The New 52: Hawk and Dove #1

Comments (13) Comic Books, Reviews

Because I’m an incredibly mature young man, this review was going to consist of nothing but panels from Hawk and Dove #1 where a character has their teeth clenched. About three pages in, however, I realized that that course of action would result in the longest post in the history of this blog, since almost every panel drawn by 90s comic book superstar Rob Liefeld features a man or woman with his mouth agape, pearly whites smashed together. Seriously, more teeth are gnashed in a single page of Hawk and Dove than in a year’s worth of One Life to Live. Instead of posting single images, I’ve mashed all the teeth gnashing into one image. Observe:

The horror...

If you’re a big time Rob Liefeld fan, rejoyce–he’s in full force here, and while his art has gotten a bit slicker since the days of special edition first issues with plated-titanium covers that’ve been preserved and polybagged for future value, slicker inking techniques and better paper quality can’t hide the man’s ineptitude. Liefeld’s cause could have been better helped by Sterling Gates’ script, which sees the titular heroes of the book save the Washington Monument from a terrorist’s hijacked plane (which, depending on your taste, may be a bit too exploitative), but, thinking about it, having an overmuscled action hero and his impossibly proportioned femme-sidekick save America’s favorite phallic symbol makes perfect sense.

What doesn’t make sense, at least to me, is the decision to relaunch an entire freaking universe in an attempt to move out of the past, only to hand one of 52 new books over to an artist who represents exactly the sort of thing comic books, as a medium, need to run away from. Don’t get me wrong–there’s certainly room for a throwback here and there, and I’m looking forward to checking out DC’s western and military anthology books and hope they do well. Hawk and Dove, however, represents DC’s first major fumble. Yes, Liefeld is a magnet for controversy, but it’s not like he’s a creative giant on the level of, say, Grant Morrison, who is controversial in the sense that he at least does something different or interesting when handed the ball. Rob Liefeld’s kind of controversy doesn’t create cash–it drives money away. The guy hasn’t been cool since his Levi’s Jeans commercial and, fittingly, Levi’s haven’t been cool in 20 years, either. Despite all this, Hawk and Dove will probably go on for another five or six issues, ending either when sales drop or Liefeld gets tired of the project and decides to move on to something “new.” And he’ll probably be paid unjust sums of money to do it, too.