t the problem with this book.
The problem with Hawk and Dove #1 is bad timing. It was released in-between the Earthquake in Virginia that damaged the Washington Monument and the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. To be fair, the first one was just a rotten coincidence that DC couldn’t have planned for, but the second…well, someone wasn’t thinking too much when they allowed a book featuring a plane hitting a national landmark to be released when it was. It’s not the centerpiece of the book by any means, but reading it while on the radio and television, Internet, and billboards, you’re surrounded by reminders of what happened a decade ago, it’s awkward…the kind of awkward that sticks with you for the rest of the book. It was a bad call; not because it was in bad taste per-se, but because even when getting past that part of the book and reading the conversations between Hank and his dad, or Dawn and Deadman, I still found myself thinking “Was that in bad taste?” I read comics to escape from reality, not to be reminded of it.
Aside from that though, Hawk and Dove #1 is…well…it’s dull. Dawn/Dove is dating Deadman; Hank/Hawk misses his brother and apparently hates having Dawn as the new Dove. There’s an attempt to create an intriguing subplot by hinting at some hidden secret origin for Dawn that no one, not even Hank, knows…and then some villain shows up on the last page.
The best reason I can give for reading Hawk and Dove #1 is to check out the artwork. You can laugh about it, you can point out how Liefled has improved since his X-Force days, you can count the number of feet that are obscured in by boxes or fog and compare them to the number of feet that actually look like feet…but outside of that, I’m fairly certain that you have another use for that $3 and change. Regardless, I personally won’t be back for Hawk and Dove #2, but that’s because of writer Sterling Gates, not Rob Liefled.