The Human Target #3 – Tom King, Writer; Greg Smallwood, Artist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Three issues in, Tom King’s latest dark superhero mystery really hits its groove with an issue that indicates that this might be the defining Justice League International story—even if many of the original property’s fans might object to it. His clock counting down day by day due to the poison, Christopher Chance has found an unexpected love with Ice—but now he has to contend with her ex-boyfriend. Guy Gardner is the main focus of this issue, and he’s not given the most flattering portrayal. While he clearly does care for Ice, he expresses that in the worst way possible—threatening anyone else who gets too close to her. The opening segment, which finds him in Chance’s hotel room intimidating him, is a master class in tension as the two men puff up like showboating birds before their mutual dislike for each other devolves into a brutal one-sided beatdown that’s only interrupted by Ice.
Some of Guy’s antics would be funny out of context, but King never lets us forget that this is stalker behavior. It was good to see Ice stand up to him, but it’s Chance who ultimately gets the last say in their short-term rivalry. The other new JLI member to appear, Booster, brings very different energy with him. King is usually known for being a very serious writer, which is why it’s so interesting to see just how funny his Booster is. King absolutely knows how to write him as a small-time scammer, now the owner of a themed bagel joint. The segment where it’s revealed he may have destroyed the timeline to get the ideal ingredients for his bagels is one of the funniest I’ve read in comics in a while. But despite all that, there’s a deep sense of melancholy having over every scene in this book. Chance’s clock is counting down day by day, and I have a feeling the answers he’s seeking will destroy what’s left of the JLI.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.