Chapter four of The Human Target is a fun read, like a lazy Sunday afternoon. There is much going on, but you don’t feel like you have to rush about it yourself. With this interesting team-up between Christopher Chance and the Justice League International, the focus on the next suspect takes us to Blue Beetle. In the last issue, we had Booster Gold, and now it’s time for the other half of blue and gold.
SPOILERS AHEAD for The Human Target #4!
Since we’re visiting Ted (Blue Beetle) Kord, Christopher and Ice get a chance to see what a typical day looks like for the superhero businessman. The part about Ted’s work is something you’ll have to accept when it comes to continuity because there have been quite a few stories that show him being a great engineer but a lousy businessman, but here he is nailing both, which works for the story. I enjoyed that it takes a play on questioning a busy executive and how it would take a private eye all day to follow them around to get their questions in — here, that trope gets blown up to superhero proportions.
We can gather from Christopher’s thoughts that he needs Ted to be quiet, so that plays nicely at the end of the issue for a bit of a funny gag with the bartender. Before that bit, we see Christopher and Ice tag along with Ted as he goes on these wild adventures across the country to help people and stop crime. What is fun about those moments are the wild menaces Greg Smallwood gets to draw and how he frames the action sequence. My favorite is the bank robbery, and in that situation, Smallwood chooses to show the view on Christopher Chance. All that surrounds him is comic book sound effects — a fun moment that calls back to the cover.
Don’t get too lost in Smallwood’s art, but do pay attention to what Christopher is watching and Ice’s actions. Those looks are where Tom King gets to shine as he plays with observation, thoughts, and emotions. From Christopher’s point of view, we can see that there is something to how Ice and Blue Beetle are working together; I enjoy how that adds to our perspective on Ice’s behavior based on Christopher’s thoughts.
There was a great moment between Christopher and Ice where King and Smallwood came together to showcase their creative collaboration. A change in character emotion when the moment comes back to reality instead of super-heroics; that moment shows a growth in the relationship between Christopher and Ice. Now for me, I wonder who is playing who…or is this genuine? The ending is a turn, but perfect to remind us that Christopher Chance is a human target who sometimes finds himself in quite the situation.
The mystery continues in The Human Target #4 as another member of the JLI is being questioned, but they aren’t the story’s focus. Chrisotpher Chance is keeping an eye on his partner, Ice. It seems she has noticed, and she heats things up.
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