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Sterling Gates Talks Hawk & Dove, the DC Revamp (Plus His Thoughts on Rob Liefeld)

What can we expect from the living avatars of War and Peace when Hawk & Dove are relaunched in September?

Hawk and Dove always seemed like a team that flew (no pun intended) under the radar. I didn't get a chance to read much of the original team of Hank and Don Hall when their stories were first published as I started reading shortly before the time of Don's death.

With the announcement of DC's new relaunched 52 titles, Hawk and Dove #1 is among the new titles we'll see on store shelves in September. Sterling Gates is teaming up with Rob Liefeld, who actually worked on the team (with Hank and Dawn Granger) early in his career.

We asked Sterling some questions to see what we can expect this Fall.

Comic Vine: What excites you about the characters Hawk & Dove?

Sterling Gates: I love the balance and the conflict that Hawk and Dove embody. One of them is a living avatar of war and the other is the living avatar of peace. What does that mean for them? Does that mean they can never agree on anything, that they’re constantly battling back and forth? Does that mean that every time they fight something, they have to come to an agreement on how they do that? Or is it more like Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, where their balance is necessary, or else one of them goes too far in either direction. A massively co-dependent relationship.

I started really thinking about that kind of thing, and then started thinking about their powers -- where they come from, what it means to be an avatar to these concepts -- and I got really excited to write.

== TEASER ==

On top of that, one of my favorite artists from my childhood is drawing the book! Rob Liefeld called and asked me to write this project for him to draw last year, so that adds a whole other layer of excitement for me. I feel very, very lucky to be working with the guy whose comics shaped a huge part of my childhood.

Hawk & Dove #2, 1988. Art by Rob Liefeld.

CV: Were you a fan of Hank & Don Hall growing up?

SG: I was! Don Hall’s death during Crisis was a big deal to me, and it was something I thought Barbara and Karl Kesel capitalized on perfectly during their run on Hawk and Dove in the late 80’s. DC did a huge crossover in 1991 called Armageddon 2001 and Hawk and Dove played a huge, HUGE role in it. I was crazy about the Hawk and Dove series, and gutted after the events of Armageddon 2001.

CV: Any plans to touch on the craziness of Armageddon 2001?

SG: Ha. No plans as of yet, but you never know!

CV: During Brightest Day, Hank acted as Dove's protector. Will we see more mention of the fact that both lost their original partners?

SG: Well, Hank losing his brother Don is such a big part of what people know about Hawk, so I think it’s absolutely worth continuing to exam. Losing not only your brother, but your partner, too, that kind of thing is going to have a huge impact on who you are. Think of a cop that loses his partner, the kind of trauma that must be and how hard it is to come to grips with that. In Hank’s case, it’s even harder, because he’s got the avatar of war fused to his soul! As a result, Hank’s constantly at war with himself, making it very hard for him to come to peace with the loss of his brother.

CV: The solicit mentions Deadman, how much will he be hanging around?

SG: Deadman and Dove are an item, but he doesn’t have a big presence in the first few issues. At the start, I really wanted the spotlight to be on Hank and Dawn and their relationship. Deadman’s definitely around, though, and will play a bigger role down the line. I’ve heard that Deadman and Dove’s relationship will be reflected in other DCU books as well!

CV: What city will Hawk and Dove be operating in?

SG: Washington, D.C. I think that city is the best place for two characters that embody the ideas of war and peace. Politics of war will come up between Hawk and his father, greatly affecting their relationship, not to mention Hawk’s relationship with Dove! Plus, Washington is an iconic American city that isn’t used very often in DCU books, so I thought it’d be a good opportunity to explore it and see how different it is in that universe versus our own.

CV: How will you and Rob be working together? (Don't both you guys live in the same area?) Has he brought over any ideas from his days drawing Hank and Dawn back in 1988?

SG: So far, we’ve just had some bigger talks about concepts and the characters. The villains in issue three were characters Rob thought up way, way back, but all he had were the names and designs. I gave them backstories and personalities and I think they’re two of the coolest villains that will be running around the DCU, post-relaunch. Rob and I are having a hell of a lot of fun on this book, too, and I sincerely hope that people pick it up in September!

