This is a fascinating issue of The Human Target we have on our hands here. I have to say this issue did drive things forward towards the end and leaves us with quite the cliffhanger, which makes things even harder as this series will be going on hiatus for a couple of months. Tom King and Greg Smallwood left us in a bind with the characters’ actions, dynamite art, and a new layer to the mystery behind Christopher Chance’s upcoming death. Let us get into this latest issue!
SPOILERS AHEAD for The Human Target #6!
Tom King plays with how we see Ice and Christopher Chance in this issue. Nothing is concrete as this is issue six of 12, but there might be more behind the scenes to what we see if you’re paying attention. That is a vital sales point for me with Tom King’s writing. He can develop a character and have those developments come to light with his story. I am betting that we were shown a significant character action, from a previous issue, just without the payoff. I’d hold onto that moment for later as the series progresses.
I enjoyed how Tom King played out Ice and Chance’s passion in this issue. They are an unlikely pairing, and honestly, I can’t say I’ve seen the two on-page before this maxi-series. With that unlikeliness, it is wild to see how Tom played the two “lovers” in this issue and showcased how dramatically polarizing they could be, from their passion in the bedroom to how cold they can get when they argue.
On a personal note, I was very excited to see Doctor Mid-Nite make a guest appearance. The interaction plays nicely as it also peels back a layer to Christopher Chance and his views on religion. Please keep your eyes on the dialogue shared between the two, as I believe it drops a significant clue from the last issue. This is another nice trick that Tom King does with this writing: he gives us advancement in the story but tries to trick us with the outer trappings of the scene.
Greg Smallwood slays in this art-heavy issue, nailing the many facial expressions in the drama during fights between characters, skillful body language in the slower parts, and those colors are just the perfect wrapping to give this an adventurous noir feeling. Even the scene where Smallwood sneaks in the credits is a fun page, as Greg pairs the credits with a man who is hurting in more than one way.
Tom King has said that this would be a sexy series, and Smallwood delivers on that as we get some hints of physical romps between Ice and Chance. What is nice is how round 2 gets played out in more than one way, with Ice and Chance and the guest appearance by our featured character on the cover. When Guy shows up, the action begins. Those panels are where Greg Smallwood showcases emotions ranging from love (lust?) to hurt to anger. Greg even adds his touch to the “one-punch” trope as well.
As I mentioned earlier, I would examine the pages before Guy shows up and even the big fight at the end. The issue has quite a few moments that leave the readers on a cliffhanger, but it works. It will make you wonder just how far Ice will go in battle, how good Christopher Chance is at getting the information he wants, and just what that other JLI member wants in their meeting with Chance.
The last issue of The Human Target before its hiatus leaves the fans wanting more, ending on quite a cliffhanger as we get passion, a lovers’ quarrel, and that last page surprise will make this wait insufferable! Tom King and Greg Smallwood deliver in this one-two punch in terms of art and story. I know I’ll be racking my brains to figure things out before this series returns.
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