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Human Target [Paperback]

Peter Milligan
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, 26 Feb 2010 --  

Book Description

26 Feb 2010
Christopher Chance has made a living off of making himself a human target. A master of disguise, he cunningly takes on the appearance and persona of men and women with contracts out against them. But when a routine assignment to impersonate an African-American minister with a bounty on his head goes south, Chance is soon caught between a lethal assassin and a vicious gang war. As this psychological thriller takes the reader through a roller coaster of unexpected twists and turns, it is soon discovered that it is Chance himself with price on his head and the only way he can survive is to solve this deadly mystery.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (26 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848566379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848566378
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 16.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 786,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprising - Take a Chance 29 Jun 2010
After having enjoyed the none-too highbrow adventures of Christopher Chance in the recent Human Target TV show I was interested to see where it'd all begun. I'll admit to being surprised, the TV show has pretty much taken the name of the comic and that's about it. Don't get me wrong, the comic's interesting and its gritty tales of identity-crisis, assassination and sexual dysfunction are compellingly told through some bold, punchy images... it's just in the end that probably isn't what I was looking for. It's my fault not the book's. But if you're looking for the relatively uncomplicated hero and hi-jinks of the TV show, look elsewhere. If on the other hand you're looking for something a little more grown up and a lot darker then this is a comic book worth taking a Chance on (see what I did there?)
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bullseye! 11 Sep 2002
By Mel Odom - Published on Amazon.com
Christopher Chance was a soldier-of-fortune, a man who would disguise himself as someone marked for death then step in front of a bullet, betting his life that his skills and mind were sharp enough not only to save his life but the life of the person that had hired him as well. People called him the Human Target, and the nickname stuck. However, no one could ever guess at the huge price Chance had to pay to become someone else. The Human Target didn't just change his looks when he assumed an identity; he also changed his thoughts and feelings, becoming the person he was trying to protect. Now, Chance is semi-retired and he has a young protégé named Tom McFadden stepping into his shoes. Only Tom is struggling with the whole Human Target gig too-struggling so much that he sometimes forgets who he is and can't remember how to be who he really is. Earl James is a militant black preacher drawing a line in the sand against the local drug dealers, headed up by Dee Noyz. Emerald is an assassin-for-hire, every bit as dedicated and driven as Christopher Chance, and she's been contracted to kill the Human Target. Christopher Chance is caught in the middle of a vicious crossfire: he wants to save himself and Tom McFadden, who feels he must save Earl James. At the same time, Chance has to stay out of the line of fire from Emerald and Dee Noyz. Chance is working against the clock. How can he find the man he trained-someone who can be anyone?
Christopher Chance, the Human Target was first created back in the 1970s by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino as a series of eight-page and ten-page backup features in ACTION COMICS, DETECTIVE COMICS, and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. Rick Springfield portrayed Chance in a seven-episode television series in the 1990s. Peter Milligan brought Chance back to life for the cutting-edge Vertigo line at DC Comics. Milligan has also written HUMAN TARGET: FINAL CUT, the X-Force monthly comics series, ENIGMA, THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CYCLOPS AN PHOENIX, CATWOMAN DEFIANT, and SKIN. Edvin Biukovic, the artist on the graphic novel, passed away but left a body of work as his legacy that includes: STAR WARS-THE LAST COMMAND, STAR WARS: X-WING ROGUE SQUADRON THE PHANTOM AFFAIR, GRENDEL TALES: DEVILS AND DEATHS.
HUMAN TARGET is a graphic novel that satisfies on numerous levels. For old-time nostalgia fans, the reappearance of Christopher Chance-though in a very different and dark incarnation-is a welcome marriage between the old and the new. The original idea of someone willing to risk his life by being someone else is simple yet fascinating, and all the storytelling is very human. Milligan succeeds brilliantly in bringing that humanness to his story. The fact that every character in this book is driven by needs and emotions that erupt from the core of his or her being is powerful. All of the characters are at once strong and complete, but each one carries his or her faults and the seeds of his or her destruction. The secondary characters in the story-McFadden's wife, Earl James' wife, Emerald's husband, Dee Noyz's old girlfriend-all contributed to the bullet-slick pacing and the emotional implosions that come at the climax. Biukovic's art is phenomenal, an array of lights and darks and fiery colors that dropkick images and action from the pages. The bullet-riddled cross left after the attack in the church and Dee Noyz's attempt to keep Earl James from getting shot by an assassin are stark and moving. Biukovic was as at home with penciling action scenes as he was in penciling simple scenes such as when Becky McFadden was talking with Chance and hanging out her laundry. The plot is convoluted and takes close reading, but is a gem of suspense and building anticipation.
