Judge Irwin Hall, the father of the Hall brothers, was almost killed after a local mob boss (Mr. Dargo) upset with his ruling tried to kill him. Don and his brother Hank went after the mob boss, both with different intentions, but became trapped inside a room. Unable to escape Don made a wish for the power to free themselves and continue their pursuit. Don's plea was answered by a loud and mysterious voice (later revealed to be the Lord of Chaos T'Charr and Terataya Lord of Order) that agreed to bestow the brothers with the power they requested if they promised to use their abilities to fight crime and bring about justice. The brothers agreed and by saying "hawk" and "dove" they then transformed into the superheros of the same name. Don, the more peaceful brother became Dove, while his temperamental brother became Hawk.
After catching the mob boss and saving their father, they changed back into their normal selves and returned to see the judge. To their surprise, their father wasn't happy to see the superheroes, as the judge was adamantly opposed to superheros and how they dealt out vigilante justice, the brothers elected to keep their identities secret from the judge.
The costumed brothers continue to fight crime together, and eventually join up with the Teen Titans West. However, after a while with the group, both Don and his brother decide to retire from the superhero life and focus on their educations.
The character of Don Hall was created for use in DC Comics by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates. His first appearance came in Showcase #75, and his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12. When both Ditko and Skeates each became dissatisfied over the direction of one of the Hall brothers (Don being too much of a wuss, and Hank being too violent and crazy), they both leave Hawk and Dove's own series, and Gil Kane eventually took over as writer for the superhero duo's last issue.
Don Hall's superhero name, Dove, is supposed to describe how the character's approach and disposition towards crime and criminals, whereas his brother Hawk is more aggressive and violent, Dove could be described as a pacifist who felt disputes could be solved peacefully and without harm. Don believed in order and justice,which happened to be in stark opposition to his Hawk's views of using violence and force to fight crime. Don Hall has also been labeled a Liberal superhero for his stance on crime.
Major Story Arcs
Crisis on Infinite Earths
During the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Dove and Hawk end their retirement and join back up with the Teen Titans, as well as the many other heroes that traveled back in time to repair reality. Upon fixing and reforming reality, Hawk and Dove are involved in the battle against the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons. In the course of the fight and while helping innocent people get to safety, Dove sees a single child all alone in a window. Despite Hawk urging him not to, Dove goes to rescue the child; however, upon getting the child down and to safety Dove is killed and vaporized by a Shadow Demon that attacked him from behind.
To honor Dove's bravery and sacrifice a statue is erected as part of the memorial outside of the Titans Tower. Despite Dove's death, Hawk continues fighting crime by himself; yet, without Dove's more liberal stance and control fighting crime, Hawk begins to lose control, becomes too violent and many other superheros start to believe Hawk is doing more harm than good.
A New Dove Flies
When Dawn Granger assumed the mantle of Dove, Don's ghost would periodically appear to her to offer support and guidance.
The Blackest Night
During Blackest Night, as multiple corpses are being revived by Black Lantern Ring's, more than a few of them attempt to possess the corpse of Don Hall but are unsuccessful due to an invisible barrier, this is the first time a Black Lantern Ring fails to bring a corpse to the Black Lantern Corps. As opposed to the usual command when a Black Lantern Ring revived a corpse of "rise", the rings rather spoke that "Don Hall of Earth at peace."
Don's spirit later goes to the Titans Tower to seek help against the Black Lanterns but finds that it is being attacked by Titans turned by Black Lantern Rings. Dawn Granger is knocked unconscious in the ensuing battle and has a vision of Don Hall, he instructs her to not give up on Hank as she can still save him.
Not long after Blackest Night, In the course of Brightest Day, Hank Hall and Dawn Granger meet up with Deadman and try to convince him to bring Don back to life but are unsuccessful.
The New 52
Hawk and Dove is relaunched as part of The New 52, Don Hall is still shown to be Dove before the series began but his death during the Crisis is eluded to. Via a connection to Don known only to Deadman, Dawn, and Don, Dawn Granger immediately is given the mantle of Dove
Powers and Abilities
Don Hall is given many powers by the Lords of Order when he transforms into the superhero Dove. As Dove he has basic hand to hand combat training. Can sense danger, but he will automatically transform even if he doesn't sense danger. After a certain amount of time Don will revert back to his human form unless his form has sustained life threatening injuries, in which case his body would remain as Dove until his injuries were repaired. The one instance Don can remain as Dove for extended periods of time is on worlds that are rich in magic.
Dove can also detect certain emotions of those around him, such as their motivations. Flight is another power, after honing his skills and learning how to glide first. Superhuman agility, on par of speedster type characters, is an ability of Dove. Furthermore, no matter what Dove will always land on his feet, even if he is knocked over by someone or something else, or flies upside down.
Additionally, Dove possesses incredible durability while wearing his costume. The costume isn't impervious but it does greatly lessen any and all damage the wearer takes. Gun shots are shown to harm Dove but not pierce his skin. Also, Dove heals much faster than a normal person. Knife wounds, gun shot wounds, scraps, and scars are all able to heal within a matter of hours.
Lastly, Dove has superhuman senses, even a slight precognition ability where he can see and understand what is coming in the immediate future. Many of Don's powers and abilities while as Dove seem to have carried over and in some cases been greatly enhanced when he died.
He and his brother make a small cameo appearance in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, written by Frank Miller. They are long since retired and share a Manhattan apartment, both are elderly and out of shape. The two banter back and forth with Hawk wanting to suit back up in their old superhero costumes but Dove stating all they did was argue.
Justice League Unlimited
Voiced by Jason Hervey and Fred Savage, the original Hawk and Dove appeared in an episode of Justice League Unlimited titled "Hawk and Dove". Wonder Woman asks them for their help in stopping the god of war Ares from inciting a war in Kazina. Dove's pacifist style is mostly to credit in their being successful, as the Annihilator was powered by rage, which is the direct opposite of Don's peacefulness.
Don (along with Hank) also appears in the series finale episode titled "Destroyer". The brothers fight alongside other members of the Justice League such as Captain Atom, the Creeper, and The Question, against Parademons.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Hawk and Dove also show up in the episode "When OMAC Attacks!" for the series Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Voiced by Greg Ellis and Dee Bradley Baker, they assist Batman and stop an intergalactic war from getting out of hand between The Controllers and the Warlords of Okaara. Their stances on dealing with problems comes to light, with Hawk proclaiming that violence is needed to stop people, and Dove wanting to be a diplomat and talk things through.
In the episode "The Siege of Starro!", Starro manages to take over the minds and bodies of Hank and Don, in addition to other heroes. Eventually Starro is defeated and the brothers are returned to their normal state.