Sunday, August 19, 2007

Profile: Hawk and Dove

Hawk and Dove
First appearance: this entry features the first Hawk, Hank Hall, and both Doves, as well as two protagonists Mike Baron intro'd in the late 1990s, so it’ll thus feature the debut times of both those to take the latter role as well as when Hank first appeared. Hank and Don Hall, the first duo by this name, first appeared in Showcase #75 in 1967, a pair of twins, one a conservative and the other a liberal, who could never really agree on anything (i.e - how the use of force should be managed). Their powers of greater strength and agility were acquired via a mysterious voice. Both were created for DC by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates, and had a short lived series that ran six issues, after which they became guest members in the Teen Titans many times. The second Dove, Dawn Granger, first debuted in a 1988 miniseries and was revealed to have gained her powers the moment that the original Dove lost them, some more on which anon. And another duo named Sasha Martens and Wiley Wolverman made their appearance in a miniseries written by Mike Baron circa 1997.

Current status: two out of three of them are pretty much dead, with Hank surely having suffered the worst destruction as he had been corrupted before officially being killed off during Armageddon 2001, published ten years earlier then its title features. Don was killed during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Dawn was seemingly slain during Armageddon by the villainous Monarch, but turned up again in 2003. And Hank, well, he was corrupted and turned into Extant, some sort of a time-lording supervillain during Zero Hour before being killed in JSA in a time-travelling story published in 2000.

Were subjected to the following acts of discrimination: Indicated above, but that wasn’t all of it. The character destruction of Hank Hall, which could be considered by some to be an unfair swipe at conservatives, was the result of an editorial fiat that resulted after it was leaked that Captain Atom was going to be revealed as the time-travelling villain of Armageddon called Monarch.

What's wrong with how this was done? The editors apparently decided that with the ongoing Hawk and Dove series at the time losing buyers and set for cancellation that this made Hawk and Dove worthy of sacrifice for sales. This, of course, is just another show of disinterest in developing the characters through appearances in other ways like miniseries and guest roles in other books.

Was there anything good to come out of this? Close. In JSA #45-51, Dawn turned up alive again, and her “death” turned out to be a hoax mastered by the evil sorceror Mordru, who also turned out to be the one behind Hank’s going bananas. Okay, so they cleared things up for Hank in that case. However, writer Geoff Johns may have botched the attempt to introduce a new Hawk in the guise of Dawn’s sister from Britain named Holly when he featured them in the third volume of Teen Titans #22-24 going up against Dr. Light after the character destruction that villain went through in Identity Crisis. Talk about really blowing it! We did not need that particular story, that’s for sure.

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