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Friday, July 14, 2017

Reader's Diary #1623- Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld: Hawk and Dove Volume 1 First Strikes

I first picked up Hawk and Dove: Volume 1 First Strikes as they were a couple of DC Comics characters I hadn't heard of before. That's when I noticed Rob Liefeld's name on the cover.

Where had I heard that name before?

Checking back over the blog, I hadn't read anything by him, but I soon discovered the online vitriol directed at his art. Yep, I'd definitely come across this article before. And while I do feel somewhat bad for this self-taught artist, his critics aren't wrong.

This Hawk and Dove collection came out in 2012, a few years after the linked article above, and sadly there were few improvements (less of an aversion to drawing feet, at least). Perhaps it's knowing his reputation that's the problem. The art is undeniably bad, but worse when you're intentionally on the lookout for it though the perpetually glowering, lipless, sphincter faces would be hard to miss regardless. And that asinine costume of Hawk's with the weird appendages sprouting out and back from his chest? What the hell are they supposed to be? Move over Dagger, Vampirella, and Hawkman; we have a new contestant for the worst superhero costume award.

If the story was stronger, I suppose, it would be easier to look past, or at least forget the shitty art. (Not that one should ever separate them in a comic.) But while the story in Hawk and Dove isn't terrible, it's just lackluster. It's marginally interesting, I suppose, that despite complementing each others' powers (she's an avatar of peace, he's an avatar of war); they are not a romantic couple, barely even close friends. Still what they and their villains are suppose to be, and what motivates them, is pretty ill-defined beyond a convoluted bird motif.


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