Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hawk & Dove #2 review

While Hawk and Dove fight to keep Washington DC safe from Alexander Quirk's Monsters of Mass Destruction, super-criminal Condor kills rival Osprey so his powers can turn a psycho into a Swan ...

... spotting a pattern? Yup, everyone's a bird. And everyone has a variation on the same costume: Hawk and Dove, Condor and Swan - without Matt Yackey's colours you'd have trouble telling them apart.
Actually, you'd have trouble telling anyone apart: Hank and his dad dress alike, share hair wax and have identical rictus grins; Hank's old bird Ren and Dawn go to the one hair stylist and both dress in tinfoil slit to the waist. And yes, I realise Ren is Asian-American, but most people in this book look Asian-American. 

And everyone talks through a toothy grin. I swear, if DC wanted to conquer the ventriloquists' market, they'd show them Hawk and Dove.

'I'm going to gash your grains out, Hawk!'
'Gugger off, you gig guffoon, Dove has my gack!'


A few of the splash pages apart - there are five in this 20-page comic - the work here is awful. I'm not a Rob Liefeld fan, but when he's on form his art does the job. Here the illustrations - inks by Liefeld and Adelso Corona - are often excruciating. Body shapes are seen that are never found in nature, Hawk turns into a giant, a head twists like an Exorcist tribute act ... Liefeld either needs to take more time, take an art lesson or take on an inking partner willing to overpower his pencils and make the figures work. Maybe even - whisper it - draw in regular backgrounds.
Still, it's not like Liefeld is ruining a good story. The usually reliable Sterling Gates doesn't move the Quirk business any further on, Dove's Big Secret doesn't come up ... instead pages are wasted with unconvincing soap involving Dove's boyfriend Deadman and the aforementioned Ren - both centred on inappropriate jealousy. 

As for all the Hawk and Dove-alikes running around, Kestrel was bad enough in their last series, now the book is going all Green Lantern on us with a horde of rainbow bird baddies. So next month it's Hawk & Dove vs Condor & Swan, which sounds like a court case. Certainly someone should sue for a painful reading experience.

This comic has so much potential, but so far it's for the birds.

10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you had to waste some time out of your day on this one Martin, but at least you did your civic duty for the week and warned us all about this monstrosity.

    For the birds indeed...perhaps someone in DC will be smart(yeah right) enough to bring back Barbara and Karl Kesel back to save this title from the justly deserved cancellation it faces...but they won't, so it will.

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  2. It's all I can do to look through a copy of this at my store. Then my body contorts into a Liefeld style pose out of revulsion.

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  3. Liefeld's art makes my fillings itch...Ive truly never known artwork that actually hurts before[!]. And back in the day [ we're talking about the 90s as if it was many many decades ago, how sad is that ] his art was the dogs bollocks...we all loved it, didnt we? I just think it looks SO backward now, and this issues scripts dont help, like a bad Image comic raging against the DC machine. I cant see this book lasting - and I LIKE Hawk and Dove!

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  4. Karl-
    That's a good point, though. Liefeld, Lee, thong-clad heroines; it all looked so awesome back in the day. And I would be embarressed to show those comics to any of my friends today. What were we thinking?

    Eric

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  5. Perhaps we could take up a collection to get Karl Kesel and Barbara Kesel back, Dale? I saw one of the comic book sites today characterising people who negatively criticise the art as 'haters' (really? People still use that stupid term?), which is missing the point somewhat.

    Joe, could you post a pic?

    'We all loved it?' if you say so Karl!

    Ah, you loved it, Eric!

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  6. Ha! Hopefully my tastes have become more high refined since then.

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  7. I'm waiting for the first appearance of Tit and Finch.

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  8. I admire your dedication to this blog. Putting yuorself through another issue of Hawk & Dove just so you can review it here is above and beyond the call of duty!

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  9. The thing is, David, I enjoyed Sterling Gates' Supergirl sooooo much. And I loved Hawk & Dave as originally written by the Kesels - I want this book to be good, and can't believe it's not at least better than this.

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