Hawk & Dove #20 Retro Review

Reviewer: Mathan “Cactus Wren” Erhardt
Story Title: A Babe in Toyland

Written by: Barbara & Karl Kesel
Penciled by: Kevin Maguire
Inked by Dick Giordano
Lettered by: Gaspar
Colored by: Tom McCraw
Editor: Jonathan Peterson
Publisher: DC Comics

Ah, the holidays are upon us so I decided that this week’s review should be a holiday themed issue. Since Kevin Maguire has returned to the forefront due to his stellar work on Formerly Known as Justice League I figured that this issue would be also serve as a spotlight on some of his lesser know work. So let’s get on with the show.

The issue begins with Dawn Granger’s mom preparing to leave on business. Dawn then sits alone in her home with time to kill before a holiday party at a friend’s house. When the silence becomes deafening Dawn decides to go shopping, during the Christmas rush, at We R Toys.

Unbeknownst to Dawn a crew of criminals has planned on pulling a heist, and is in the store in holiday themed disguises. To further add to the situation is an in store appearance by the Super Powered Samurai Saurians, only the hottest toy on the market this season. The joys of Christmas.

While Dawn notices something fishy going on, the heist begins according to plan without incident. Security is incapacitated and the crowd is subdued. The Nutcracker, the leader, even manages confront what he’s really after. However once guns are drawn, Dawn says the magic word and transforms into Dove.

Dove, being the professional super hero that she is, takes the crew down. She starts out playfully, but as time wears on (and she realizes she’s going to be late to the party) she makes short work of them and saves the day, with a little help from some Saurians. She even manages to flirt with Sal, the police captain.

When Dawn finally arrives at the party she meets Brian, whom her friends have been trying to set her up with, and their encounter is memorable. While this is a Dove spotlight, Hank Hall also appears in the issue and tries to get his love life straight.

The Kesels were a great team. They both went on to individual success, but as a team they had chemistry. This issue is from a different time, when comics became fun again. As a result the story is fun to read. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles parody is hilarious and dead on, as is the theme of the story. I too long for old-fashioned holidays. In what could have been a throw away issue they actually toss in some story development.

Maguire has a knack for story telling. Some artists just draw a picture, but Maguire tells a story. Sometimes you can tell what’s going on without reading the words. What is really great is that his faces have more emotions than just angry or scared. They have a full range. And it’s always great when Giordano steps back to into the art studio to do some work. This book is a visual treat.