HAWK & DOVE
DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“The yin and yang of the superhero world, Hank and Don Hall were complete opposites, working together as powerful vigilante champions for justice. Opinionated and reactionary, Hank always butted heads with his reasonable, yet indecisive, brother. The Lords of Chaos bestowed upon Hank powers that came about when he uttered the word, ‘hawk,’ and his brother was imbued with the same powers from the Lords of Order. Working together, ‘Hawk’ and “Dove” balanced each other out and battled evil.
Dawn Granger was given powers by the Lords of Order, effectively stripping them from Don Hall (the original Dove). Needing the “Hawk” to balance her new role as ‘Dove,’ Granger joined forces with Hank Hall. Lured to Druspa Tau, they were forced to battle each other in a war between the Lords of Chaos and the Lords of Order and their devotees. At the conclusion, Hawk and Dove absorbed the powers of their creators; leaving Dove with a new ability: flight.”
Created by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates in 1968, Hawk and Dove were originally brothers Hank and Don Hall. Hank was an aggressive and forceful personality, while his brother Don took on a role of pacifism. In their super-heroic personas, they were assigned powers that complemented their personalities, all while complementing each other. The duo first appeared in DC’s Showcase book, before getting a brief run on their own, and then moving into sporadic appearances in various DC books. Don would wind up as one of the casualties of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and two years later, Hank would gain a new partner in Dawn Granger, the second Dove. These two would become quite the distinctive pair themselves, but would have their own rather storied history as well. Amongst other things, they figured rather prominently into Brightest Day, an event that would put them into the public eye long enough to at least get them a little bit of toy coverage.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Hawk and Dove were released separately in Series 20 of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line. The entire assortment was based on Brightest Day, which was a rather current story at the time. It was also the last proper assortment of the line, due to the ending of the mainstream DC Universe and the launching of the New 52. Boy, that sure stuck, huh?
In the comics at the time of this figure’s release, Hawk had just come back from the dead, and was also the only male member of the Birds of Prey, presumable because when you’ve got a team named “Birds of Prey”, you might be willing to amend some of the by-laws for a guy named “Hawk.” Hawk’s design has essentially remained unchanged over the years, so this figure had an easy choice. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. By this point in the line, the ankle rockers had been completely removed from all of the base bodies, which was on one and a shame, but on the other not really that big of a deal, since they were kind of useless joints anyway. Otherwise, the articulation remained standard for the line. In light of modern articulation standards, it’s not fantastic, but compared to early Legends, he’s at least not a floppy mess. Hawk was built on the larger male body, which was a reasonable fit for the character. He got a new head and “cape.” Both pieces fit well on the body and meshed with the pre-existing parts. The head in particular feels like it’s a good fit for Hawk, especially with that teeth baring expression. Hawk’s paint work is generally quite straight forward, though it’s worth noting that they adjusted the white sections of his costume to be a light grey. Maybe to prevent yellowing? Hawk’s only extra was the torso to the Nekron Build-A-Figure.
Believe it or not, Dawn Granger is actually a Rob Liefeld creation. Well, like half a Rob Liefeld creation. Barbra and Karl Kessel were also involved, which I’m certain helped her to be a lot less ridiculous than, well, Leifeld’s other body of work. Like Hawk, Dove’s design has remained essentially unchanged over the years, apart from the whole switching from it being Don to it being Dawn. Man, that name change sure was convenient, though, right? The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 23 points of articulation. Her articulation scheme is the same as Hawk’s, but there are some pluses and minuses on the ranges of the joints. The neck joint works very well, but the elbow and mid-torso joints are definitely very restricted. Dove is based on Mattel’s second attempt at a base body. It’s definitely the stronger of the two, and it worked well for the character. She got a new head, as well as a new collar piece. I quite like the head sculpt, and I think it fits her nicely. There’s some good dynamic flow to the pony tail, which is cool. The collar piece is perhaps a touch bulky at this scale, but overall it looks pretty decent, and it actually doesn’t really impede her movement at all. Dove’s paint work is generally alright. Like Hawk, the white portions are now a light grey. Unfortunately, since the hair and collar are softer plastic, they’re also more prone to paint transfer, which has happened on my figure. Dove was packed with the waist piece for Nekron.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Series 20 of DCUC was one that wasn’t amazingly well received by fans. It being the end of the line probably didn’t help it. That said, Christian and I had really gotten into the line together, so we split a full set of figures that we ordered from Big Bad Toy Store. I took these two, as I had really enjoyed what was being done with them just before the New 52 hit. Honestly, they’re pretty straight forward, by the numbers figures, but that’s absolutely the right approach for the characters, and they turned out really well. The only downside is that they didn’t do any variants for the last set, so we never got a Don Hall Dove to round things out.