We will definitely be picking it up in September! Hawk and Dove #1 is on sale September 7, 2011.

61 Comments
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Edited by rodneyrooney

First grade was hard for me

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I definitely want this, and no not just because I'm a Liefeld fan. Yes, I said it people, lol.

Posted by Thunderscream

ugh, Liefeld's proportions are atrocious.

Posted by doordoor123

Aw man. How dare Gates make me want to pick up this book! 
I was hesitant at first, but I love these characters so much. Ill have to at least try it. 
I like how theyre operating in DC.
Edited by I'maDC/ImageGuy!

Man, expect Hawk and Dove to have massive sausage legs and pouches all over their chest. Also no feet.

Posted by doordoor123
@I'maDC/ImageGuy! said:
Man, expect Hawk and Dove to have massive sausage legs and pouches all over their chest. Also no feet.

Haha yeah look at Hawk's hand in that last picture
Posted by Duo_forbidden

I just want to read this just to see the relationship between Dawn and Deadman, and the fact that Hawk and Dove didn't do much in Birds of Prey. They make a cute couple.

Posted by Jake Fury

The cover art is actually pretty decent.
Posted by keith71_98

I like it. I'm all over it.
Posted by TheMadMonkey

Hawk & Dove have always had a spot in my nerd heart. 
Having Liefeld on the art, however, is a deal-breaker. 
Plus...I'm still not convinced that "Sterling Gates" isn't a pseudonym.

Posted by RalfvdH

nope... still find the art pure crap....  sure its better than before... But thats just from crappiest to crappier... 
This is one tittle of the 52 I'll never buy....

Posted by SupremoMaximo

So did Liefeld pick this one because the characters are always flying and there's no reason for their feet to touch the ground?

Posted by I'maDC/ImageGuy!

  When comic creators were close of becoming celebrities.

Posted by G-Man

Hmm...I expected our users to actually comment on the characters involved. Doesn't appear people are bothering to actually read the interview.

Staff
Posted by LiquidSwords

@G-Man said:

Hmm...I expected our users to actually comment on the characters involved. Doesn't appear people are bothering to actually read the interview.

I thought that only happened on GB. Would love to see a reboot of these characters.

Posted by CrimsonTempest

I'd pick this book, but Liefeld on interiors is making me pause. Give me Pere Perez and then I'll pick it up.

Posted by Outside_85

Honestly I've never seen the appeal in these two, one is a pacifist meaning she wont be doing much (on paper) and the other is only a little short of a berserker. 
 
But i guess this has most to do with Hank, who i never really liked, partially because i end up seeing him as a clone of Hawkman, who i also never liked....And that i much preferred Holly and was pretty steamed she had to die just so Hank could come back, the same way about Garth having to die to make way for Jackson. 
 
Also i didn't get why the Doves had any effect on the Black Lanterns... mysticism and science does not mesh.

Posted by CraftyArrow

To me the only Dove is Don Hall wish they would bring him back. He would have a heart attack if he could see how the world is today.   
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

I'll give this the in-store flip test. But if I see any characters with Youngblood's disease, then no dice.

Posted by I'maDC/ImageGuy!
@Emperor Gonzo Noir: Rob's artwork has improved past YBD.....though that still isn't saying much.
Posted by Wattup

Hey, shouldn't Rob be working on Image United? 8 )

Posted by turoksonofstone
@Wattup said:
Hey, shouldn't Rob be working on Image United? 8 )
Posted by Lone_Killer

I hope those villains don't have the words "blood" and/or "gun" in their names.

Posted by Video_Martian

Not a fan at all of these characters, but seeing that this is a #1 issue, I MIGHT consider picking this up, but I dunno...

Posted by maxicere

I want Liefeld out of this comic...

Edited by goldenkey

This sucks that Liefeld is drawing this.  That means that Everyone is going to look like Cable and Shattstar. This is garbage news.  I was kind of hoping that Don Hall would be brought back too.  I don't mind the Granger chic, but after seeing the JL Unlimited episode with Hank and Don I always wanted him back.  They also gave Hawk those dumb ass gloves again.
Posted by ruckus24

I don't think I've ever read anything Sterling Gates has written, but I tend to be wary of anyone who says, "One of my favorite artists from my childhood" and "Rob Liefeld" in the same breath.

