Hawk and Dove #5 was written by Sterling Gates and illustrated by Rob Liefeld, and continues the storyline they've set up for the past four issues. We open with Swan tormenting Deadman as he stands, encased in something called a Chaos Crystal. Condor speaks an enchantment while holding the crystal and it's enough to open a magic portal, which he carries Swan through.
Switching to Hawk for the moment, he says that he's always had a partner. When he was little, it was Don, but then Don died. Dove's narration cuts in and she says she never wanted to be anyone's partner because she prefers the peacefulness of being alone. She admits that while they've found a balance, it's been thrown off-kilter by her relationship with Deadman. And she's willing to make a deal with a devil to save the life of the man she loves. She and Hawk are revealed to be chasing a demon to get information about Deadman.
Eventually they catch up with the Demon and Hawk begins to work him over, Dove interjects to remind the demon she doesn't have patience today either. He tells them they need to find an entrance to a place called the War Realm. As they fly off, Hawk demands that Dove put him down so they can talk face to face.
They switch back to their normal identities and Hank tells her that maybe they shouldn't be trying to find Deadman, because he's the reason Condor and Swan were able to find them at all. Dawn lashes out and says she loves him and nothing Hank says is going to change that. Hank points out that she's been a different person lately, more prone to violence, and he wonders if Deadman being around is messing with their connections to their Avatars. She responds by asking if he's going to help her or not, because they're wasting time. Hank agrees but not before telling her that she owes him.
In Washington, they are suited up yet again and standing at the entrance to a place called The Harmony Theatre. They end up in the War Realm, immediately finding Condor standing over the corpses of Swan and Deadman. Condor says he only likes to eat the dead, and then they begin to fight. Condor claims he's going to eat them both, but wonders what Dove will taste like, as she's not a part of the war circle. Dove attacks and Condor begins to fly her over the city, telling her that peace cannot stop war.
As Condor and Dove continue to grapple with each other, she tells him that he knows nothing of what she's been through. When he mocks her, Dove says Swan must not have told him all the details of their fight. She fires the light at him and he cries under the burn. Dove reminds him that while she tries to keep the peace, she fights back when she's backed into a corner and the people she loves are threatened. He disappears, though it's unspecified whether she killed him or he just went somewhere else.
Boston is back to being invisible and tells Dove they need to talk. He repeats what Hawk said earlier, that the villains used him to find her and that's dangerous. They need to be finished for the good of everyone. He disappears and she turns to Hank, asking why. Hank says that he understands the why, but that doesn't mean any of them have to like it.
For the most part, I've really enjoyed this series and I'll definitely be sad to see it go come April, but this issue didn't sit well with me. The art still irks me when people are blurred in the background, but other than that there were some gorgeous illustrations. The credits splash-page was certainly poster-worthy.
Much of it felt like it was too drawn out and we spent too much time being narrated at over points that have already been made in previous issues. For an entire issue, it doesn't feel like much happened other than a lot of narration and a smidgen of character development and it doesn't feel like much will be resolved by issue eight with regards to the War Circle.
Hawk and Dove #5:
Reviewed by Melinda Hinman