DC Animated Universe

"Hawk and Dove" is the fourth episode of the first season of Justice League Unlimited, and the fourth of the overall series. It originally aired on August 21, 2004.


In his workshop, Hephaestus is putting the finishing touches on a breastplate. Ares appears and demands his special order. Hephaestus finishes assembling his latest creation: the Annihilator, a gigantic suit of armor. To test it, Ares draws his sword, and the Annihilator springs to life, attacking him until he calls it off.

In a war-torn city in the northern region of Kaznia, Ares (appearing incognito as "Mr. Sera") demonstrates the Annihilator to Nardoc, the leader of the Northern faction. It easily tears through a squad of Nardoc's troops firing at it. Nardoc is interested, but mentions how poor his people are. Ares smiles and says they can pay him later. Nardoc eagerly takes control of the Annihilator.

Wonder Woman civilian

Wonder Woman stops robbers in civilian life.

In an unnamed city, a group of bank robbers are fleeing, when they unluckily run into Wonder Woman, who has been taking a day off. She easily stops their getaway, but is unappeased and about to inflict much greater damage on them, when J'onn calls with a mission: the civil war in Kaznia has flared up again, and Queen Audrey has asked for the League's assistance, because the fighting could easily ignite conflicts all over the region. Wonder Woman rants about how senseless and belligerent humans are, but J'onn warns her that she is becoming dangerously hostile herself.

On the way, she stops to pick up the other two members of her team: brothers Hawk and Dove, who are in the middle of a bar fight with a group of patrons taking exception to Dove's pacifist views.

In the Southern Kaznians' camp, a monk (Ares in disguise again) exhorts the Southern forces to attack the Northerners and take the land that is rightfully theirs. The Southerners launch an offensive.

Annihilator situation

The situation with the Annihilator worsens.

On the ride to Kaznia, Hawk and Dove engage in one of many debates about the usefulness of negotiation versus action, peace v.s. war, etc. They arrive to see the Annihilator leading a counter-attack against the Southerners. Diana, Hawk, and Dove attempt to stem the violence, but the Annihilator is unstoppable, even by them. In one encounter with it, Diana gets close enough to see its breastplate, where she recognizes Hephaestus's mark. She orders Hawk and Dove to fall back. Dove proposes that they abduct the leaders of the two factions and bring them face-to-face to negotiate. Wonder Woman approves of the plan, and tells them to carry it out while she flies off "to see a man about a suit".

Aries chew out

Ares' rant on Nardoc.

The Southern forces fall back, and the fighting dies down. Incredulous, Ares demands to know why Nardoc has not pushed ahead to capture the Southerners' camp, which has enough weapons to equip an even greater offensive. Nardoc says his people aren't interested in conquest, only in keeping their territory secure. Ares goes berserk and delivers a tirade in his immortal guise, shouting that humans' only purpose is to slaughter as many of each other as possible, and that Nardoc had better get with that program before the Southerners make their next move to destroy the North. Deciding that "Sera" is crazy, Nardoc orders him out, but Ares decides to replace Nardoc as the Northerners' leader.

Diana confronts Hephaestus at his workshop. He cheerfully admits to having made the Annihilator for Ares, and also confides that it is his habit to leave a weakness in all of his creations, just to prevent any one from becoming too powerful. However, he refuses to tell her what the Annihilator's is – "you wouldn't want me to go around telling people the weakness in your armor, would you?" She throws him against the wall and draws back her fist, and he smiles. "With that attitude, you'll never figure it out". She leaves.

Dove sneaks into the Northern camp to find Nardoc and propose peaceful negotiation. He is unaware that "Nardoc" is now Ares in disguise, and is captured. In the Southern camp, Hawk grabs their leader, but suddenly the camp is under attack by the Northerners. In the lead is the Annihilator, with Dove tied to its front. Hawk tries to subdue the Southerners to keep them from firing at it, but the fighting is soon out of control.

Diana arrives and tells the soldiers that they are being used. One soldier scorns her words and strikes her with his rifle. In rage, she snatches the rifle away and raises it over his head – then realizes what Hephaestus meant: the Annihilator is fueled by their aggression.

Hawk has freed Dove, who runs to the entrance to the Southern camp. As the Annihilator approaches, Dove tells the guards to lower their weapons. They don't believe him, but he says they can't defeat it anyway, so they may as well try his way. As the Annihilator bears down on Dove, Hawk rushes toward his brother, but Diana holds him back.

Peace made

The Kaznians stop fighting.

