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Hawk I

Alias: Hank Hall

Titans Member
Teen Titans (first series) #25 [1970]
Related Links: Dove I (Don Hall)Dove II (Dawn Granger)
• Hawk II & Dove III (Sasha & Wiley) • Hawk III (Holly Granger)
• Captain Brian ‘Sal’ Arsala • Ren Takamori
• Kyle Spencer and Donna Cabot • KestrelHawk & Dove: Titans & Origins •

Hawk Quick Bio: The Lords of Chaos and Order mysteriously granted powers to teen brothers Hank and Don Hall. Pacifist Don became Dove while aggressive Hank became Hawk – both balancing the scales between might and right. When Don was killed in battle, Hank found a new Dove in the pragmatic Dawn Granger.

Recent File Photo:

Archived File Photos (in chronological order):


War And Peace

Hank Hall and his brother Don were as opposite as brothers could be. Hank was brash and aggressive, with a talent for athletics. He lorded this over his brother, whose talents were more intellectual. Although they could often be each other’s most ardent adversaries, Hank and Don were extremely close and Hank was very protective of his younger brother.

By his teens, Hank grew to be fiercely proud of America’s role in world events, and firmly believed in the policy of dealing with Communist regimes from a position of strength.

Irwin Hall, a prominent superior court judge, often lectured his sons on seeing both sides of an issue, not just making judgments from their respective conservative (Hank) and liberal (Don) views. He tried to make them realize that justice requires balance, not single-mindedness.

The Mysterious Voice grants Don and Hank Hall incredible
powers in SHOWCASE #75 [1968].

During Hank’s senior year in high school Hank and Don were visiting Judge Hall at work when an assassination attempt was made on their father Hank and Don followed the would-be assassin to a warehouse hideout. Climbing inside to eavesdrop, Hank and Don became locked in a room where they listened helplessly to the mob’s plans to kill their father, they wished they had some sort of power to save him. Their plea was answered by a mysterious mingling of voices who offered them superpowers if they each would just “say the word.”

The voices belonged to T’Charr, a Lord of Chaos, and Terataya, a Lord of Order. Even though the forces of Order and Chaos were eternal enemies, these two Lords had fallen in love. They wanted to prove to their fellow Lords the benefit of Order and Chaos’ working together in balance and found two likely candidates for this purpose in Hank and Don Hall, creating Hawk and Dove.

Hank was named Hawk to reflect his aggressive personality. Whenever danger was present, he could say “Hawk” and trigger the magical change into Hawk. Once the danger was gone, Hawk quickly reverted to Hank. Hawk’s clothing appeared out of nowhere and spread quickly across his body, completely replacing whatever Hank was wearing.

The origin of Hawk & Dove! In SHOWCASE #75 [1968].

The avian avengers contained the criminal element in their home town of Elmond, but from differing and extremist ideologies. Hawk tended to charge into battle with fists flailing first, asking questions later, if at all. Seeing violence as an abhorrent last resort in resolving any dilemma, the Dove was the pensive member of the partnership, who tried to use brains rather than brawn to defeat their opponents. And while his quiet reason was often a welcome alternative to the Hawk’s quick-tempered reactionism, his indecisiveness in action made him somewhat less than effective as a crimebuster.

The running verbal battles between the two heroes were further complicated when their father, Judge Irwin Hall, publicly and privately disapproved of the Hawk and the Dove as lawless vigilantes.

Birds Of A Feather

Hawk and Dove first crossed paths with the original Teen Titans when the brothers and the Fab Foursome were pursuing the the criminal cadre headed by the “Fat Man.” All the Titans except for Wonder Girl found Hawk much too abrasive. In particular, a jealous Speedy wanted to wring Hank’s neck for flirting with Wonder Girl, even after Hawk saved his life.

Hawk & Dove meet the Teen Titans in TEEN TITANS #21 [1969].

On a vacation trip to New York, the duo attended a peace rally with the Teen Titans, during which a riot broke out. The ensuing carnage resulted in the death of Dr. Arthur Swenson, a crusader for world peace. The Titans, feeling responsible, vowed never to use their powers again, and joined a top secret project run by a Mr. Jupiter, the world’s richest philanthropist. Hank and Don joined the project as well, relinquishing their super-powered identities in favor of gray jumpsuits to further demonstrate the break with their old ways. As Robin solved the Swenson case, Hawk and Dove went on reserve status in order to devote more time to protecting their “home turf.”

The Teen Titans get real in TEEN TITANS #25 [1970].

After the Teen Titans’ first dissolution, Hank enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on an aircraft carrier called the U.S.S. Tippecanoe, while Don transferred to a college on the West Coast. When Mr. Esper raised the U.S.S. Tippecanoe into the air, it brought the West Coast teenage heroes out of the woodwork and laid the foundation for Titans West, which both Hawk and Dove joined at its inception. It was at this time that Dove entered into a brief romantic relationship with Titan psychic, Lilith Clay.

