Christopher Chance has three days to live, and the mystery of who murdered him gets more complicated by the hour. Enter: G’NORT! Your Major Spoilers review of Human Target #10 from DC Comics awaits!
HUMAN TARGET #10
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Colorist: Greg Smallwood
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Previously in The Human Target: Christopher Chance has always made his money as a Human Target, taking on the identity of a would-be murder victim to take down their killer. While posing as Lex Luthor, he was able to dodge a bullet (literally) while missing the fact that someone had given “Lex” a lethal dose of poison. With only two weeks to live, he has been trapped in a whirlwind adventure, finding love with Ice, butted heads with Booster Gold, and flat-out murdering Green Lantern Guy Gardner.
That last one is coming back to haunt him…
THE FINAL WILL AND TESTAMENT OF GUY GARDNER
Having realized that Guy Gardner might have faked his death a few days prior, The Human Target has realized that unpleasant truth: If he DID, then Ice was in on it. And since she’s Chris’s main squeeze, he makes the decision to drug her, then seeks out the Green Lantern who would be most useful to him, G’nort Esplanade G’neesmacher of the planet G’newt. With help from the hapless GL, Chance makes his way to Oa and the secret records room to find the truth about Guy. (He also facekicks a Guardian of the Universe, which seems like it would have greater consequences if Chance somehow manages to live through the end of the week.) He finds Guy hiding out on Earth, confronting him, and delivering a well-deserved beatdown to the brash Lantern. When Guy dons his ring, Chance fights REALLY dirty, and discovers the truth.
And it’s a truth he didn’t want to know.
THE THIRD ACT BETRAYAL
The final full-page image of a stone-faced Chance handing a drink to Ice, POV style, is just plain stunning, but the whole issue is full of such beautiful moments. For my money, the best is a callback to the “ONE PUNCH!” panel from the classic Justice League issue, followed up by several MORE punches by the combat expert against the cocky jerk sans his power ring. So far, each issue of this book has advanced the story in a satisfying manner, but this time around feels like there’s a little vamping for time, especially in the long sequence on Oa. I get that G’nort is the featured JLI guest-star this time around and that comes with a central role in the plot, but the Oa sequences feel like a little too much fanservice for my tastes, especially given that last issue made it clear that Guy’s demise might not be all it seemed to be. That said, the slowing down of the plot isn’t a fatal flaw, just something that feels noticeable compared to previous issues.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL A BEAUTIFUL BOOK
All in all, even with my complaints about the way the issue is paced, The Human Target #10 is still a pretty amazing comic book issue, featuring inspired visuals on every page and a story that takes the DCU to an unexpectedly realistic level, earning 5 out of 5 stars overall. The final chapters of this series can’t go where they seemed to be hinting any longer, so I’m heavily invested in seeing the way it shakes down. (Money on the table: Chance actually dies, 30/70 odds.)
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HUMAN TARGET #10
Things get emotional for the Human Target just when it looked like he might be happy for the rest of his life, and MY GAWD it's a beautiful issue.