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I'll say from the start, as I've said before, that I love the Kesels' "Hawk and Dove" run, Hank and Dawn were great characters, the supporting cast was fun, they went to some interesting places and developed the concept of Hawk and Dove in ways the original series never managed.

I ALSO love themed villains, those whose obsession takes control of their lives and emerges in some warped form of criminality or lifestyle. The Riddler, the Serpent Society, hell, even the Death Throws (The Multiverse's only homicidal criminal team of... umm... jugglers)

Now even bearing both those facts in mind, I have to admit that sometimes things can be taken a little far, an amusing verbal tic becomes so irritating that you just want to scream at the people on the page to STOP IT!!

Case in point.... from 1991, Hawk and Dove

That's one heck of a melodramatic title isn't it? "Input: Action.... Output: DEATH!" (Dun-dun-DUNNNNNNN!)

Meet the Cyber Brats... )

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"Who?" I hear you ask?

Detective Arsala was a recurring character in Karl and Barbara Kesel's exemplary Hawk and Dove series in the late 80's early 90's. A member of the Washington Special Crimes Unit (If Metropolis can have a Task Force devoted to metahuman crimes, it only makes sense that Washington DC have one too, no?)

He was a fun character, an excellent police officer if a little eccentric, notably in his taste for Hawaiian shirts so garish, they'd make your eyes bleed!

Here, from Hawk and Dove #13, he's on his first date with Dove (He even wearing a suit for about the first time ever), it's not exactly standard first date small talk... He can't as her about her day, as she has a secret identity, and he spent the day examining corpses in the morgue... so they end up talking shop...
It sounds so obvious when someone else says it... )
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The Karl and Barbara Kesel run on Hawk and Dove was one of my favourite titles back in the 1990's. They oversaw the introduction of Dawn Granger as the second Dove (Who was, to be honest, FAR more interesting than Don Hall had ever been) and created as good a superhero comic as one might hope to find as well.

The Kesels are amongst the few people who seems to "get" Jack Kirby characters and concept, Karl in particular used them a lot in things like this title (and Superboy), and in a way that was usually respectful, but expanded on them in ways that Kirby never did, usually because he was already moving on to his NEXT idea.

Take the Female Furies, Granny Goodness' elite warriors; Lashina, Stompa, Bernadeth and the marvellously named Mad Harriet. In some way these ladies are a lynchpin of the DCU, an equivalent perhaps to the MU's Wrecking Crew. They're powerful, versatile, each has an awesome visual design, and together form a team which is a good, but not unbeatable, challenge for a new hero team (or single hero if they're powerful enough) to test their mettle and resourcefulness. They also have the advantage of not needing much explanatory motivation "A mission from Darkseid/Granny Goodness" covers a multitude of plot points.

And at the same time, they had a static membership for a LOOOONG time. Prior to this story they had only ever added ONE member to the team when John Ostrander introduced the archer Artemiz and her cyber-pack (Technologically enhanced Apokaliptian wolves, NOT exactly cuddly puppies).

And then we had this story, from Hawk and Dove 21, with guest art from Steve Erwin, which presents us with a...


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