Superman on Television

Justice League: Episode Reviews

Season 3 - Episode 4: "Hawk and Dove"

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

"Hawk and Dove" meet Wonder Woman as Prophesied by TV Theme Song

At first, the teaming of Wonder Woman with "Hawk and Dove" seemed somewhat arbitrary. Brothers Hank and Don Hall had teamed with Batman in the comics, and were members of the Teen Titans East and West. Created by Steve Ditko, Hawk and Dove represented the extremes from aggression to pacifism.

When the villain in this episode is revealed to be God of War, Ares, the pairing makes a lot more sense as Diana herself represents a blending of aggression and pacifism herself given that she's princess of the Amazon warriors using her great powers in her mission of peace.

Of course, the logic behind this team-up is stated explicitly in the theme song to the 1977 ABC-TV show, "The New, Original Wonder Woman":

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
Now the world is ready for you,
and the wonders you can do.
Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth.

Wonder Woman makes a hawk into a dove and stops the war ongoing in this episode with love - the love that Hawk has for brother Dove that manifests itself in his trusting Dove's insistence that Hawk and the soldiers simply cease their hostilities.

You might think I'm reading too much into the plotting of the episode for it to have its roots in the Lynda Carter show's theme, but there's a second pop culture phenomenon taking place in this episode: the reunion of the brothers from ABC-TV's "Wonder Years", Fred Savage and Jason Hervey. Except while Savage played the pacifist in the retro-show, and Hervey his sadistic sibling, the roles are effectively reversed on JLU with Savage voicing Hawk and Hervey voicing Dove. This episode reeks of pop culture kitsch and, for that reason, it's a very fun, light romp that could have come off much more heavy-handed on the issues of aggression and pacifism given the current real world climate.

Now that the writers of JL both know Wonder Woman's character better and can let her play the role of "tough chick" without treading on Hawkgirl's territory, it's easier to have fun with the character's history. For the second time this season, Diana pilots what is essentially an "invisible plane". And the writers finally get around to explaining what Wonder Woman's costume was doing just sitting around in a Themysciran temple when Diana stole it to become Wonder Woman in "Secret Origins", the pilot arc to JL - and exactly who made the Amazonian armor (though describing an outfit that covers about as much of Diana's legs as a thong would as armor may be stretching the definition of that word).

While Superman, Supergirl, and even the flying dog fail to take part in this episode, I still feel the story had an appropriately Superman-like moment that enables me in good conscience to recommend the episode to fellow Superman fans. Dove gets the brainstorm of bringing together the opposing sides in the war so they can talk out their problems rather than fight them out. Well, any Superman fan worth his meteor rocks knows it was Superman who had the idea of doing just that to end a war in one of his first stories - and succeeds, making the conclusion that obviously the opponents are fighting only to aid in munitions sales. So, for making me remember yet again that Superman did almost everything first, this episode earns a respectable three out of five speeding bullets.

Next up for the JLU - Batman Sings. I'm not kidding. But, will Robin dance? There's only one way to find out. Remember to catch the next climactic chapter in the continuing catastrophes confronting the JLU. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.

Peace out.

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