The East and West Titans teams eventually joined forces and defeated Mr. ESPer, who was also doubling his destructive efforts as Captain Calamity. When Robin turned a blind eye to the West Coast members, Hawk jumped at the chance to lead them. Unfortunately, Hank’s temperament did not fit this role, and the group disbanded not long after.

Meanwhile, T’Charr and Terataya saw that the brother bond they’d expected to help prove their point was instead under- mining the experiment by causing Don to be too deferential to his more volatile sibling. They shunted Dove’s power from Don Hall to an untainted vessel, Dawn Granger. Unfortunately, Don, as Dove, was rescuing some children from a collapsing building at the time, and died.

The tragedy of Dove’s death still haunts his brother – as seen
in HAWK & DOVE (mini series) #1 [1988].

Dawn Of A New Dove

Without the balancing effect of Dove, Hawk had less control over his chaotic tendencies. He soon was dismissed from the Titans’ reserve list and blacklisted in twelve countries. He was eventually tracked down by the new Dove, who suggested they become a team.

The aggressive crimefighter bristled at the idea of a new Dove and became obsessed with learning the “imposter’s” dual identity. Hardly known for his deductive reasoning, Hawk became convinced feisty Georgetown University student Ren Takamori was secretly Dove. Hawk impulsively transformed into Hank before her eyes in an attempt to force Ren to transform in turn. He only succeeded in revealing his own secret identity to a shocked Ren. This forced Dawn Granger to reveal herself as Dove, forging a fast partnership to quell chaotic Kestrel’s rampage.

At first, Hawk resents the new Dove in HAWK & DOVE (mini series) #2 [1988].

After some initial – and violent – protests, Hawk came to accept the new Dove, seeing her not as a usurper but as someone who would carry on his brother’s work. With Dove’s return, Hawk’s chaotic side was once again in check.

Meanwhile, Ren Takamori, trusted with Hawk’s secret identity, became an ally in concealing his dual identity from his fellow Georgetown undergrads. That was partly due to the fact that she was falling hopelessly in love the with the loveable lunkhead, although Hank was slow responding to Ren’s obviously flirtations. With Ren’s persistence, the couple did eventually did spark a romantic relationship. There were, of course, various obstacles along the way. At one time, the Kestrel force possessed Ren and spirited Hawk and Dove to the mystical land of Druspa Tau. There, Ren was freed of the Kestrel force, as Hank and Dawn uncovered the mysteries of their own origins.

Discovering their true forms in mystical Druspa Tau,
Hank and Dawn learn the secrets of their origins in
HAWK & DOVE(second series) #17 [1990].

The avian duo met Terataya, the Lord of Order who gave Dove her powers, and T’Charr, the Lord of Chaos who gave Hawk his. These two Lords had fallen in love and revealed that Hawk and Dove were experimental spells cast by the pair to prove that the two conflicting mystic houses could work together fatally injured during that adventure, the two Lords of Order and Chaos gave the remainder of their essences to make the Hawk and Dove spells permanent. This merging gave both Hawk and Dove enhanced powers. It also left Dawn wondering if Hawk and Dove were meant to fall in love as their creators had.

Once back in Georgetown, Ren was worried that that Dawn and Hank were destined to be lovers in order to produce a child of perfect unity. Hank eventually put her concerns to rest and their relationship continued to deepen. But the bliss shared by these lovebirds was ultimately short-lived, as Monarch’s approach was imminent.

The Madness of Monarch

When the mysterious power-mad Monarch arrived from the future, he sought to ensure his own origins. During the battle against Earth’s heroes, Monarch kidnapped Dove and used his teleportational ability to steal an odd array of equipment. Standing atop a hilly glen, Monarch proceeded to build a powerful device that would subjugate the Earth the earth to his will. By this time, Hawk tracked them down and when Dove tried to stop Monarch, the villain seemingly killed her.

Hawk and Dove were always destined to be two sides of the same force, and they needed each other to maintain stability. With Dove dead, there was no one who could keep Hawk’s mind in check no one to stop him from slipping into chaos. And in a rage, Hawk killed Monarch – learning that he himself was the madman behind the mask.

Now completely over the edge, Hank Hall accepted what he saw as his destiny. Donning the mad despot’ s armor, Hall completed the time loop and assumed the role of Monarch in the present. Initially defeated by the heroes, Monarch traveled through the timestream and manipulated events to serve his own needs. In one false timeline, he created an army of Team Titans that would later act as his own sleeper agents.

ABOVE: A chain of events is set into motion as Hank Hall
becomes Monarch in ARMAGEDDON: 2001 #2 [1991].

