It’s been five days since Christopher Chance was poised to save Lex Luthor’s life. This has put him on a case that has led to labeling the Justice League International as suspects for wanting Luthor dead. In the newest issue of The Human Target, Christopher gets a chance to meet J’onn J’onzz, which leads us, readers, down quite a rabbit hole that might showcase Chance’s origin and why he has chosen to become a human target.
SPOILERS AHEAD for The Human Target #5!
Starting right off with the cover by Greg Smallwood, I was very impressed with the noir vibe that this gave off, suggesting this issue would be edgy, painful, and seductive. The layout is perfect for the movie posters from yesteryear about detective films; Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum might be the best voice to use for narration in your head as you read this issue. Huge cheers to that cover for setting a tone!
This issue does a great job of showcasing time and how it plays differently in comics. There is quite a bit going on in this issue, but it doesn’t seem long at all in the interaction between J’onn, Christopher, and Ice. I enjoyed how Tom King played that as his hook for this issue, which takes us down a road full of memories from J’onn and Christopher. All in the amount of time it takes to pass the salt.
Tom King takes us back in time via memories, and it seems like we are getting an update on Christopher Chance’s origin and training. I was shocked to discover that one of Christopher’s trainers was linked to a significant character of the DC Universe. That’s something that I like when being introduced to characters, their backstory, and networks. This issue has me tempted to start looking at back issues of Human Target to learn more about Christopher Chance, so Tom King has a win with inspiring character research.
Digging into one’s mind lends itself to some enthralling variables of what could be happening, and I like how Tom King uses the idea that when one goes in to explore another’s mind, it can create a two-way street for both minds to peek around. It is pretty wild when we get to see some of the memories from J’onn’s mind. Tom King has been calling this a “sexy book,” and some of those moments appear here. Maybe Tom and Greg Smallwood could tackle a noir detective-styled J’onn comic after this series?
Speaking of Greg Smallwood, he continues to craft fantastic art for us to view. I love how Greg kept pace with Tom’s script and found ways to dial back to remind the reader of which layer we’re on when digging into the past. Something as simple as passing the salt becomes our anchor to the present and link to the past. Yet, the action was always there to remind us of Ice introducing Christopher to J’onn. I’ll be curious to see more interaction between those two characters.
The Human Target #5 is a solid issue that dives into the mind and origins of our main character to update them for the modern audience. While looking at the past, a scandal was introduced that might change your mind about the JLI and its connection to this case. Good setup for the fallout!
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