Posted by The Impersonator

I'm sensing Armageddon 2011 here.

Posted by Henrypm

they should friends with benefits or lovers
Posted by Henrypm

they should be friends with benefits or lovers
Edited by I'maDC/ImageGuy!
@The Impersonator:
http://www.amazon.com/Armageddon-Now-World-War-III/dp/160706037X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Posted by Darkmount1

Seriously, and I'm not on either side here, but has there been anything of Rob Liefeld's that ANY of you here ACTUALLY like? What has he done that was good?
Posted by hitechlolife

I'm glad they're going to continue to explore Dove and Deadman. That was easily the most enjoyable subplot from Brightest Day. In-fact I'll probably add this one to the already intimidating pull list just to see where it goes.

Posted by niamahai

Is that '98 cover Rob Liefeld best cover work?

Posted by triangle

i like to have a  Rob Liefeld  drawing up with the adage how not to draw.

Posted by Mbecks14

Bleh. Still so disinterested. 
 
Liefield has improved, but not to the point where i enjoy looking at his art.

Posted by Tempest55

I'm still waiting for the the Rob Liefeld and Uwe Boll team up to happen.
That will be the end of us all...
 
Hitler and Mussolina ain't got crap on these gangsta's ^

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

i am not a big hawk and dove fan but I might give this a shot if I hear good reviews on it

Posted by Mumbles

his 1988 hawk and dove looks better then his 2011 version. his should swipe from himself

Posted by WickedJester
@G-Man: I read the interview. However, that last image has a hand that is ATROCIOUS! Even disgusting. Someone said that it went from "crappiest" to "crappier." However, I prefer from "bad" to "mediocre." I'm interested in the book but, like most fellow comic book readers, the art needs to at least have some semblance of human. I know superheroes are totally made up and, etc., etc., blah blah blah. The art sucks. Sorry. It just sucks. Sigh. I really wish I had more to say and definitely something better. I cannot. I don't like the guy's art. Dan Didio was recently quoted with saying that any book that's not selling well will be cancelled. I hope Mr. Liefeld does better work than in the past and that cancellation doesn't happen to this book first. I may be asking for the impossible, though.
Posted by lapis2

I cant say enough about how bad Liefields art is uugg!

Posted by DeawonCDelaney

I guarantee Hawk gets a Big A$$ gun shoulder pads, and every time he talks  it looks like he is yelling. 

Posted by Mercy_
@RedheadedAtrocitus
I definitely want this, and no not just because I'm a Liefeld fan. Yes, I said it people, lol.
O_o
Liefeld is the reason I WONT be buying this, which is saying a lot, as I'm a pretty big Hawk and Dove and Sterling Gates fan.
Moderator
Posted by Maki_P

I should actually read this solicits, I didn't know Rob Liefeld still worked; and Sterling called him "his favorite artist" yeah, I don't need to tell you where my interest for this book went

Posted by JonesDeini
@RedheadedAtrocitus said:
I definitely want this, and no not just because I'm a Liefeld fan. Yes, I said it people, lol.
And on this day we parted ways...peace was never an option!!!! :P
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus
@The Dark Huntress Sorry, been a Liefeld fan ever since the early 90s Image days and to this date I still enjoy him despite all his shortcomings, lol. Unfortunately I just can't get Hawk and Dove because I have a budget.
 
@JonesDeini: Haha you'll be back...I'm too darn likeable for you to part ways with! ;)
Posted by Mercy_

@RedheadedAtrocitus: I feel so sad for you.

Moderator
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus
@The Dark Huntress: Darn I feel like a pariah now when you say that, lol
Posted by Mercy_

@RedheadedAtrocitus: Nah, I think we all have that one artist/writer/creator that we really like who almost everybody else seems to hate. For me it's Greg Land. I love his older stuff like Phoenix Endsong, looking at youtube videos of that is part of what pushed me into reading comics and Endsong was one of the first things I read.

Moderator
Posted by JonesDeini
@RedheadedAtrocitus:  
True, mi amigo, we agree on far to much, you charming devil you!
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