The roster of the Teen Titans continues to expand, as Titans has found their Hawk and Dove in Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly.
Ritchson, who previously played Arthur “Aquaman” Curry in Smallville, will play Hank Hall, described as “an aggressive, offensive brusier” opposite Kelly’s Dawn Granger, “strategic, defensive, and lithe” and Hall’s romantic partner as well as teammate. The two will have recurring roles with an option to become regulars in season two, although there is also talk that the two could also be set up for a spinoff if the numbers are right.
Kelly has been part of the CW roster with an arc on Jane the Virgin, but most will recognize her from Friday Night Lights. Her credits also include the 2011 Charlie’s Angels TV reboot as well as Parenthood and Almost Human.
Ritchson recently appeared in the just-cancelled Blood Drive on Syfy, and is the current Raphael in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise (the second of which co-starred Arrow‘s Stephen Amell). He also appeared in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and was the voice of Aquaman in the animated adapation of Justice League: The New Frontier.
Titans is being produced by Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, and Sarah Schechter from a script by Goldsman from when the show was in development at TNT. Now slated to be part of DC’s new direct digital channel, it’s not clear yet whether this show will live in what’s known as the “Arrowverse” — Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Vixen, and Supergirl — which is the same unknown element as it concerns Black Lightning.
This version of Hawk and Dove is not the original team from back in the 1960s. That duo, created by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates, debuted in Showcase #75 in June 1968. Teenage Hank and his younger brother Don, the pacifist, were the duo who regularly appeared in the pages of Teen Titans. The two were given their powers by the Lords of Chaos and Order, and their polar opposite natures insured a balance in their ability to combat evil.
Following Don’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985, Dawn Granger took up the mantle of Dove and appeared in Hawk & Dove from 1988-1989. Written by Karl and Barbara Kesel, with art by a young Rob Liefeld, the mini-series downplayed the politics of the original duo in favor of more traditional superhero stories.
Given the current political climate, however, don’t be surprised if the “war hawk” and “peace dove” come to the fore again. The original duo’s history could be an added layer to the two we seen in Titans. Since their a romantic partnership as well, maybe they’ll be the caped versions of James Carville and Mary Matalin?
Also: Will we see the Lords of Chaos and Order? Will there be an acknowledgement of Don’s role as the original Dove? The Crisis event has already been teased on The Flash, but so far it’s only been in the form of a massive time travel related Easter egg. But since the Teen Titans’ major foe Deathstroke has already appeared in major arcs on Arrow, along with the town of Blüdhaven, one can hope that this new show will have connections to the others.