Human Target

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For other uses, see Human Target (disambiguation).
The Human Target
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Venable)
Detective Comics #201 (November 1953)
(Chance)
Action Comics #419 (December 1972)
Created by (Venable)
Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff
(Chance)
Len Wein
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Alter ego Fred Venable
Christopher Chance
Notable aliases Numerous identities
Impersonates his clients to protect them
Abilities
  • Master impersonator
  • exceptional athleticism
  • Skilled detective, marksman, and martial artist

The Human Target is the name of two fictional comic book characters that have appeared in books published by DC Comics. The first is Fred Venable, who appears in Detective Comics #201 (November 1953), by Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff.[1]

The second, Christopher Chance, first appears in Action Comics #419 (December 1972), and was created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino. This character, a private investigator and bodyguard who assumes the identities of clients targeted by assassins and other dangerous criminals,[2] has appeared in numerous books published throughout the decades, and has appeared in television adaptations.

Publication history[edit]

The first character to use the title "Human Target", was Fred Venable, who appeared in Detective Comics #201 (November 1953), by Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff.

Christopher Chance's early appearances came in back-up stories in Action Comics, a title better known for featuring Superman tales published by DC Comics. He first appeared in "The Assassin-Express Contract", a backup story written by Len Wein and illustrated Carmine Infantino that ran in Action Comics #419 (December 1972). Later, the feature appeared in Batman titles such as The Brave and the Bold and Detective Comics. Christopher Chance starred in a limited series, a one-shot, and then an ongoing Human Target series written by Peter Milligan and published under DC's Vertigo imprint. The Human Target has twice been adapted as a television series: once briefly on ABC in 1992, starring Rick Springfield, and again on Fox, starring Mark Valley, for two seasons in 2010–2011.[3]

