Monday, October 24, 2022

The Human Target #8 Review



Written by: Tom King
Art by: Greg Smallwood
Colors by: Greg Smallwood
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Greg Smallwood
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: October 24, 2022

The Human Target #8 finds Christopher Chance and Ice confronted by a JLI member with tough questions, tougher methods for extracting answers, and really tough armor.

Is It Good?

The Human Target #8 is OK... I guess... I suppose. Since the title's return from a strangely extended hiatus, it was unclear what kind of adjustments or retooling the title would undergo to finish the second half of this 12-part mystery. So far, King has retooled by solving the mystery and putting Christopher Chance through a series of character cameo interactions while he waits to die.

In The Human Target #8, Chance is paid an unwelcome visit by Rocket Red, looking for his JLI colleague Guy Gardner. Red knows Gardner was at odds with Chance, Red knows Gardner wouldn't simply walk away, and Red knows Gardner is nowhere to be found on Earth. A series of increasingly painful interrogation scenes follows, each ending with Chance passing out, only to wake up in a new scenario until he coughs up the truth.

The trouble with this issue is its utter lack of a point and no apparent direction for the rest of the series. We know who "killed" Chance, so the only thing left to do is to wait to die or hold out hope an antidote can be found. Unless a bait-and-switch occurs, there are four more issues left of waiting and filling time with character interactions that have nothing to do with the plot except as a means to kill time. Can King fill four more issues with engaging-yet-pointless fluff? We shall see.

In kindness, the script is well-written. The dialogue is good, and the pacing is steady.

There are two down points with the script to consider. First and as already pointed out, the story is effectively done except for the waiting, so the issue ends almost identically to where it started except for the loss of a day. Second, the JLI is not known for being populated by a collection of murderers, so it's fair to say King is writing Rocket Red out of character. There's unlikely a massive Rocket Red population will take offense, but the mischaracterization is off-putting.

What isn't in doubt is Smallwood's art. It's phenomenal as ever, and if King deserves positive credit, it's or pairing with some of the best artists. Smallwood's mid-century aesthetic suits the material to a tee; if nothing else, this story will be a worthy collectible for the art alone.


About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

The Human Target #8 tells an exciting story about a visit from another JLI member, but the series appears to be going nowhere. Come for Smallwood's stellar art, but the story, much like Christopher Chance, is simply waiting for the end.



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