Friday, August 22, 2014

Making a Splash: The Hawk and The Dove

Check it out, Groove-ophiles! Way back in April 1968, DC allowed Steve Skeates, Steve Ditko, and Dick Giordano to spring one of the most way-out features ever upon fans of their Showcase mag. Inspired by the heated controversy (to put it mildly) caused by the Vietnam War and the increasing gulf of the Generation Gap, Steve, Steve, and Dick combined their awesome talents to give us The Hawk and The Dove. Hank Hall ,The Hawk, was, not surprisingly, a pro-war, might-makes-right scrapper. His brother, Don Hall, The Dove, was his opposite number; a strong-willed pacifist. Their father was a judge, whose job, thematically, is to try to teach the boys to balance their ideas--or at least to be tolerant of those with different moral and/or political leanings. What we got in Showcase #75 (and The Hawk and The Dove issues 1 [June 1968]-6 [April 1969]), besides two of the coolest costumes ever, was a controversial, original, and extremely cool pair of super-heroes. Skeates stayed on as writer through issue #4, while Ditko left the series with issue #2. The loss of Ditko's sublime pencils should have sounded the death-knell for H&D's mag, but DC hired Gil Kane to provide the art for our battling siblings--and Ol' Groove has gotta tell ya--Mr. Kane was especially right-on during this period! He took over scripting with issue five, then, another all-Gil issue, the series ended with ish six. Here are the splashes from those seven superb  issues...prepare to have your mind-blown, baby!


  1. Kane was really on fire during this period. He turned Captain Action, which should have been a mundane kiddie book, into a personal statement, as intense in its own way as Ditko's Mr. A.

  2. Why, oh why were hacks such as Sal Trapani (and Mike Esposito, Vince Colletta, Frank Springer, Al Milgrom and John Tartalione) allowed to ruin good artwork for so many years? I'm sure they saved many a deadline but at a high cost to the pencillers and the overall enjoyment of the comics. Of course Mr. Trapani, being an in-law of Dick Giordano, I'm sure had an in to The Hawk and The Dove assignment. It's nice to see Gil Kane's art shining through the substandard inks anyway. Didn't the one issue look like it was finished but Wally Wood or Wayne Howard?



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