Monday, October 18, 2010
Not Birds of a Feather
The cultural and historical significance of this issue is pretty obvious. Back in 1968, the battle over the Vietnam War was raging in America. Dick Giordano had just arrived at DC, bringing with him some of the talent he'd had at Charlton, including two guys named Steve: Ditko and Skeates. With Ditko handling the art chores and Skeates the dialogue, the concept of the Hawk and the Dove was born.
Hank and Don Hall are about as different as two brothers can be. Don is a man of peace, while his brother believes that might makes right. The story starts with them on opposite sides of a demonstration at the local college:
Meanwhile, their father, a local judge, is sentencing a hoodlum to jail. The crook vows revenge and it is not long in coming:
The three survive the attempted murder, but the judge is injured enough to require hospitalization. The next day, Hank spots the bomb thrower. Don wants to call a cop, but his brother insists on following the man. They trail him to an old warehouse, but get trapped inside a locked room, where they overhear the plans to kill their father in his sickbed. They try to open the door, or a window, but their efforts come to naught. In desperation Don wishes that they had super-powers and:
As superhero origins go it's not terribly credible, but you know how that is; credible is being bitten by a radioactive spider. It's certainly a desirable origin; all you had to do was wish for it hard enough and if you were one of the chosen ones, you'd be turned into a powerful being. They confront the villains at the hospital:
Well, you can probably guess the problem with being the "Dove" of this duo; you're not going to get much respect from crooks by telling them that they should give up. Indeed, Don is quickly defenestrated:
Fortunately a convenient flagpole saves him and he returns to the hospital room in time to save his dad. But he has his hands full:
But they are stunned to hear their father's reaction to their super-deeds:
Hank still wants to fight criminals with their new abilities, but Don wants no part of fighting and is dismayed by his dad's words.
Their solo series lasted for only six issues, but they managed to jump over to Teen Titans for a year or so.