If Hawk and Dove #1 was setting the stage, then Hawk and Dove #2 is all about casting. We open with the mysterious villain from last issue, now getting the name Condor to go along with him. He kills another hero named Oliver Truly AKA Swan, with help from a research assistant ready to assume the powers of Swan. She steals his powers and transforms, and the two set off to find Hawk and Dove.
Hawk and Dove are busy taking down Alexander Quirk's lab, full of R.O.T. machines and Monsters of Mass Destruction. The detective they were introduced to last issue tells them Quirk has released another video, promising big retaliation because they've taken down one of his labs. Hawk says he doesn't have anything better to do that night and after reminding him that isn't true, Dove calls Hawk back up, owing to a discovery.
As Hawk makes his way up, Deadman appears and reminds Dove they were supposed to have a date that evening. He asks her to take a break, but she claims she can't because she's in the middle of a lab that was producing genetically engineered zombie soldiers. Deadman screams a warning just before a stray zombie soldier attacks her. He begins apologizing and rambling, until Dove tells him just to leave.
Hawk rushes to Dove's aid and Deadman leaves in a not-so-subtle jealous huff. He asks what she found and she tells him about more of the R.O.T. machines behind the north wall. When more zombies burst through, he tells her to make some calls, as they're going to be late.
Later, Judge Hall stands waiting for his son. Hank finally arrives and covertly informs his father of the reason for the delay. Just then, who should show up but Hank's ex-girlfriend, Ren Takamori. Hank is less than impressed. The two of them make strained small talk about her reporting career and his school/superhero career.
Dawn shows up, which doesn't lessen the tension at all. Ren storms off, while the President begins to make his speech. They sit patiently for half an hour before Dawn realizes Ren isn't back. They go to the restroom to look for her, but she's nowhere to be found.
An explosion sounds and the two transform into Hawk and Dove. They make their way back into the main dining room to find that Condor and Swan have taken the President and Judge Hall hostage.
As I said, this issue was about populating the mini-universe in which Hawk and Dove operate and not a whole lot else. Detective Watanabe is their trustworthy police contact. Judge Hall and Ren are civilians who know their identities. Deadman is Dove's unnecessarily jealous boyfriend. Condor and Swan are a part of the now-growing Rogues Gallery.
Condor and Swan intrigue me, if only for the avian nature this comic could take on with those two as the main villains.
As much as I like Hawk and Dove, and have faith in this series, this issue was only meh for me. I realize at the beginning of a series and the relaunching of a universe, there's a lot of exposition and introduction of characters, but I feel like it's weighing this book down. Sterling Gates has said he wants to delve into the history of not only Hank and Dawn but also Hank and Don, so we're in for at least a few more issues of this. In the mean time, I hope they wrap up at least one of the villain arcs they've got going on.
Hawk and Dove #2:
Reviewed by Melinda Hinman