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SECRET ORIGINS OF THE HAWK AND THE DOVE-- PART 2 of 5
NEW AS TOMORROW'S HEADLINES


The concept of doing a regular monthly comic book about two idealogically-opposed part-time superhero brothers really WAS a brand new idea, and a daring one. DC's readers were used to Superman battling Luthor, and suddenly here was a lofty Yin/Yang clash played out in colorful spandex. In an era where it was a pretty safe bet that the next day's newspaper would be full of some type of war unrest, DC created a house ad hyping the Hawk and Dove's SHOWCASE #75 premiere as being "Brand new as tomorrow's headlines!"
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SHOWCASE #75 was cover-dated June 1968, making this month the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Hawk and the Dove! Note that the ad for the book seen above shows the original cover copy: "The AGRESSORS and the GENTLE." Below: On the final version of the cover, the line has been changed to the more alliterative "The TOUGH and the TAME":
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BELOW: Steve Ditko's original art for the first page of the first Hawk and Dove story. A rare find!
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HAWK AND DOVE GET THEIR POWERS

Denny O’Neil took over writing Hawk and Dove after Skeates left the book, and he played a little-known role in the creation of Hawk and Dove. Ditko was unsure of the source of Hawk and Dove’s powers.

O'Neil flippantly suggested: ‘Why not just have a VOICE give them their powers.” As shown in the panel below right, O'Neil's whimsical, off-hand suggestion was accepted, Xand written into the Hawk and Dove origin story without adornment.

“MY main contribution,” Steve Skeates adds, “was that they had to say their NAMES to change into the characters."

Dick Giordano puts it this way: “We just called it The Voice. It could have been God, it could’ve been an alien being. Defining it would take the mystery away.”

In the origin story, Hank and Don try to rescue their judge father, and get kidnapped. After "the Voice" miraculously transforms them into the Hawk and Dove, they bust out of captivity in a memorable page by Steve Ditko that Robby used to c reate the fake cover for this Hawk and Dove origin series. The original page shown below in Robby's amazing Tru-Scan process, (aka it is unretouched, staples and all!).

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SHALL WE WRITE FINIS
TO THE HAWK AND THE DOVE?


Following their Showcase origin story try-out, would Hawk and Dove get their own title? Despite their claims to the contrary, DC was NOT responding to overwhelming reader demand by giving H&D their own book -- they had been planning to publish a regular monthly Hawk and Dove solo title for months! It was all part of their plan to introduce the unique new characters to the comic-reading public. Hawk and Dove's Showcase try-out story ended with this unusual house ad for the first issue of the battling brothers' very own magazine:
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MEANWHILE, IN CREEPER-LAND...

Steve Ditko's other new DC book was THE CREEPER. On this title, Ditko worked with scripter Denny O’Neil. Denny recalls, “I was like Nelson Rockerfeller compared to Skeates, who was a real serious hippie.” Yet Skeates says that “Ditko and Denny O'Neil would have more fights over ‘Beware the Creeper’ than I had with Steve over ‘The Hawk and the Dove.’ ” Why? It seems Ditko was difficult to work with at times.

Jim Shooter recently commented to Silver Age that Steve Ditko once told him: "Heroes don't have flaws.  Heroes are heroes."

Shooter responded, "Oh, geez, you did Spider-Man. He had flaws." 

Ditko replied, "Well, he was a kid then. It's okay.  He hadn't learned anything yet."

Apparently, Ditko had similar issues with Denny O'Neil. According to O'Neil, “Somebody wrote the first issue of the Creeper, I took it from there and changed the characterization a lot, and I don’t think that Steve Ditko liked that.”
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Here's an example: Once, when Denny described a character as a ‘reformed criminal,’ Ditko told him sternly, “There’s no such thing. You can’t reform criminals.”

O'Neil must have told Steve Skeates this story, and it must have made a lasting impression on Skeates, because in Teen Titans #30's "Greed Kills," Skeates put similar dialogue in the mouth of the issue's uptight, conformist villain!

The panel with the speech is shown right, with Ditko's original art for the first Creeper story (Showcase #73, page 22), shown below:
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And here's a beautiful house ad for HAWK AND DOVE #1:
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WRITING HAWK AND DOVE

“One of the rules,” Skeates said years later about writing Hawk and Dove, “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.”

Infantino, Giordano and Ditko made constant changes in Skeates’ scripts. “Anything BRAVE I'd have the Dove do would immediately get chopped out,” Skeates recalls, “mainly because those other three equated the term 'dove' with 'wimp'!

“The first book I wrote full script,” Skeates says, “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 (for 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.” Shown below is a horrible scan of Steve Ditko's original art for page 4 of Hawk and Dove #1, one of only three Hawk and Dove tales illustrated by the artist:
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