The guards lower their weapons. The Annihilator raises its fist to smash Dove... and then shuts down, deprived of its fuel. Ares, enraged, appears in his full divine regalia, telling both sides to keep fighting. Seeing that they have been used, both sides stand down. Ares vows that he will be back, finding a war to start wherever there is prejudice, misery, and inequality. He disappears as the Kaznians withdraw, and the League bids farewell to the country.


Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • When the northern region of Kaznia is under attack, a tank of the southern faction fires a missile at a building and the ensuing explosion features reused footage from the chain of explosions leading up to Darkseid's palace in the teaser of the Justice League episode, "Twilight, Part I".


  • Bruce Timm has stated that Ron Zimmerman was hired to write this episode due to the fact that the original vision for the show was to be an anthology series.[1]
  • Hawk and Dove are voiced by Fred Savage and Jason Hervey, respectively. Both actors appeared on the television series The Wonder Years. Their roles here are a reversal of their earlier ones: on the series, Hervey played the brutish older brother, while Savage played the more sensitive younger one. This decision was reputedly made by the actors themselves.
  • Ares is voiced by Michael York, who previously voiced Kanto on Superman: The Animated Series. Like Ares in this episode, Kanto makes his first public appearance as a mysterious benefactor offering powerful weapons.
  • Hawk screaming for his brother as he feared for his life closely resembles when Dove died in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • During the workshop scene, Ares complains that "where it's going, things aren't supposed to be pretty!" Hephaestus quips, "present company excluded". In traditional Greek mythology, Ares is portrayed as one of the handsomest gods in the Greek pantheon, while Hephaestus is portrayed as ugly, sometimes even deformed (when he carries the breastplate of the Annihilator over to the finished suit, he walks with a noticeable limp). According to many myths, Hephaestus was married to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, but she preferred Ares and sometimes cheated on Hephaestus with him.
  • Ares says it is a Tuesday when he visits Hephaestus's workshop. The Greeks named each of the days of the week after celestial bodies (the sun, the moon and the planets); "Ares" was the name given to the day of the week later named Tuesday. The Romans continued this practice, calling the day "Mars", and the name "Tuesday" was derived from the name Tiw/Tyr, a Norse deity representing single combat, justice and law, equated with Ares.


Actor Role
Susan Eisenberg Wonder Woman
Carl Lumbly J'onn J'onzz
Fred Savage Hawk
Jason Hervey Dove
Michael York Ares
Ed Asner Hephaestus
Patrick Bauchau Kaznian Monk
Ed O'Ross General Olanic
Lex Lang Nardoc
Brawler (uncredited)
James Arnold Taylor Private
Bank Robber (uncredited)

Uncredited appearances[]


Hephaestus: Patience, brother. You know how much I care about the details.
Ares: It doesn't have to be pretty, Hephaestus. Where it's going things aren't supposed to be pretty.

Don: This is ridiculous! Just because I disagree with you, doesn't make me unpatriotic!
Bar Patron: No. But you being a bleeding heart punk makes you unpatriotic.
Hank: Actually, I got to agree with him on that one.

Dove: Almost all aggression can be cured with education.
Hawk: Yeah? Then how come some of the best-educated guys in the world work at the Pentagon?

Hawk: There's no one inside that thing! How do you fight that?
Wonder Woman: You hit it 'til it breaks.

Nardoc: We won, Mr. Sera. The animals attacked, and we ran them out of town.
Ares: I didn't give you the Annihilator so you could run your enemies out of town, I gave you the Annihilator so you could annihilate them!
Nardoc: Forgive the insult, sir, but you think like a South Kaznian. They want to destroy us all, but my brothers and I only wish to keep our land. Perhaps I could take their camp, but the price would be too great. Shall I win a country but massacre my people?
Ares: Yes, you idiot! I think like a South Kaznian?! Has it even entered your skull that they think like South Kaznians?! And you'd better start thinking that way, too, if you want there to be a Northerner left in this rat-infested dirt heap you call a country! All any of you mortals are good for is to slaughter one another! To fight and fight until the bones of your enemies are strewn across the battlefield, only to rise in the next generation like a well-tended crop! That's what the Annihilator is for! But NOOOOOOOOOOO! You're using it to play tag!

Ares: But I'll be back and sooner than you think. Wherever there's prejudice, ignorance, inequality, I'll be there.
Wonder Woman: And I'll be waiting.

Dove: You see, doesn't this prove exactly what I've been saying for years?
Hawk: Couldn't tell ya — I do my best not to listen.
Dove: What?!?

  1. Top 10 Toons on the Air - 1.) Justice League Unlimited by Mike Cotton - Wizard Magazine #168 October 2005