As always with the first issue of a series, there's groundwork to be laid. Hawk and Dove #1, written by Sterling Gates and drawn by Rob Liefeld, is no exception. The issue opens with a report of a science terrorist, Alexander Quirk, who intends to restore the system of checks and balances within the United States. Unverified information says he's hi-jacked a small cargo plane for an attack on the capital; however, because it's unverified, there is no need to worry.
Meanwhile, in the skies above Washington, Hawk and Dove are trying to fight off the crew and ground the plane. When Hawk complains the old Dove would have had it on the ground already, Dove says she doesn't know how to fly it and unless she can ground it safely, they're going to hit the Washington Monument. Hawk says to just fly it up and away from the ground, that the thugs can just burn. He takes personal offense to the idea they would attack his city.
Unfortunately, that's when the zombies break out of their containment units. As Dove tries to reach ground control, she realizes the situation in the back and is forced to abandon the controls. Rather than fight off the zombies, she kicks out one of the windows. When Hank realizes she's no longer at the controls, he finds out that she's trying to lift the plane manually. As they careen toward the Washington Monument, he tries to steer the plane up and away. They approach it, clipping it as they sail by.
After landing, Hawk and Dove argue about what else Dove could have done up in the air. They're interrupted by a DC officer named Washi Watanabe who tells them what the plane held. Much more than just zombies, they were created by Alexander Quirk to further his political crusade. We get a little back story on him and how the internet supports him. Watanabe says he pities them for the powerful enemy they made today. He offers them his card in case they'd like to work with the police department in the future, but Hawk and Dove fly off instead.
Back at the Hall home, Mr. Hall and Hank discuss the day's events. Hank complains that Don, the previous incarnation of Dove would've had his back the entire time. Mr. Hall tells Hank that Don died like a hero and wonders if Hank has enrolled in school yet. The pressure is clear when Mr. Hall says he pulled a lot of strings to get him back into Georgetown. We get a cutaway scene of Dawn explaining the connection between Hawk and Dove to Deadman, her boyfriend. We don't know yet if the relationship is supposed to be previously established or if this is one of the holdovers from Brightest Day.
Hank admits how much he misses Don and treats us to their origin story. On their way to attack Dargo, a criminal who tried to murder their father, they got trapped. Don, in an atypical move, got angry and wished for them to have the power to get out and save their father. That's when the gods started talking to them. By saying the words Hawk and Dove, they would have the power. They used their powers to beat the bad guys until "the worst crisis the world's ever seen" got Don killed, saving people. And then, out of the blue, Dawn Granger showed up with Don's powers. He doesn't know why because he certainly never asked for another partner.
Back to Dawn, she says she hasn't told Hank what she went through or why. Deadman knows something we don't know, because he comments on the fact that they've been partners for a few years and she still hasn't told him. Whatever the secret is, knowledge of it is risky, and Dawn says Hank can never know about her and Don.
In another part of Washington, children discover one of the zombies when a someone approaches and says the zombie smells like dinner, it smells like Hawk and Dove.
Sterling Gates gave us a great introductory issue, even if the exposition felt a little heavy-handed at times. He left us a little bit of a mystery of what went on between Dawn and Don, which will probably be resolved fairly quickly. The villain at the end looks familiar to me, and I can't figure out why. The introduction of Alexander Quirk as their potential main villain was nicely set up as well. I'm hoping as the series goes on, it will clarify which crisis killed Don in this new universe.
For the art, I enjoyed it. There's isn't anything ultra-unique to it, but it's got a nice look, particularly the layout on the page where Hank describes Don's death. I thoroughly enjoyed that entire page, even if I wasn't a huge fan of the exposition it was used for.
Hawk and Dove #1:
Reviewed by Melinda Hinman