BELOW: Extant’s manipulations of the
Team Titans unfold in ZERO HOUR [1994]

Extant at Zero Hour

Stealing the chronal energies of Waverider, the Monarch evolved into the time-warping Extant. He joined the former Green Lantern Hal Jordan – now the power-mad Parallax – to hasten the breakdown of time and create an entirely new reality of their own design at the most literal Ground Zero. Extant used his own time manipulations to hasten this scheme, activating his Team Titans as sleeper agent assassins. The plan was ultimately thwarted, as the heroes were able to extinguish Extant’s aberrant timelines and restart the universe in a cosmic big bang.

Extant returned to plague the heroes, trying to manipulate time to further his own power-mad goals. A later encounter with the Justice Society at last put his schemes; Atom Smasher was still reeling over his mother’s tragic death, who perished in a plane crash engineered by the terrorist group, Korba. He eventually placed Extant on that same plane – in place of his mother – mere moments before it exploded. This closed a time loop and resulted in the death of Extant.

Brighter Days

With chaos once again in check, Dawn Granger – the second Dove – mysteriously returned to the land of the living. Her apparent “death” was actually part of a larger plan by the sinister sorcerer, Mordru. The evil Mordru saved Dawn and created a concealment spell so she would appear dead. Mordru knew the offspring of Hawk and Dove would create a being of perfect balance between Order and Chaos – and he planned to one day use that vessel for his own evil ends.

Dawn quickly found the new Hawk in an unlikely yet familiar form: her own younger sister, the fiery-tempered Holly Granger. The avian duo made their mark as the latest Hawk & Dove, even assisting the Titans in battle on several occasions. Sadly, this sisterly partnership was ultimately short-lived. During the cosmic event known as The Blackest Night, the dead were imbued with Black Lantern energy and proceeded to attack and torment the living. Hank Hall rose from the dead, controlled by the evil Nekron, and murdered Holly Granger before her sister’s own eyes.

Hank Hall is resurrected by a mysterious white light
in BLACKEST NIGHT #8 [2010].

But on the heels of this tragedy, there was a ray of hope. Before Nekron could return everything back to the black void, a burst of white light put an end to this scheme – resurrecting twelve fallen heroes and villains in the process. Now mysterious restored to life, Hank Hall has rejoined Dawn Granger – allowing the Hawk and Dove team to fly again.

Powers & Abilities

AS HAWK: As Hawk, his magical transformation give him enhanced strength, endurance, intelligence and agility. Hank’s powers are extensions and amplifications of traits he already possesses. Hawk has super-strength, faster-than-human speed, and a heightened body density which renders him almost invulnerable. As Hawk, he also heals incredibly quickly and cannot revert to Hank or his wounds or some other condition would be fatal to Hank. Hawk fights offensively, always on the attack, and is easily enraged.

AS MONARCH: Even without his armor, Monarch is an above-average being with great strength, speed, and skill. Hank Hall was given special abilities by the Lords of Order and Chaos and at this time, neither force has interfered with Hank’s destiny as Monarch. As Monarch, Hank uses a suit of armor designed in the 21st Century for power and intimidation. The armor is a marvel, filled with all sorts of armaments including energy blasts and a teleportational device that allows him to move great distances in the wink of an eye. Monarch is ruthless and quite insane, making him one of the most dangerous human beings on Earth.

AS EXTANT: Extant has mastery and control over time, allowing him to travel to various eras at any time. He also has enhanced strength and durability, and chronal blasts, that can age or de-age its victims.

