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Human Target Final Cut GN (2002)
Published Aug 2002 by DC/Vertigo.
1st printing. Written by PETER MILLIGAN. Art and cover by JAVIER PULIDO. In this softcover, Christopher Chance is hired to impersonate an aging film actor marked for death by an extortionist who preys upon the Hollywood glitteratti. Softcover, 96 pages, full color.
Bodyguard to the stars Christopher Chance is a kind of extreme actor, who uses makeup and mimicry to transform himself into the people he protects. Milligan's (Enigma) twisted, deceptive work is a humorous tale about fame, betrayal and the Tinseltown wannabes that get left behind. Chance is hired to impersonate an aging movie star who's been targeted by a murdering extortionist. When the threatened actor refuses to pay, the killer strikes, only to discover the able and deadly Chance awaiting him. In the ensuing fight, Chance kills the extortioner. Or does he? The same extortioner is believed to have kidnapped a child star, whose parents hire Chance to find him. In the process of trying to locate the kidnapped teen, Chance takes on the identity of this killer (who turns out to be a nutty failed screenwriter), only to find his own sense of identity, and that of the killer's, merging into one confusing multiple personality. By the tale's end, Chance learns that one never really knows who anyone is. Milligan writes seamlessly and each step of this story sends Chance deeper into a psychological and moral maze. Pulido's spartan drawings are dynamic and accentuate the story's humor and desperation with bold lines and deep shadows, differentiating Southern California's wholesome glamour from L.A.'s sleaze. This installation is a welcome addition to the Human Target miniseries.
After finishing it, I actually had to sit for a few minutes and try to digest what I'd just experienced. It was a truly staggering read!
Christopher Chance, the titular "Human Target", is just what his name implies: For the right price, Chance will assume the identity of people whose lives are endangered, using everything from fake mustaches and wigs, to Dermal Implants and Plastic Surgery. Here Chance assumes the identity of Dai Thomas, B-Movie actor, who is the third target of a homicidal Hollywood screenwriter trying to raise money for his movie project. After killing the stalker, Chance gets a bit of shocking news: The writer had kidnapped child-star Ronan White, and had hidden him away. With the kidnapper dead, Ronan will die of starvation, if he isn't dead already....and so Chance is forced to assume the identity of the killer/kidnapper, and descends into a maelstrom of drugs, murder, and nasty secrets.
The underlying theme of Chance being absorbed into the "Roles" he plays is dealt with by Writer Peter Milligan very convincingly, and the art by Javier Pulido is perfectly suited to the twisty story. Milligan manages to tie all of the loose ends up in an ending that is not only satisfying, but jaw-dropping. How often can you sat that a book left you speechless at the end? Simply an amazing effort all around.
A television pilot, starring Rick Springfield, was produced in 1990. Springfield starred as Chance, who was now a Vietnam vet as well as a private investigator/bodyguard. In this version, for ten percent of a client's annual income ("whether you're a busboy or the king of England"), Chance would take the client's place and protect his or her life. Philo Marsden (Kirk Baltz) was an eccentric computer genius who helped Chance by designing high-tech masks, and Jeff Carlyle (Sami Chester) was the chauffeur, cook and pilot for Chance's mobile base of operations, the Blackwing (designed by Mike Kaluta). Lilly Page (Signy Coleman) was an ex-CIA agent who helped coordinate Chance's missions. The show was created by Warner Brothers and Pet Fly Productions (producers of The Flash, Viper and The Sentinel), and aired on ABC. Though produced in 1990, the show aired only briefly in 1992 (7 episodes aired in the summer of 1992 although the pilot itself was never aired). The version of the show which aired in 1992 had a slightly different cast from that of the unaired pilot episode. Guest stars included David Carradine in the episode entitled "Second Chance".
In November 1991, prior to the show's debut, Chance appeared in his own book, a 48-page one-shot titled The Human Target Special #1, an ostensible tie-in to the television show (the cover advertised that it was "Coming soon to ABC-TV!"), in which Chance and his cohorts protected a DEA agent from harm. It was written by Mark Verheiden, with pencils by Rick Burchett and inks by Dick Giordano.
In February 2009 FOX announced that a new FOX television series was in the works starring Mark Valley, Jackie Earle Haley, and Chi McBride. In May 2009 it was confirmed that FOX had placed an episode order and it would be on their 2009-2010 schedule. The series deviates from the comics version in that Chance assumes nondescript cover identities that keep him close to the "target", rather than taking on the target's identity himself. Human Target debuted on CTV and FOX in January 2010. Fox renewed the show for a second season in May 2010. The show was officially canceled on May 10, 2011 after two seasons.
Christopher Chance / Human Target appears in live-action series Arrow, portrayed by Wil Traval. An old friend of John Diggle, Christopher first appears in the fifth season episode "Human Target" as a disguised body decoy of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). In flashback of the same episode, he was hired by Anatoli Knyazev to protect him from Bratva member Viktor and his thugs. Chance reappears in the sixth season episode "Docket No. 11-19-41-73" to masquerade as Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) dressed as Green Arrow during Oliver's trial. With help from Diggle and Wild Dog, Human Target poses Judge C. McGarvey during the verdict. When Oliver is found guilty, Human Target had Queen seek probation and then Oliver is free to go. After the trial is over, he insists that Oliver's allies do not seek his help for another year.
Rest assured that the titles and pictures of all the items up are accurate. Each book was photographed individually...the picture you're seeing is of the ACTUAL ITEM!