Friday, February 25, 2011

Trade Marks: Human Target (2010)

Let me begin by saying that, while I really love original Human Target stories from the 1970s appearances and quite enjoyed Peter Milligan's re-interpretation of the character, I have not seen a single episode of the new TV series. As I understand, this miniseries is some sort of tie-in to the TV show. In this tale, Christopher Chance is sent off on an worldwide odyssey in an attempt to collect evidence that will clear the conscience of a mafia head. In this sense, it has more of a James Bond vibe to it, filled with exotic locales and a horde of henchmen in hot pursuit. It sounds like a good formula, doesn't it? The problem is, the execution is extremely sloppy. First of all, the big twist is apparent in the first issue. Second, the action sequences suffer from 'Wash, Rinse, Repeat' syndrome. Just how many times did Chance lose his gun in the middle of a fight? My next problem is the lack of characterization, as the supporting cast is not fleshed at all and probably should have been left on the sidelines.

My final complaint is a bit of a nitpick, but I truly feel that it is very good example of the laziness of many of today's artists and editors. Back in the Golden and Silver Ages, artists kept swipe files and stacks of books to be used for photo references. In today's world of Google Images, artists should be able to accurately replicate any place, activity, costume, custom, animal etc... One sequence showed a shocking lack of research. Chance is skiing down a mountain in the Swiss Alps. There are mobsters on skis in hot pursuits (shades of every other Bond movie, as well as The Lazarus Affair). Anyone who has every skied or watched the sport on TV knows that there is a huge difference between alpine skiing and the sport of ski jumping. The poses struck by Chance and his pursuers makes it look as though they have traded in their downhill skis for some Nordic jumping skis. I'm 99.9% sure that Bruno Redondo simply looked up 'ski jump' in Google Images. That's lazy and the editor should have caught. That kind of thing really bugs me as it takes you right out of the story. This one should be avoided and I am not at all surprised that I found it for $6 just a couple of months after publication. Trade Mark: D+


Anonymous said...

I am in complete agreement with your assessment of the latest Human Target mini-series. It read as though it were slapped together in short arder just to get it on the market while the show was still on the air.
However, I would also like to suggest giving the television program a look. The original DC Christopher Chance character and idea (which I love) is nowhere to be found, but if the show is taken on its own terms, it is an enjoyable action/drama. The Guerrero character is especially interesting. Unfortunately, I don'tt think there are enough people like me watching to have the show survive much longer.

Peter Bangs said...

Not read it and don't intend to but this is an excellent review. You have something to say about the comic and a comment on the industry as a whole. Good work.