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The Human Target
Christopher and Emerald.jpg
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Action Comics #419 (December 1972)
Created by Len Wein
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Alter ego Christopher Chance
Notable aliases Numerous; impersonates his clients to protect them
Abilities master impersonator; great athlete; skilled detective, marksman, and martial artist

The Human Target (Christopher Chance) is an American comic book character created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino: a unique combination of private detective and bodyguard who operates by impersonating his clients in order to eliminate threats to their safety. He first appeared in Action Comics #419 (December 1972).

Chance's early appearances came in back-up stories in Action Comics, a title better known for featuring Superman tales published by DC Comics. 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.

Human Target has twice been adapted as a television series: once briefly on ABC in 1992, starring Rick Springfield, and again on Fox. The latter show premiered on January 17, 2010, starring Mark Valley.[1]



Christopher Chance was introduced to audiences as the secondary star of DC Comics' Action Comics, where he served in assorted back-up features while the title's primary focus remained on the character of Superman. Chance would go on to appear in a variety of other DC productions, including (along with a slew of other DC gumshoes) in a special story, "The 'Too Many Crooks...' Caper", in the 500th issue of Detective Comics.

In other media

A television pilot, starring former pop star 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 was an eccentric computer genius who helped Chance by designing high-tech masks, and Jeff Carlyle was the chauffeur, cook and pilot for Chance's mobile base of operations, the Blackwing (designed by Mike Kaluta). Lilly Page was an ex-CIA agent who helped coordinate Chance's missions. The show was created by Warner Brothers and Pet Fly Productions, producers of Viper and the Sentinel, but aired on ABC.[2] 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. Guests stars included the late David Carradine who unleashed some of his Kung Fu moves on Springfield in the episode entitled "Second Chance."[3]

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,[4] and Chi McBride[5]. In May 2009 it was confirmed that FOX has placed an episode order and it would be on their 2009-2010 schedule.[6] 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.[7] Human Target debuted on CTV and FOX in January 2010.


Writer Peter Milligan and the late 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.

See also


External links



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