Although Milligan somewhat covered Christopher Chance's background, a little more was needed. Where did Christopher Chance come from? Why did he get into the line of work that he did? Where did he get his training in martial arts and in disguise? Where did he find Tom McFadden? How did he train McFadden? Although these missing pieces don't spoil the overall story, their presence would have been welcome.
Fans of Greg Rucka, Brian Michael Bendis, and Ed Brubaker will want to add HUMAN TARGET to their reading list. Also, anyone interested in seeing what Vertigo Comics is capable of producing in the way of crime fiction for the mature reader will find no better introduction than this graphic novel.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A psychological thriller 20 Oct 2000
By Christopher Griffen - Published on Amazon.com
I was first exposed to Peter Milligan's work when he was writing DC Vertigo's SHADE, THE CHANGING MAN, an eclectic group of stories that usually bordered on the weird. Milligan turns tail on the surreal to write this spy thriller, THE HUMAN TARGET, featuring the tale of two masters of disguise and their penchant for becoming lost in their adopted identities.
Milligan does a great job of delving into the empty souls of two men who immerse themselves so fully into their assumed roles that there is little left to work with when their done. They sacrifice their own individuality to take on the dangerous jobs they're given.
There's plenty of impressive cinematic action in the book thanks to the excellent work of the departed Edvin Biukovic. For a newcomer to American comics, his storytelling skills were impressive. It's a shame that this Croatian wonder passed away before his star really had a chance to shine.
For Europeans, both Milligan and Biukovic show an astounding ability to relate an American story. I guess American media really IS pervasive!
HUMAN TARGET is a terrific graphic novel for the adult crowd. I rank it right up there with Vertigo's recent 100 BULLETS series by awesome writer, Brian Azzarrello.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vertigo's "sleeper hit" 28 Sep 2000
By Jason R. Tippitt - Published on Amazon.com
A stunning, stirring tale of identity and redemption that helped point the way towards DC's Vertigo imprint telling tales outside the arena of horror and psychodrama. This book, a revival of a 70s detective series (which also briefly saw life as an ABC television series starring Rick Springfield -- but don't hold that against the title) helped set the stage for the current "100 Bullets" series.
Christopher Chance, the original Human Target, has retired. He's been replaced by his assistant -- who now believes that he *is* Christopher Chance. In the middle of all this are a minister who's lost his faith and a crime novelist who wants to make a name for her second life as an assassin.
Peter Milligan and the late, much lamented Edvin Biukovic pack this book with jarring plot twists, quiet moments of humanity, and some of the most realistic action sequences I've ever seen. The artist's death from cancer robbed the comics world of one of its future superstars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a thing of beauty.... 6 Aug 2000
By Dean - Published on Amazon.com
Human Target is a top notch piece of visual storytelling. It's a powerful tale about identity and personal redemption told in graphic novel form and these themes are explored in varying degrees with each character in the tale. Peter Milligan does a wonderful job fleshing out his characters and providing a plot that's a real page-turner. The late Edvin Biokivuc provides some wonderful illustrations that are not only a joy to look at, but also enhance Milligan's tale. You can't go wrong with this book...give it a look!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Comic, better than the TV show 20 Feb 2010
By Enrique Trevino - Published on Amazon.com
I got this comic as a present, since my wife and I enjoy the TV show. I had heard that in the comic, Christopher Chance (the main character) protects his employers by disguising himself as his employers, making himself a human target. I thought this was a ridiculous idea, however, as I started reading this comic, I quickly became interested in the main character and thought the premise was brilliant.

The movie Mission Impossible uses this idea of perfect masks to disguise someone, but in the comic, Chance not only wears a mask, but he acts like his character. He changes his voice, changes what he eats, he really becomes the person he's trying to become. After months of playing that role, he even has trouble coming back to being Christopher Chance. This is what made me very interested in the story as it became an study on one's identity.

This collection consists of two stories. The first one is a complicated story involving a black priest that tries to save a community from drugs, a house wife/ assassin that is trying to kill Chance and identity issues both in Chance and in his understudy Tom. I really liked this story. The plot kept me interested in what would happen next, while the identity issues made the story be more than just a mystery.

The second story involves actors hiring Chance to find a kidnapped kid. The kid is a child star. This story plays around with how many people in the acting world have identity issues and it is also an interesting whodunit. I liked it a lot.

With respect to the art, the art in the first story was better than the second one. I really liked the way the book looks. Biukovic was a great artist. It is sad that he died so young (he died in 1999, at the age of 30).

A great comic, I highly recommend it.
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