Now the real fun begins! Writer & Artist with no assitants: Rob Liefeld!
"What's wrong with it, Jeff? Looks like a fairly standard cover," you say. And I mostly agree! For a Liefeld cover, it's pretty harmless. And perhaps if some artist I didn't know had drawn it, I wouldn't look a little closer. But it's Liefeld and so it demands another look.
First off, the fists. Always with the fists, Mr. Liefeld. He can't draw hands so he draws fists. But he can't draw fists either! They look like he modeled them from lego men! Perfectly square with the thumb tucked in every time. And what's with Batman walking a balloon in mid-air? Sure, he's supposed to be swinging on his bat cable. But he's not! He's strolling down the mid-air midway with a balloon in his hand. I won't fault him for Dove flying right in Batman's way as he's swinging and the odd angle of the buildings. Any other artist might have drawn that crap as well.
Well, now that Liefeld is writing, what's going to happen to the story? Did Sterling Gates tell Liefeld what he had in mind with the Circle of War and the other Avatars? I think Liefeld is just going to drop that whole story line since it basically wrapped up last issue with the death of Condor and the disappearance of Swan. So let's see what Liefeld has in store for these wacky kids.
The comic begins with Hawk being chased along the rooftops of Gotham by Blockbuster. I couldn't tell it was Blockbuster on the first page but when I turned the page, it's evident who it is before the comic states it. Hawk is narrating the story as if he's telling a new tale on some weekly anthology television series like Amazing Stories or Tales from the Darkside (that intro used to scare the hell out of me as a child). Hawk has been beat up once tonight and he's running from Blockbuster because he doesn't think he can take anymore. He's a bit vague right now about why he's in Gotham although I'm sure that's what got him into this mess.
Here's what happens when Rob draws an open hand. Err, claw. Look at the size of that ring finger, ladies!
DC managed to finally get me to buy 90s Image Comics!
His large, misshapen, possibly six-fingered hands.
Oh, or Robin! I wonder if Hawk is going to ask Robin why he chose a bird's name when he can't fly?!
Turns out Robin let Blockbuster go because he put a tracer on him. Batman and Robin know Blockbuster is just a pawn helping to steal a bunch of totems for someone else. Batman and Robin want to track Blockbuster to the leader, so they stopped Hawk and Dove from ruining their operation.
Here's Batman with his fists squatting on a chimney. Or falling forward off of a chimney. Or popping out of it singing Chim-Chim-Charoo.
Grrrr! I'm Batman!
This is my favorite picture of Batman swinging across Gotham! A vaguely bat like silhouette (not man like at all!) with the rope strung through it. I'm sure Rob was just, "Fuck it! I have to draw this whole fucking comic myself AND write it? I don't have time to draw Batman again!"
The team track Blockbuster to Necromancer's lair where she's in the middle of a spell to make her the most powerful witch in the world! In all worlds! In forever! Bwa ha ha!
But she gets her ass handed to her by Dove and Robin. And Blockbuster goes down under the combined assault of Batman and Hawk. Dove retrieves the amulet but Necromancer gets away at the end. They all shrug their shoulders and say, "We'll get her next time!" Yeah, why bother hunting her down? She was just going to destroy the world! But she'll probably rethink that now.
Batman pays Hawk and Dove some compliments and tells them if they really train and work hard together, they can be a formidable force for good. Or something like that. Hawk sees it as a lecture but Dove accepts the compliment and the advice. And then they all go their separate ways!
Wow. A one-shot story! I'm really liking the quick and dirty one shot stories a few of these comics have been providing. And even though I can poke fun at Rob Liefeld all day long, at least this comic was entertaining! It was cheesy and goofy and clumsily written at parts. But some of those things are really good things in a comic book! I was entertained. By Rob Liefeld! Who would have thunk?
I liked that the story was a single issue and though it appears Hawk is struggling a bit, overall the heroes have everything under control. They don't get beat up and hospitalized only to come back and win out over the bad guy. The story is about their interactions with Batman and Robin. The story is about the comparison between these two people who seem nothing alike and yet they work so well together. And the story is told from Hawk's perspective, so he doesn't really get that. He's making fun of them the whole time and wondering how they work together and why a Bat and a Robin and whine moan blah. And that really makes it work nicely. Because the reader can see Hawk and Dove in Batman and Robin, just as Batman can. And his advice at the end shows he sees they can become just as cohesive and dynamic a duo. But Hawk still doesn't see this at the end and moans about Bat's lecture! Actually really nice work, Liefeld.
Hawk and Dove only have two issues left in their run but at least they may go out on the way up! I'll raise Hawk and Dove's rank by one for this issue. Nicely done entertaining comic book fare.