I was a huge fan of “Detective Comics” and “The Brave and the Bold” comics as a kid so I smiled when I read a brief item in the trades today about a new television series featuring Christopher Chance, the Human Target, a character that popped up in both those comics in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mark Valley has been tapped as the lead in Fox’s drama pilot ‘Human Target’ for director Simon West, while Kathryn Hahn has been tapped to star in Fox’s comedy pilot ‘Absolutely Fabulous.’ ‘Target,’ from WBTV, DC Comics and McG’s Wonderland, is based on the DC Comics title and centers on Christopher Chance (Valley), a mysterious security freelancer who assumes the identities of those in danger, becoming the “human target” for his clients. Endeavor-repped Valley recurred on another Fox/WBTV drama series, “Fringe,” this season.
The plot conceit of “Target” is pure genius as far as television series goes and recalls a bit of the satisfying “Mission Impossible” masquerade gimmicks: Chance is a master of disguise for hire whose specialty is disguising himself as a person who will be targeted for murder, which opens up all kinds of assassination motifs and tense suspense sequences.
“Target” has been resurrected before, of course. In recent years, Peter Milligan brought the character back with a memorable Vertigo Comics series that added more mystery, sex and gritty shadings to the face-changing exploits of Mr. Chance. (You can see one of the covers above on the right.)
There was also a 1991 comics revival for a blink-and-you-missed-it 1990s television adaptation starring “Jesse’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield, but the less said about that the better.
(Random fanboy trivia: Did you know that heartthrob Springfield released a 1974 album titled “Comic Book Heroes”?)
Here’s a look at Springfield tussling with David Carradine (!) on an episode of “Target”…
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Mark Valley from “Fringe,” photo from Fox. Photo of Anna Torv and Mark Valley from Wire image.