Hawk and Dove #7 was written and drawn by Rob Liefeld.
The penultimate issue of Hawk and Dove opens with Dawn dancing her cares away in a club while Hank lurks nearby, acting as a bodyguard when a guy gets too fresh with her. They both end up storming out and Hank asks her how many hearts she has to break before her own will be healed. Finally he tells her that he may come off like a jerk, but he really cares about her and it hurts him to see her hurting herself like this. She promises to cool her heels and they're about to go when Hank gets pierced through the chest with a harpoon.
Immediately, they turn into Hawk and Dove, assessing the situation. They spot the shooter, and he gloats internally that the nest has been stirred, now it's time to put them through their paces. Fortunately, Hank has already started healing. Dove approaches the shooter and tells him he won't get another shot. He says if he wanted her dead, she would be. According to the shooter, she's still weak from her encounter with Condor. He manages to get a net around her before Hawk tackles him.
All the while, the hunter critiques them in his head, making notes of where their weaknesses lie. Hawk, though strong, reacts without studying his own opponent. He ends up slicing the tip of Hawk's finger, taking for himself a talon. Apparently, claws are useful in ceremony. Hawk says he'll just grow another and rip his throat out. When he threatens Hawk, Dove tells him the only animal being put down tonight is him.
Dove tries to ascertain whether he's a member of the War Circle, mentioned in previous issues. The shooter says he only serves the hunt, that the object of his quest is the feathers of Dove. He lops off some of her hair. He predicts that they will return to their nests, regroup, and prepare for the next confrontation, which will be no more successful for them than this one. When Hawk attacks with the element of surprise, the shooter warns him that anything less than a deathblow will not succeed. Using a wrist communicator, the shooter calls to be removed, and soon vanishes.
Just as suddenly, a woman named Xyra, Servant of Horus, appears and tells them they must come with her and escape. She explains that the Hunter acts in the interest of the D'yak, a group who oppose the Hawk and all who follow him. When they return to the apartment, it becomes clear that Hank's finger still hasn't grown back. Xyra says she's happy she was able to get to them before the Hunter killed them, which he would have done unless their living was in the interest of his employer. She explains the D'yak are after Hawk as the embodiment of a false God. She offers them protection after telling them the talon and lock of hair will be used to conjure a totem to either kill or subjugate them. Dawn agrees to investigate these claims by going with her, but warns her that if this is a trap, she'll pay for it.
Elsewhere, the Hunter returns the totems to a man called D'khan. He claims the two were so easily subdued that he should have been giving him carcasses instead. D'khan says that he would have joined them in the hereafter. Though the Hunter interprets that as a threat, D'khan tells him it would be the promise for obstructing the prophecies and defying the will of the D'yak, for it is foretold that Hawk will ultimately kill Dove.
This issue held a lot of promise for me. It opened with Hank and Dawn, dealing with the aftermath of her break-up with Boston Brand. More often than not, you don't see characters dealing with things that happen to them in their day-to-day life. It could be argued that isn't why we read comics, but it's still nice to see it happening, especially since Dawn and Boston had been together since Brightest Day.
Unfortunately, a lot of that promise was squandered with the introduction of a villain who initially doesn't seem connected to the War Circle. With one issue after this, it seems misguided to attempt to bring in another new villain. As I write this, I have not read issue 8, nor did I read the solicits. I did, however, read this issue with the thought in my mind that it was the penultimate issue and that anything brought in would have to be resolved in 24 pages next month. Were this gearing up to be a longer arc, I would really like it. I suspect, however, that the conclusion will feel rushed.
The art in this book was nothing short of typical Liefeld. It has everything I've come to expect from him in a book, blurred background characters, crisp foreground, and impossible anatomy. While I may miss the characters after next month, I will not miss Liefeld's depictions of them.
Hawk and Dove #7:
Reviewed by Melinda Hinman