Essential Reading

Showcase #75 [1966]: A mysterious Voice grants two teenager brothers powers, one a pacifist and the other an aggressor. First appearance and origins of Hawk & Dove.
Teen Titans #21 [1969]: On the trail of the criminals (from the previous issue), the Titans run afoul of the Hawk and the Dove, who are after the same gang for different reasons.
Teen Titans #25-29 [1970]: The Teen Titans meet Lilith and are soon framed for killing Dr. Arthur Swenson, a famous philanthropist and pacifist; After being reprimanded for their part in the killing by their Justice League mentors, the young heroes are recruited, through Lilith, by Mr. Jupiter, one of the world’s richest men and the financier of a secret government-sponsored training project for teenagers. Robin declines Mr. Jupiter’s offer in order to pursue his own career and attend college, but Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy, Hawk, and Dove, together with Lilith, become students in the new program, forsaking their costumes and superpowers for the duration. Hawk and Dove join the Titans in issue #25. Their responsibilities in Elmond force them to quit in issue #29.
Teen Titans #50-52 [1976]: Titans West, comprised of Golden Eagle, Flamebird, Hawk, Dove and Beast Boy, is formed by Lilith; Captain Calamity/Mr. Esper battles the two Titan groups; Lilith and her “Titans West” group, including Gnarrk, rescue victims of more incredible disasters, and discover a connection between these events and the crimes of Captain Calamity on the East Coast. Robin and the Titans’ “first team” defeat Captain Calamity’s henchmen. First appearance of Titans West in issue #50.
Brave & The Bold #181 [1979]: Both disillusioned with life in the 1980s and its failure to live up to the expectations of either of their personal philosophies, Hank and Don are forced to change with the times when the Voice returns to strip them of their powers until such time as they prove worthy of them. This story is features out-of-continuity ‘older’ versions of characters. Next appearance in Tales of the Teen Titans #50.
Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 [1985]: The heroes rally against the forces of the Anti-Monitor, including his Shadow-Demons. As Hawk and Dove help civilians, Dove is overcome by a Shadow-Demon. Death of Dove.
New Teen Titans (second series) #20-21 [1986]: In Switzerland, the villainous Cheshire resurfaces and battles Wonder Girl’s “new” Titans, including Hawk; Hawk is out for blood, and Wonder Girl stops him from needlessly killing one of Cheshire’s henchmen; Cheshire comes face to face with Speedy and informs him that he is the father of her child. Cheshire fakes an assassination attempt for the Church of Blood, battles the Titans, and escapes.
Hawk & Dove (mini series) #1-5 [1988]: Hawk encounters a woman claiming to be the new Dove. At first suspicious, he learns to trust her as she reveals her identity as Dawn Granger, a fellow student. The new team defeats Kestrel and decide to remain a team. First new Dove, Dawn Granger in issue #1.
Hawk & Dove (second series) #14-17 [1989]:
Hawk and Dove meet Terataya, the Lord of Order who gave Dove her powers, and T’Charr, the Lord of Chaos who gave Hawk his. These two Lords had fallen in love and revealed that Hawk and Dove were experimental spells cast by the pair to prove that the two conflicting mystic houses could work together. True natures and origins of Hawk & Dove revealed.
Secret Origins Annual #3 [1989]: Dick Grayson’s dream are invaded by the Antithesis, who seeks to break Dick’s spirit so that he will remain in Limbo; Dick survives with the help of old and new Titans alike. The Special gives a post-Crisis history of the Titans, including some revamps and revisions. Includes: First Appearance of Flame-Bird (Post-Crisis ret-con of Bat-Girl); First Appearance of Herald (Post Crisis Ret-con of Hornblower and Guardian); First Appearance of Golden Eagle’s new costume; Includes Who’s Who entries for Flamebird, Golden Eagle, Bumblebee, The Herald, Antithesis, and Gargoyle.
Hawk & Dove Annual (second series) # 1 [1990]: featured a brief reunion of Titans West. A mysterious note to Dawn Granger leads to Hawk and Dove teaming up with the old Titans West crew, with Hawk, Dove, Flamebird, Bumblebee, Mal, Golden Eagle and Chris “Dial H” King forming a rag-tag Titans West team. Flamebird suggested reforming the team, but no one was interested.
Armageddon 2001 #1-2 and Related Annuals [May-October, 1991]: ln the year 2001, all of Earth’s heroes perished, slain by one of their own. The aftermath was order imposed under the omnipresent gaze of Monarch, whose true identity was lost to history. But rebellion blossomed in Matthew Ryder, catapulted through time in order to deliver Monarch the means to maintain his well-crafted future. Transfigured by the time stream, Ryder emerged in the past as the chronally-charged Waverider and attempted to undo Monarch’s reality by revealing the possible futures of heroes likely to become the despot. Paradoxically, Monarch followed, murdering the heroine Dove in order to goad the brash Hawk, his own youthful self, into slaying him in revenge. Thus Hawk became Monarch! And armed with a formidable neutron bomb, the now-youthful Monarch battled Earth’s combined heroes, including Captain Atom, who absorbed the weapon’s life-destroying radiation and pursued the tyrant through time, thwarting his machinations. Hawk becomes Monarch in Armageddon 2001 #2. Death of Dove II in Armageddon 2001 #2.
Showcase ’94 #9 [1994]: “Sum: Zero” Monarch is transformed into Extant.
Zero Hour: Crisis In Time #4-0 [1994]: Extant tries to reshape reality with Parallax. Team Titans are revealed as Monarch’s sleeper agents.
Team Titans #24 [1994]: Monarch is revealed as the leader of the Team Titans.
JSA #11-15 [2000]: Extant faces off against the JSA. Atom Smasher substitutes Extant to die in place of his mother. Death of Extant.
Blackest Night: Titans #1-3 [2009]: Black Lantern Titans are descending together onto Titans Island… as the Titans are confronted with their deceased allies and loved ones, including Robert Long, Terry Long, Terra, and Hawk. The undead Hank Hall, once Hawk, slays his successor, Holly Granger. Meanwhile, Dawn Granger realizes her abilities as Dove somehow connect her to a powerful white light. Death of Holly Granger in issue #1.
Blackest Night #1-8 [2009-2010]: As the War between the different colored Lantern Corps rages on, the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends. Ultimately, it’s up to the Green Lantern Corps to lead DC’s greatest champions in a battle to save the Universe from an army of undead Black Lanterns made up of fallen heroes and villains. Soon, it is revealed the evil Nekron orchestrated the events, in a plan to return everything back to the black void. But a burst of white light puts an end to this scheme – resurrecting twelve fallen heroes and villains in the process. Deadman. Hawkman. Hawkgirl. Reverse-Flash. Maxwell Lord. Captain Boomerang. Aquaman. Firestorm. Martian Manhunter. Hawk. Osiris. Jade. All of them brought back for mysterious reasons that would later be revealed. Hank Hall resurrected in issue #8.


