The creative team of Tom King and Greg Smallwood return to their maxi-series The Human Target, which sees Christopher Chance, aka the Human Target, investigating an assassination attempt on Lex Luthor. This situation is fascinating because some Justice League International members are the suspects. As this series was going on for its first half, we saw Guy Gardner get jealous of Chance and Ice’s growing relationship, which ended with Guy’s “death.” Now that the series has returned, what will we learn? Who killed the Human Target?
While the maxi-series was on hiatus, there was a one-shot released, Tales of the Human Target #1, so make sure you don’t miss out on any possible clues and deeper insights into the suspects. Speaking of suspects, the focus of this issue was Fire, aka Beatriz da Costa. She makes for quite the lead suspect as she is the best friend of Ice, who has been the focus of Chance’s investigation and other interests. I like how Tom King has used Ice’s connections with friends and lovers to be potential suspects and red herrings.
In the first half of this series, we see a conflict between Guy and Chance for Ice’s affection, resulting in Guy being killed and looking like a significant suspect. Now that the book has returned, we witness some alone time with Fire and Chance. Tom King did a great job setting the tone with the two characters; you’ll find yourself conflicted about what you want them to do next. You don’t want to see Chance cheat on Ice, but the temptation of Fire is alluring. Tom King crafted a romantic date and made it a worthwhile installment in this investigation.
Not only did King make this worthwhile, but Greg Smallwood went to town on this date. Smallwood made Fire so desirable and seductive that she fit the perfect vibe of a lethal lady in a noir story. The backgrounds were great, and when the couple got to the Ferris wheel, it was pure enchantment. I love how Greg would show Fire light her cigarette and keep her looking so innocent, which is no small feat as Fire isn’t just a superhero; she is also a spy!
There is a page on their date, and I loved how Greg separated the two by giving them each their sections on the nine-panel page. The page layout was very clever of Greg to give the characters space by separating them with the Ferris wheel, which illustrates how high up they are and how close they are getting. Greg’s choices of colors were perfect as he played hot with the jazz dancing and cold with the outside, tender moments. Clayton Cowles is bringing perfect fonts for the pages as the words play just as much as the art. Heck of a creative team playing with Chance’s life.
The wait was definitely worth keeping the creative team consistent, but I wonder if a series like this would benefit from fewer issues. Tom King and Greg Smallwood come back into the fight swinging and keep the mystery alive, but I feel like we’re chasing down a different case. I am looking forward to seeing what will happen next, so the creative team has managed to make a hook worth holding onto for the second half of this series. I can’t wait to learn what Christopher Chance knows and what Fire and Ice are planning.
All in all, The Human Target #7 is a strong return by the creative team, and depending on how you read it, alliances are formed that could either lead to the real culprit or distract our investigator. Chance is an intelligent man, but it looks like lust and death are taking him on some wild rides.
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