Review: Targitt #3

Targitt #3 cover
Cover by Rich Buckler and Al Milgrom

Targitt #3
Published and © by Atlas (Seaboard), July 1975

Title: Untitled
Synopsis: John Targitt falls prey to Professor Death’s nerve gas, but ultimately assumes a new identity as the more powerful Man-Stalker. 

Writers: Gerry Conway and Rick Meyers
Artist: Howard Nostrand

Review: Targitt is one of the more perplexing series from short-lived publisher Atlas (Seaboard). The first issue (see review) drew from the same pop-culture influences as the Punisher. The second (review) took a straight-up superhero turn. For this last outing, the tone shifts again, this time in the direction of Will Eisner’s Spirit. Honestly, that’d be a perfect fit for the character, particularly as drawn by stylish cartoonist Howard Nostrand. But the confusing script makes this issue almost impossible to follow. Targitt would soon meet the same fate as the rest of Marvel-founder Martin Goodman’s encore attempt at a comics empire.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “Only worth buying to laugh at the fool on the letters page of issue #3, who compared it with the Spirit and predicted that Targitt would surpass Spider-Man in popularity” – Frank Plowright, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983 … “The most unsettled of the Atlas heroes.” – Martin Lock, Fantasy Unlimited #27, June 1975

Cool factor: A promising turn …
Not-so-cool factor: … for the final issue.

Character quotable: “I’ve changed … but I’m ready! I’ll never again wait for evil! No more just a moving target! For today… the Man-Stalker is born!” – John Targitt, Man-Stalker

Editor’s note: This review was written March 15, 2023.

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