Creating Hawk & Dove

The central conflict of their own series,came not from the heroes’ battles with the criminal element in their home town of Elmond, but from their differing and extremist ideologies, which had led to the Voice’s bestowing upon them their particular heroic identities. Hank Hall, the elder brother by not more than a year, was a militant, believing in physical force as a solution to problems, especially those encountered as a super-hero. As the Hawk, he tended to charge into battle with fists flailing first, and to ask questions later, if at all. His only uncertainty in his heroic role came from the fact that while his strength and agility had been dramatically increased, he still had to contend with a fear of heights, a phobia unaffected in the transformation to his costumed persona. Don Hall, the younger brother, tended to socialize with the young collegiate crowd who could more easily appreciate his philosophy of pacifism.

Seeing violence as an abhorrent last resort in resolving any dilemma, the Dove was the pensive member of the partnership, who tried to use brains rather than brawn to defeat their opponents. His major problem was that his very ideals gave him grave doubts about the entire idea of being a super-hero, and while his quiet reason was often a welcome alternative to the Hawk’s quick-tempered reactionism, his indecisiveness in action made him somewhat less than effective as a crime-buster. The running verbal battles between the two heroes were further complicated when their father, Irwin Hall, a tough-minded but highly respected judge, who was unaware of his sons’ secret identities, publicly and privately disapproved of the Hawk and the Dove as lawless vigilantes, taking the duties of the appointed police into their own hands without official sanction. Judge Hall’s views provided a middle-of-the-road alternative to the extreme and totally opposed beliefs of the two heroes.

The unique art of Steve Ditko gave HAWK & DOVE a certain intensity,
as seen in their origin story, in SHOWCASE #75 [1968]

A Carmine Infantino Interview from Comic Book Artist Magazine #1, 2000

CBA: It seems that you dealt with just about every single issue except Vietnam.

Carmine: We did in a way with The Hawk and the Dove-only we made it as a Super-hero strip.

CBA: Did you deal at all with Steve Ditko?

Carmine: Yeah, Steve came up to see me and I liked him. He’s very opinionated, but that’s Steve. He did a couple of books for me but they didn’t sell. He could draw, this man!

CBA: Do you remember the genesis of that idea?

Carmine: That was mine. It didn’t work. I had Steve Ditko come in and I threw the idea at him. I called one the Hawk and the other the Dove. It was a clever idea and Steve wrote it and drew it but it didn’t work. In those days, we were not afraid to try anything. That was my promise over there, to just try. I didn’t care what the hell they were about, just try ’em all. Keep trying. It’s the only way you’re going to find winners-and we did and I think we had a good time.

A Dick Giordano Interview from Comic Book Artist Magazine #1, 2000

CBA: You were with The Hawk and the Dove and Beware the Creeper right at their inception.

Dick: Actually, I came in as editor right in the middle of The Hawk and the Dove story in Showcase. Steve Ditko already had the rough plot worked out. Steve Skeates worked from that plot and came up with a script. The Showcase was okay because Steve followed basically what Ditko wanted him to do. But from that point on it was terrible for them both.

The basic idea for The Hawk and the Dove was Steve Ditko’s and that concept was a triangle; father as the moderate and the extremes represented by the two kids, and all the other things were put together to make that triangle work. The powers were discussed secondly. The “hawk and the dove” was, at that time, a term that was being used very often, was very popular and referred to where people stood regarding the Vietnam War; there were hawks and there were doves. These two boys represented such extreme opposites we thought that in order for it to work we had to offset both of their extremes, so we used their father, the judge, to be the third part of that triangle. That was the original idea that we started off with. Their names, Hank for Hawk, Don for Dove, were chosen to make everything clear. It was simple and clear; almost a parable. I’m not sure where Skeates fit in there but I think he leaned towards Hank.

