The Hawk and the Dove #6 (1969)

The Hawk and the Dove was so very, very 1968. Created by Steve Ditko as a kind of social satire on the two sides of the Vietnam War conflict, Hawk and Dove were two brothers granted great powers by some bizarre otherworldly spirit. Hank Hall was the Hawk, the pro-war guy who was angry and headstrong and ready with his fists. Don Hall was the Dove, who preached non-violence and that everyone should live in peace together, la la la la all over this land.
 
This would have been utter crap in the hands of a lessor creator than the great Steve Ditko. But the cocreator of Spider-Man was up for the job, producing a comic that is admittedly dated, but still has some resonance today, if for no other reason than that Ditko was an amazing artists.
 
Ditko, unfortunately, only lasted for six issues – the boys’ tryout in Showcase and the first five issues of their solo series. However, DC produced a sixth issue of their solo series and it’s not nearly as decent. Illustrated by the great Gil Kane, and apparently written by him, the whole thing feels a bit slapdash and rushed, as if Kane’s need to meet a deadline was more important than doing an interesting comic. In  the story, the Hall brothers’ father, a judge, is kidnapped by a man who feels he was done wrong in court. The Hawk and the Dove spend the whole issue trying to find the man, and in the end Hawk beats the crap out of the bad guy. The end. Not too exciting, huh?
 
The best part of the issue is the final panel:
Hank: Maybe the whole idea of the Hawk and the Dove was a big mistake. Maybe we oughta give the whole thing up!
Don: Yeah… maybe you’re right…
Caption: Is this the end of the Hawk and the Dove??
 
I guess so, because that was the end of their comic book.
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