And it’s that time again! Hawk and Dove Issue #5, which happens to be the last issue written by Sterling Gates. As of next month, Liefeld is going solo with both the writing & art (well, solo as accompanied by his awesome inkers and colorists).
Not even going to try this time–expect spoilers all the way to the end of the issue with this one.
This is my favorite panel in the entire series. I don't know why but this one frame of them strolling along is perfection.
Hawk & Dove call up Madame Xanadu to seek help for Deadman, but she turns them down. She does, however, give them a tip off to where they can find him. Hawk and Dove hunt down a demon named Gob and rough him up for answers. Hawk and Dove get a few kicks in, and Gob wises up when he realizes that even Peaceful Dove is about to break his face in.
This happens to bother Hank quite a bit, and he pulls Dove aside out of costume for a heart-to-heart. He questions if Boston’s appearance in their lives is what’s causing Dove to go crazy–Deadman hurts the balance of their partnership, so to speak. Dove, naturally, gets rather peeved that Hank is even suggesting that she leave Boston and he relents to continue helping her get the guy back.
They find Condor, and realize that not only did he use up all of Boston’s magic, he also ate his parnter Swan (which naturally pisses off Hank). There’s a fight where he goes on about a Circle and the War Avatars and tries to eat Dove. She fights back, accompanied by a lovely corny speech about the power of Peace and her love for Boston. When she’s cut by Condor’s talon, she pulls the same weird light number she did with Swan back in issue three. Condor goes down, and Deadman is saved.
And then Deadman dumps Dove. End of Issue. I’ll get to that down below. XD
The only thing bad about Swan is that I didn't get more of her.
Okay. I think this was the first issue where I really had some issues with the pacing (or at least stopped fangirling enough to admit the series has pacing issues). As much as everyone wants to hurry and get to the Batman arc, I think that this one deserved a little more time to flesh out. This issue could have easily been split up into two to give us a bit more details, history and set up for later arcs concerning the Avatars.
I don’t necessarily need to know a whole lot more about the War avatars and the “Circle” that Condor’s referring to (I get that we should leave some stuff for later), but it would have been nice to see a little more of the set up for Condor’s eating plans & Hawk and Dove tracking them down.
And as much fun as it was for Hank/Hawk to screw up Madame Xanadu’s name in his inner monologue, it would have been better to actually see Hawk & Dove go visit her/call her for info instead of just telling us they did it (and still keep that gorgeous spread of Hawk & Dove running after the Gob…those two pages were great.)
Peace kicks some ass when it wants to.
My only other complaint would be Dove’s light show. Mostly because I had no idea what was going on with that. No, really–I want this to be explained later. If that happens every time she gets a cut, they might want to redo her costume in Kevlar or something.
Okay, pacing for this arc aside–this was definitely one of the best comics yet (Issue #2 still holding out for favorite). It had a lot of action, the artwork in particular was in top form.
Oh Hank. XD
And I loved Hank’s little “you should break up and not even save him” speech. It was awkward and a little cruel (in an unintentional way, remember Hank’s not the brightest lightbulb), you can tell he’s been holding back about Deadman for a while. I don’t think Hank is interested in Dove romantically (yet), but he’s definitely got an over protective big-brother thing going on that I think is darling. Plus, it’s nice to see them out of costume period. They’ve been in “uniform” pretty much non stop since Swan and Condor crashed the party at the White House, so it’s nice to remember Hank and Dawn are under the Hawk and Dove.
The only time they've agreed on anything ever. (In reference to Dove's light show.)
And of course there were the little things, too. For example, Hawk & Deadman’s reaction to Dove taking out Condor by her lonesome.
After they’ve both spent issues making it clear they can’t stand each other, that one little moment of fellowship was all the more sweeter.
Which leads us to the last issue:
The Break Up
Alright, the first read through, this seemed like it happened way too fast. “Wait! Hank was just talked about them breaking up and now they are!? I call BS!”
Until I put the issue aside and thought about it–and then decided I was really glad I had picked up Justice League Dark for a few issues.
In Justice League Dark, it was pretty clear that Dove and Deadman were on the rocks with their relationship. In the last issue I read with her in it (#2), she was storming out pissed off at him for continuing to try and jump her with other people’s bodies. It occurred to me, that this is what he probably wanted to talk about when he showed up in the first issue asking if it was a bad time to talk.
Inside, Hank is jumping up and down in glee. He never liked that guy. XD
And it was never a good time. Deadman’s probably been wanting to have a serious discussion about their relationship since Issue #1 and has been interrupted by just about everything, including his own kidnapping–where as he said–he had plenty of time to think.
So, while it seemed sudden, after I put it into context, Deadman breaking up with Dawn seemed to fit and was a fairly logical course of action.
What does this mean for Hawk and Dove? Not sure, but now they’re both single and that makes me happy. *cough get them together cough*
Will Deadman continue to be a sore spot? Most likely. Either way, none of that matters because Issue #6 is a crossover with Batman.
What more do you really need to hear? :D