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Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Hawk and the Dove 1 - Hawk & Dove begin

Hawk and Dove move into their own book, a couple of months after their Showcase debut, with The Hawk and the Dove 1 (Aug/Sept. 68), by Steve Skeates and Steve Ditko.

This is a much better written, more intelligent comic book than most works from the same time. Eternally quarrelling brothers Hank and Don Hall have not found that gaining super powers has changed their relationship in any way, and the pair each have extreme and opposed views on everything. In this case, a group of criminals called the Drop-Outs, who happen to be university drop outs. When they raid a party that the boys, and their judge father are at, only Hawk goes into action to try to stop them.

But rather than being action based, this story is really about the issues. Hank feels that vigilante action is justified because the police weren't around, Don thinks that, so long as no one was injured, the thieves should have been allowed to escape with the loot. Judge Hall disagrees with both of his sons.

So the thieves keep robbing, Hawk keeps trying to stop them, and Don keeps trying to figure out a different way to do things. He noticed that one of the party guests recognized one of the thieves, and learns that they are university students, but keeps the information to himself.

Don's crisis of conscience, his uncertainty of what to do, is really at the core of the story. Hank's aggressive behaviour has sort of pushed Don into not taking action, but he fears for his brother's safety.

As the story approaches the big final battle, we also find out, as does Hawk, that the costumes they wear, which appear magically when they say their names, do not come off. A lot of later stories, mostly involving the Teen Titans, will neglect this detail.

Don changes into Dove, but finds ways to take on the Drop Outs without physically attacking them. One cannot help but think he ought to learn judo.

Hawk & Dove succeed at taking down the Drop Outs, but this does nothing to change their views about the way the other brother acts. You gotta love the last few panels, as they argue themselves to sleep.

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