Ditko would pretty much eliminate whatever was in Steve Skeates’ scripts that he didn’t feel belonged there. At that point, I think that Ditko’s agenda was more the furthering of his philosophical views than writing and drawing entertaining stories. Mr. A, which immediately followed, illustrates that point to some degree. I have no problem with his beliefs – whether I believe in them or not is irrelevant – I just don’t think that comic books per se are the proper vehicle for a forum. I don’t think we should promote the existence or non-existence of God.


A Steve Skeates Interview from Comic Book Artist Magazine #5, 1999

CBA: What was the genesis of The Hawk and the Dove?

Steve: It was developed by committee. There was Dick [Giordano], Carmine [Infantino], [Steve] Ditko and me. Carmine came up with the title and he attended all the meetings. Part of the concept was to directly appeal to, I don’t know, the counter-culture. My main contribution was that they had to say their names to change into the characters.

They were trying to come up with a “Shazam,” a magic word and I said, Why don’t we have them just say their character names?” They went along with that. I also created the community in which they lived, the college town. Steve Ditko came up with the major concepts, the costumes, the powers, the characters – just about everything. The judge was definitely his idea.

CBA: Were there changes made in your stories?

Steve: It was strange. A lot of changes would happen after I turned in a script. Quite often, my idea of what to do with the Dove was have him do brave stuff – and then it would be changed by either Dick or Steve into the Hawk doing that stuff.

They’d say it was out of character for the Dove. They seemed to be equating Dove with wimp, wuss, coward or whatever. And I don’t really think it was because they were more hawkish. I just don’t think that they knew what a dove was. There was all sorts of problems along those lines but since I was doing it from a distance – I was upstate living on a college campus, which is why I made it a college town – so, basically any complaint I had would be after the fact. As a matter of fact, [Steve] Ditko and Denny [O’Neil] would have more fights over Beware the Creeper than I had with Steve over The Hawk and the Dove.

That’s because Denny was right there and would go in, complain and yell at Dick or Steve. What could l do long distance? Complain about the book after it was published? Fait accompli. There were all sorts of problems with the Showcase issue. Although a lot of people have said that they really like that issue I think a major problem with it was that Dick was trying to please the Comics Code.

One of the rules was that you couldn’t question authority so every time I had the Dove say something against the U.S. government, Dick would change that to some sort of nebulous “they.” To me it comes off as terribly written with a lot of pronouns without any nouns that they are referring back to.

CBA: Was it more comfortable working on the title after Steve [Ditko] left?

Steve: Once Steve left and Gil Kane came in I tried to bring the conflict to a head and change the direction of the book by making the Dove such a loser that he had to change. Gil never understood where the characterization was going and thought I was a raving hawk myself. I felt that the only way to solve the problem that had been set up in the series was to take it to its absolute worst and bring Dove to the breaking point and bring him back up from there.

That was where I was going but the book didn’t stay around long enough to do that.

CBA: Why did Steve leave the book?

Steve: From what I understand, Steve left because he was sick. That is what I was told.

CBA: You had a reputation as DC’s resident hippie. I was surprised to realize that worked on them.

Steve: I had people like Roger Brand, who was working in under-grounds, meet me and say, “Gee, you’re not the raving hawk I thought you were. Because he thought I was from reading those books. The first book I wrote full script, and then Ditko redid it, extending some scenes and cutting out others. So then I had to go back and do it Marvel-style even though I had already done the script. That was sort of a hassle. The second story (The Hawk and the Dove #1) we did do Marvel-style from the start and they changed so much of my plot that I told them to write the plot themselves for the next one.

I said, “I really don’t want to write these plots because you’re just going to change them anyway. So you write the next one” Ditko took me up on it and the next issue was the jailbreak storyline. When the book went to Gil, it went back to straight scripts and I felt more in control. I was trying to make some sense out of the characters.

The story called “The Sell-Out” was inspired by the movie, “The President’s Analyst.” I hadn’t seen the issue with “The Sell-Out” for a long time and somebody only recently sent me a copy. I was surprised how much I like that story.


How Hank Became Monarch

Jonathan Peterson on Hawk Becoming Monarch

TTC: Then there was the whole idea to launch Team Titans. You’ve mentioned about your idea to create this alternate universe; how did that get retro-fitted into the whole Armageddon 2001 event?

Jonathan Peterson: Well, as a DC sales boost, we always planned those annual events, so the DC editors showed up to pitch our ideas. Jeanette Kahn had the idea of setting it around the idea of 2001, ten years in the future, and I remember Archie Goodwin had the idea of each annual featuring the futures of the heroes. Jeanette liked that, but wanted something bigger around that. Denny O’Neil suggested using one of the mystical characters around it, but it still seemed sort of, “Been there, done that.”

