Hawk and Dove #8 was written and drawn by Rob Liefeld. It is the final issue in the series run, and was one of the first series cancelled from the DC New 52 Relaunch.
This issue opens with Hawk using sports cliches to describe this battle. They're attacking first and thus "going on the offensive" and he's playing the role of Lead Blocker, a large player who runs ahead of actual play to cause a distraction. He fights against the ninjas, saying he can't fumble right now because they're too close to the end zone, too close to the touchdown. At the end, when they're defeated, he says he's done his job, he's run interference.
Downstairs, Dove and Xyra listen and understand that Hawk has distracted everyone for them. As the two of them make their way through the lair, Xyra explains to Dove the symbolism of the of the dragons. According to her, after the serpent slithered out of Eden, it took to the skies and devoured angels. Because Hawk and Dove represent the reincarnation of Angels, the D'yak are after them.
As Dove enters, the Hunter reappears and warns her that she shouldn't have come to this holy place, but that she can join her partner in the afterlife shortly. Recognizing this as smacktalk, Dove tells Xyra they have to make quick work of this contingent of ninjas so they can make their way to the high priests.
Xyra can feel the priest and Dove begins to take on the Hunter. He taunts her, reminding her of how disastrous their last battle was. She manages to get his sword away from him and asks if he'll stab from above now that he can't shoot from afar.
Xyra urges Dove to kill Hunter, telling her that Hunter would kill her given the chance. Dove says it's a regret she can live with, because she isn't a killer.
That's when the High Priest appears, holding the totems he had gathered in the previous issue. They take Dove's ability to speak properly while he explains his plans, which boil down to "Stop a new age of avatars by murdering Hawk and Dove." He turns into his dragon form as he and Dove begin to fight. Dove tells him if this fighting is his best shot, this is far from a fair fight.
Hawk shows back up, fully healed from his fight, telling the dragon if he had a nickel for every time some hack told Hawk and Dove they were through, he'd e a very rich man. Once D'yak is defeated, Hawk gets a condensed version from Dove, which seems to be that their reappearance is upsetting the balance. The Hunter tells them his involvement died with D'yak. Xyra tells the two of them they will always be able to seek sanctuary with her people.
After they leave, Dawn and Hank stand on a room and ponder their work together. Dove encapsulates the run of the series, and final issues everywhere, when she says "If dark days lie ahead of us, then I'm thankful we have the ability to make a difference for those who can't stand on their own." Hawk replies with the equally uninspired "Let's get to work, it's time to use our powers for the greater good."
This is the end. This is actually the end. When the cancellation was first announced, I had no idea what to think. We still had three or four issues and that seemed like enough to wrap everything up. As they kept adding in additional elements, I thought there's no way they were going to be able to wrap everything up.
Then, we got to this issue. The first five-ish pages are spent beating a sports analogy to death. If the analogy were a horse, the SPCA would have been called after the first page. Then there was a four page battle with the Hunter. And the Dragon? He was gone in a page and a half. This was an issue of filler in a story with no time left for filler. And by the time we got to the conclusion? It really wasn't much of a conclusion. Every single other person Hawk and Dove fought in this story fought harder than D'yak. And there was still no conclusion about that War Circle.
Overall, I think that final issues should be about wrapping up all loose ends. This was about making sure Hawk and Dove got to kick butt, take names, and do nothing about those names.
Hawk and Dove #8:
Reviewed by Melinda Hinman