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'The Human Target' #12 review
DC

Comic Books

‘The Human Target’ #12 review

Christopher Chance’s final day is here. What will happen, and who will survive?

The Human Target by Tom King and Greg Smallwood concludes with this issue, and what a ride it was. Throughout 12 issues, Christopher Chance, the Human Target, has carefully investigated the Justice League International and concluded who his murderer was. We know who did it, and we understand why they did it. At the end of issue #11, you can see that Ice and Christopher have grown very close to each other in eleven days. What will this final day bring for them?

The Human Target #12
DC Comics

From the preview, you can see how their last moment plays out. These pages are where Tom King and Greg Smallwood come together nicely to give us this moment of beauty and sorrow. Smallwood’s depiction of Ice shows her hurt after coming to grips with the reality before her. I like how King and Smallwood craft this scene which shows that pretty much anyone would go to lengths to be with the one they love, no matter the situation. The art and words showcase just how painful the loss is for Ice. I love how this scene calls back to the last issue when Chance and Ice talk about missing each other; she will feel it, and he’ll be gone. 

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I like that Tom King plays the issue as an aftermath set of moments, and we get to focus more on Ice and her life post-Human Target. It is bittersweet seeing these “goodbyes” with each of the characters. They’ve grown together, and some will shock you as you see how much has changed between them. I enjoyed the moment shared with Ice and Luigi as it was the most honest of all, probably because the two characters had no backstory or history. With the other characters, there are moments where you doubt it would play the way King wrote it, but then again, this is the version of these characters for this series, so it reads correctly.

The Human Target #12
DC Comics

Remember that this is a DC Black Label story, so it might sit differently in continuity, and I think you have some freedom with that looseness to enjoy a murder-mystery-romance comic book. The issue is a good read and a fun play on revenge, as you’ll discover what Ice does. I thought about it as a funny way of looking at Christopher Chance’s sense of justice and what is right from being under the influence of love. Murder is okay as long as your killer is sexy, but it also has me thinking about crime and punishment; this is a great example of the old phrase, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

An excellent strength of this maxi-series is all the discussion it will create. The actions of Fire and Ice coming up against the ramifications to Chance’s life are a wild tale. How Chance reacts to what has happened to him is a worthwhile read, and I’m sure some people won’t agree, but that is the beauty of this being Black Label. It’s outside the DC Universe but plays the characters nicely in a darker, deeper situation. Even if you want it to count with the main DCU, you can chalk it all up to Chance’s ability to fake death, but you’ll be looking at the JLI differently.

The Human Target #12
DC Comics

No matter what you feel about King’s writing of this, we can all agree that Smallwood’s art is impressive. You’ll read in these pages some wild encounters that Ice has with her teammates. The pages with Martian Manhunter were great, and I like that Smallwood ties in Ice’s words with her physical actions to hammer home her interaction. The moment with Guy was great humor, and Smallwood will add to Guy’s “greatest concussions” with that knock. That last sunset with Chance and Ice was so beautiful.

Tom King and Greg Smallwood’s The Human Target wraps up, and the spotlight goes to Ice. If you’re a fan of hers, check out this issue – you’ll understand why revenge is a dish best served cold.

'The Human Target' #12 review
‘The Human Target’ #12 review
The Human Target #12
Tom King and Greg Smallwood's The Human Target wraps up, and the spotlight goes to Ice. If you're a fan of hers, check out this issue – you'll understand why revenge is a dish best served cold.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
Tom King may have called this The Human Target, but Ice gets the spotlight and character growth from this series
Greg Smallwood's art has been the best highlight of this series and the script challenged him to showcase romance, mystery, and action
Wild story that works perfectly for what DC's Black Label is going for and puts the familiar characters in untamed situations
This will read better for trade collectors, so in the end maybe it should've been solicited as an original graphic novel?
8.5
Great
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