Then I chimed in with my idea, that it would be some sort of murder mystery to connect the whole thing. Maybe do that in reverse. Someone in the future comes back and tries to figure something out by going from book to book, and Jeanette liked that. Then Archie on the spot created Waverider. He would be a new hero that was one with the time stream. I was involved with that to begin with, so it was a natural idea to tie it back into Titans. Then there was the whole disaster with Armageddon 2001: someone leaked the conclusion. Dick Giordano was beside himself. One day I was at lunch with Dick and Jerry Ordway, and suddenly I had this idea, “What if we changed the ending?” I thought it could be this great stunt. Let everyone think they know the ending, and we’ll create a secret finale and a dummy finale. Even the people at DC would see this dummy copy trafficking around, and Dick thought the idea was just crazy enough to work, so that’s what we did.

TTC: It’s pretty common knowledge that it was supposed to be Captain Atom, then it became the Titans-based character Hawk. How did you decide on Hawk, of all heroes?

JP: I remember this now. With Captain Atom, it made sense power-wise, with the atomic powers, and in a weird way, it would echo Watchmen’s Dr. Manhattan. Dr. Manhattan was based on Captain Atom since Watchmen started as the Charlton heroes anyway. Then we could also do a Anakin Skywalker thing. Hawk was this war-like guy anyway. You could just push him off the deep end, bring him to the dark side, and that would be the tragedy, that Waverider’s interference would ultimately be the event to cause Hawk’s transformation. He was a B-level character we could do something with, anyway.

TTC: And then have him kill Dove for extra drama.

JP: Right. And when that book hit, everyone was surprised, so it worked.

Barbara Kesel Sequential Tart Interview: Of Hawks & Doves

ST: Who’s idea was it for Hawk (Hank [Hawk & Dove] Hall) and a new Dove (Dawn Granger) to make the scene?

BK: When I was looking through one of Karl’s sketchbooks, he’d done a sketch of a female Dove. “Who’s this?” I asked. “Oh,” he said, “I always thought Dove should have been a girl character.” We chatted, I wrote up the proposal, and poor Carlin got badgered into the series.

ST: Was that the first time you and Karl had worked together? What is it like co-writing and working on a project with your husband?

BK: That was our first project together. We actually got married during the series. “Barbara Kesel” appeared in the credits before I was, I think.

ST: Did you ever argue over parts of the story?


ST: How did you settle disagreements about a particular point?

BK: I pouted, and Karl usually got his way.

ST: I HATED the ending of Hawk & Dove. What was the real reason that Hank Hall became Monarch and Dawn Granger died? What was the ending that you and Karl had planned for the series?

BK: Let’s get one thing clear: that wasn’t a planned ending of Hawk and Dove. That awful story was an Armageddon 2000 special created after somebody at DC spilled the beans about Captain Atom’s being Monarch. Then, a small number of people worked feverishly to find some other character to sacrifice, and since H&D had just been cancelled!

If you’ve ever pitied anyone, pity Jonathan Peterson, the poor person who had to give me the news. I wasn’t pleased, and wasn’t shy about sharing. If there’s anything I hate with a passion, it’s characters behaving out of character, especially when it involves a smart woman being stupid for no reason. H&D becoming Monarch could have been a clever idea: if they BOTH became the character, their innately opposite natures could explain a schizophrenic villain. As it was, it was a last-minute fix that sucked. The ending closest to what I have in mind was in the Unity story in the H&D Annual #2, but it’s all water under the bridge.

above info courtesy of [May 1, 2000]

The Kesels on Hawk & Dove

In 1988, DC published a five issue Hawk & Dove mini series. Written by Karl and Barbara Kesel with art by an unknown Rob Liefeld, the story introduced a new female Dove and tied the duo’s origins to the Lords of Chaos and Order. The charming mini was so successful, it sparked an ongoing series in 1990, which lasted 28 issues. In the Hawk & Dove Trade Paperback, the Kesels recall the how the series developed.

A Hawk & Dove commission by Karl Kesel from San Diego 2004.

Karl Kesel’s Version
Original Forward from the Hawk & Dove Trade Paperback

Creation stories – how something came to be – are interesting animals. Look at the creation myths from the various cultures around the world. There’s an eerie similarity between many of them, yet each is slightly different. It’s almost as if there was one, true, core event that happened, and each interpretation pushed it in a different direction. I’m sure the same can be said about Hawk and Dove.

This is my version of their creation story. I broke into the industry as an inker – but always knew I wanted to write comics, too. I was probably pretty annoying about it. I proposed a new series to Karen Berger within my first three months in the business, John Byrne nicknamed me “The Kibitzer,” and I overwhelmed John Ostrander with long letters about ideas for SUICIDE SQUAD. In the middle of all this – and more important than any of it – I became romantically involved with a shy young editor named Barbara Randall.