Comic Book Appearances[4]
Date Issue Title
1953 November Detective Comics #201 "The Human Target"
1958 January Gangbusters #61 "The Human Target"
1972 December Action Comics #419 "The Assassin-Express Contract"
1973 January Action Comics #420 "The King of the Jungle Contract"
1973 March Action Comics #422 "The Shadows-of-Yesterday Contract"
1973 April Action Comics #423 "The Deadly Dancer Contract"
1973 July Action Comics #425 "The Short-Walk-to-Disaster Contract -- Clause 1: I Have a Cousin in the Business"
1973 August Action Comics #426 "The Short-Walk-to-Disaster Contract -- Clause 2: The Shortest Distance Between Two Points"
1973 November Action Comics #429 "The Rodeo Riddle Contract"
1974 February Action Comics #432 "The Million Dollar Methuselah Contract"
1978 September–October DC The Brave and the Bold #143 "The Cat and the Canary Contract"
1979 April–May Detective Comics #483 "The Lights! Camera! Murder! Contract"
1979 June–July Detective Comics #484 "The Who Is Floyd Fenderman Anyway? Contract"
1979 October–November Detective Comics #486 "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Contract"
1979 October–November DC The Brave and the Bold #144 "The Symphony For The Devil Contract"
1980 August Detective Comics #493 "The 18-Wheel War Contract"
1981 March Detective Comics #500 "The 'Too Many Crooks...' Caper"
1982 June Detective Comics #515 "College for Killers"
1982 July Batman #349 "Blood Sport"
1982 September Batman #351 "What Stalks the Gotham Night?"
1982 September Detective Comics #518 "The Millionaire Contract"
1982 October Batman #352 "The Killer Sky"
1982 November DC The Best of Blue Ribbon Digest #30 "The Assassin-Express Contract" (reprint)
1989 March Action Comics #641 "The Pow! Wap! Zam! Contract"
1991 November DC special (TV tie-in) "The Human Target: The Mack Attack Contract"
1999 April Vertigo Human Target (1999) #1 "Human Target, Part 1"
1999 May Vertigo Human Target (1999) #2 "Human Target, Part 2"
1999 June Vertigo Human Target (1999) #3 "Human Target, Part 3"
1999 July Vertigo Human Target (1999) #4 "Human Target, Part 4"
2003 October Vertigo Human Target (2003) #1 '"To Be Frank"
2003 November Vertigo Human Target (2003) #2 "The Unshredded Man, Part 1: Ground Zero"
2003 December Vertigo Human Target (2003) #3 "The Unshredded Man, Part 2: Ready to Die"
2004 January Vertigo Human Target (2003) #4 "Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Part One: The Set-Up Man"
2004 February Vertigo Human Target (2003) #5 "Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Part Two: The Strike Zone"
2004 March Vertigo Human Target (2003) #6 "For I Have Sinned"
2004 April Vertigo Human Target (2003) #7 "Which Way The Wind Blows, Part One: Living In Amerika"
2004 May Vertigo Human Target (2003) #8 "Which Way The Wind Blows, Part Two: American Terrorists"
2004 June Vertigo Human Target (2003) #9 "Which Way The Wind Blows, Part Three: Bringing It All Back Home"
2004 July Vertigo Human Target (2003) #10 "Five Days Grace"
2004 August Vertigo Human Target (2003) #11 "Games of Chance"
2004 September Vertigo Human Target (2003) #12 "Suffer the Children"
2004 October Vertigo Human Target (2003) #13 "Hey, Jude"
2004 November Vertigo Human Target (2003) #14 "The Second Coming, Part One: In the Name of the Father"
2004 December Vertigo Human Target (2003) #15 "The Second Coming, Part Two: The Temptation of Christopher Chance"
2005 January Vertigo Human Target (2003) #16 "The Second Coming, Conclusion: Pieces of Lead"
2005 February Vertigo Human Target (2003) #17 "You Made Me Love You"
2005 March Vertigo Human Target (2003) #18 "Letters From the Front Line"
2005 April Vertigo Human Target (2003) #19 "The Stealer, Part One"
2005 May Vertigo Human Target (2003) #20 "The Stealer, Part Two"
2005 June Vertigo Human Target (2003) #21 "The Stealer, Part Three"
2010 June Vertigo Human Target Special Edition #1 "Human Target, Part 1" (1999/reprint)
2010 April DC Human Target (2010) #1 (TV tie-in) "Human Target #1"
2010 May DC Human Target (2010) #2 (TV tie-in) "Human Target #2"
2010 June DC Human Target (2010) #3 (TV tie-in) "Human Target #3"
2010 July DC Human Target (2010) #4 (TV tie-in) "Human Target #4"
2010 August DC Human Target (2010) #5 (TV tie-in) "Human Target #5"
2010 September DC Human Target (2010) #6 (TV tie-in) "Human Target #6"

In other media[edit]

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.[5] 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".[6]

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,[7] and Chi McBride.[8] In May 2009 it was confirmed that FOX had placed an episode order and it would be on their 2009-2010 schedule.[9] 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.[10] 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.

Vertigo[edit]

Writer Peter Milligan and Edvin Biukovic revived Christopher Chance in 1999, moving the character to DC Comics' Vertigo imprint for a four-issue limited series. The mini-series was followed by the graphic novel Human Target: Final Cut, as well as an ongoing series lasting 21 issues until its cancellation in 2003.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Detective Comics Vol 1 #201". Human Target Online. humantargetonline.com. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  2. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Starting as a back-up feature in the pages of Action Comics, scribe Len Wein and artist Carmine Infantino introduced Christopher Chance, a master of disguise who would turn himself into a human target - provided you could meet his price." 
  3. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford. "FOX TO FLIP "TARGET," "IDOL" ON WEDNESDAYS". TVGuide.com. 
  4. ^ http://humantargetonline.com/original-comic/
  5. ^ About : ABC Series. "Humantargetonline: About: ABC Series". humantargetonline.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  6. ^ "Remembering David Carradine". humantargetonline.com. 2009-06-07. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  7. ^ Goldman, Eric (2009-04-22). "IGN: Flash Forward, Human Target Among Hot Pilots". Tv.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  8. ^ "Fox press release reveals official synopsis of Human Target". Humantargetonline.com. 2009-05-21. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  9. ^ "Human Target Television Series Pilot". Target419. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  10. ^ "TV Networks 'Upfront' About Their 2009-10 'Genre' Plans". Newsarama.com. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 

External links[edit]