From the “Young Justice” group of DC’s New 52:
The original brother duo of Hawk & Dove were created by über-conservative Steve Ditko and ultra-liberal Steve Skeates in 1968 as the figurative embodiment of the politics of the Vietnam era. Considering today’s highly divisive political climate, no wonder DC is revamping them as part of the New 52.
The original Dove died in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. In 1988 a new female Dove joined the surviving Hawk and they have appeared in a variety of titles over the years. With only a few apparent changes, this is the pair that is starring in the new series.
The opening splash page quickly introduces us to our heroes. Hawk, AKA Hank Hall, is the Avatar of War with the powers of enhanced vision, agility, strength, body density, and healing factor. Dove, AKA Dawn Granger, is the Avatar of Peace with the powers of enhanced intelligence, compassion (compassion is a super power?), enhanced strength, flight, and danger sense. The two are in a runaway airplane full of zombies headed towards the Washington Monument. Later, we get some backstory that is consistent with established continuity. New readers might be a bit confused when Dove flies off with Deadman, because, well, Deadman is usually not visible to living people. Not to mention that Deadman apparently knows some dark secret of Dove’s that she is withholding from Hawk. But before they can pursue this tantalizing piece of trivia, the zombies come back.
Writer Sterling Gates has produced a fast-moving, action-packed opening set piece and covers the obligatory exposition clearly and concisely, laying the groundwork for some continuing mysteries. Rob Liefeld is the kind of artist that you either love or hate. His enhanced anatomy is bold and dynamic but not very realistic, and his backgrounds are pretty sparse. But overall, Hawk & Dove is a title to keep an eye on.
Static originated as part of DC’s Milestone imprint in the early 1990s. Teenage super-genius Virgil Hawkins is essentially a Spider-Man rip-off with electrical powers. An enigmatic holograph named Hardware provides Static with a high-tech lair. The first issue opens with Static chasing down a thief in an energy bubble, but causes massive collateral civilian damage in the process of capturing the crook. We then get some exposition about how Virgil and his family have recently moved to New York City from the Milestone city of Dakota, firmly keeping Static’s prior history reasonably intact, but enabling Static to be a full member of the new DC Universe.
Scott McDaniel and John Rozum team up for the story that is penciled by McDaniel and inked by Jonathan Glapion and LeBeau Underwood. The action scenes are filled with energy and movement, but the teenage melodrama brings the story to a halt. Static Shock is an inoffensive, run-of-the-mill comic suited to younger readers.
Seven members of the 31st-Century Legion of Super-Heroes travel back to present day in pursuit of someone named Alastor who has plans to release a deadly pathogen. Unfortunately, the “Flashpoint Breakwall” prevents them from returning to their home time. How they cope with their “primitive” past while not affecting the future will take all their courage and resourcefulness.
The seven Legionnaires are Wildfire, a being of pure energy, Dawnstar, a super-tracker with wings, Timber Wolf, Wolverine before there was a Wolverine, Tellus, a monstrous-looking telepath, Gates, a teleporter, Tyroc, a super-screamer, and Yera, the shape-shifting Chameleon Girl.
Writer Fabian Nicieza jumps into the story quickly, doling out background information slowly. He obviously is writing this assuming the reader is familiar with the basic premise of the Legion and its members. This creates a bit of jerkiness and confusion, especially for new readers. Artist Pete Woods has a fluid style that is vibrant and lively. While not completely hooked by this first issue, I think this title deserves a look, probably in the collected trade edition that will eventually come out.