Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Human Target #12 Review

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Greg Smallwood
Colors by: Greg Smallwood
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Greg Smallwood (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: February 28, 2023

The Human Target #12 ends the unusual detective noir story with death, lies, truth, and more death.
Is It Good? 

Well, it's over, and in typical Tom King fashion, the ambiguous ending will either cause you to love it or hate it. Strangely, this reviewer feels neither. Only a tired ambivalence over a 12-issue story that only has 7-issues worth of content.

When last we left Christopher Chance (or really left him over the last three issues), he was waiting to die from the poison savaging his body. Over the previous several issues, the mystery of the killers was (almost) solved, and it appears the story simply treads water until the inevitable end. Now, the end arrives, but Tom King throws one more curve to twist the mystery's resolution just a bit further.

Does the twist make a difference? Sure, but not enough that it matters. Without spoiling the twist outright, Ice is far less innocent than the last several issues let on, and she uses the deception of her innocent presence to grant Chance a dying wish.

There are several hallmarks of a Tom King run, and this issue gives you two of them - a twist that "subverts your expectations" and a revised version of heroes that ensures not a single one of them turns out looking heroic. Even in death, Chance becomes a villain.

Was the ending worth the wait? No, not in the least. Again, this is a 6- or 7-issue story stretched out to twelve. The last few issues, in particular, were almost entirely fluff. Gorgeous fluff, but still fluff.


Speaking of gorgeous, Greg Smallwood's art is just short of miraculous. You could rightly complain about the character work, pacing, and plot, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone upset by the art quality. If you don't like how the arc ended, you'd still have a fine piece of comic art in your hands.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

The Human Target #12 finishes the run with a mild plot twist and a final act to end the story with typical Tom King hallmarks. The character work is bizarre, and the final resolution comes at least five issues too late, but Smallwood's art is mesmerizing.


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