I was inking the figure of the dead Dove on George Pérez’s “Crisis” spread in The History of the Dc Universe not crying tears over the death of the guy since he was pretty much a minor hero, but regretting the end of a really interesting team. I always liked Hawk and Dove. I always thought how they’d say “Hawk!” and “Dove!” and transform was really cool. Then it hit me: The mysterious voice that gave Hawk and Dove their powers could easily give the Dove powers to someone else! Maybe… a woman! I called Barbara as soon as I could. She sparked off the idea instantly and before even we knew it, we were co-writers.

Barbara took the idea to another new DC editor: Mike Carlin. He gave us a chance, was very supportive, and made us work damn hard. By the time of the 1988 San Diego Comics Con, we had an approved mini-series.

I met Rob Liefeld for the first time at that convention. Barbara introduced us. Rob’s energy and enthusiasm was (and still is) infectious. His samples were very good. We thought he’d be perfect for the book. Mike agreed – although it meant a miniseries about a pair of obscure heroes scripted by a young writer and her untried collaborator, and penciled by a virtual unknown. Only the inker had anything close to a track record, and fans aren’t known for buying books based on the inking.

The fans bought this book – and not because of the inking. I like to think they bought it because, as rough and awkward as it is from time to time, there’s an undeniable life to It… a real love of comics that we all poured into it.


1. Barbara created Kestrel. Rob Liefeld designed the costume. Mike Carlin decided it would be purple – midway between Hawk’s red and Dove’s blue. It honestly never occurred to us that “Kestrel” was so similar to “Kesel,” although every fan seemed to notice.
2. Rob insisted that we modify the original costume and let Dove’s hair show. It was a very good Idea.
3. Barbara Randall became Barbara Kesel between the inking of issues #1 and #2 of the miniseries. That’s why the inking gets better.
4. Mike Carlin’s one worry about the new Hawk and Dove was that If either one died, the voice(s) could easily replace them. This isn’t good in comics. It led Barbara to create the star-crossed lovers M’Shulla and T’Charr and, eventually, to a pivotal story in the HAWK & DOVE monthly series establishing Hawk and Dove as the last of their line. And then Dove was killed and Hawk became a murderous villain.The end.

Well, maybe not. See, now that I’m writing a monthly series for DC again, it’s crossed my mind that the second Dove’s death was very different from the first’s, and it’s just possible that…

Of course, if enough fans want it, anything is possible.

Karl Kesel

A Hawk & Dove commission by HAWK & DOVE inker,
Scott Hanna, courtesy of Rich Bernavotech.

Barbara Kesel’s Version
Original Forward from the Hawk & Dove Trade Paperback

Here’s how I remember it:

Back when I was newer to comics, I met this really nice guy. I have pictures of him I drew when I was in college. I met him three years after I graduated. He had all these sketchbooks I’d pore over while I waited for him to finish his quota of work for the day. One day I ran across a sketch of Hawk & Dove. Him and.. .her?

I was immediately excited about the idea. I burst up from my chair (in my usual sanguine fashion) and excitedly asked Karl where she had first appeared… when had they decided that Dove should be female? Of course! It was so obvious! The perfect partnership.. .yin and yang! Brains and brawn! Rage and patience! Blah, blah, blah! (Of course, you have to imagine the delivery at 78 RPM…)

“Oh,” said Karl, “That. I never liked Dove as a guy. Too wussy. I always thought Dove should be a girl.”

That’s how It started.

At the time, I was posted in the zoo office next door to Carlin. We had originally pitched Hawk & Dove as a feature for an anthology book Carlin was developing, but Mike saw the potential and developed it as Its own miniseries Instead. I knew Rob’s work from several sets of samples he’d sent to the office, and I knew he’d be right for the book (with Karl’s inking, of course – the necessary topper to any artist we brought in on the project-no bias here, Sarge), so I pestered Carlin unmercifully until he agreed to add a complete unknown to an under-pedigreed project.

And then it sold out. Cool.

This book was always very personal. It has its roots in real people:

Karl’s sister and my brother were the original models for the characters of Dawn and Hank (but only the good parts!); our parents became their parents; our friends became their friends. Kestrel’s name was an inside joke: my friend Ron had used the name (it’s a bird, look it up) as a gaming character- the most peaceful and loving character in the history of role-playing-so we used the name for our vicious mass murderer. Ren started out as my best friend, but just wouldn’t stay her. As writers, we’re always cannibalizing from our own lives in order to create true false reality, and there is, therefore, a lot of us in the mix.

This series always was about, if anything, love: the way it can invade and change your life without any respect for the way things had been, or perhaps should have been… Our love, and the feeling that a complementary partner is important to our own completion. Love for others, and what it will let you give up or give of yourself…

The book always was, and always will be, my favorite wedding present. I hope you all enjoy opening our gift.

Barbara (and Karl!)

Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], supplemented by

End of transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author