Crossing the Border
Part One: Suffer the Children
By Peter Milligan and Javier Pulido
Past lives seems to be a recurring theme in the Human Target. Episodes often open with flashbacks to 10 or more years before the present. This episode opens with a flashback, which introduces one of the two threads in this arc. How it relates to the other thread is not difficult to figure out and is made clear at the end of the issue.
Even though this story was published over six years ago in 2004 the topic of people crossing the border separating the US from Mexico is still very relevant in 2010. It's an issue which has not gone away.
The most poignant image in the story occurs halfway though the issue just after the second coyote hands young Maria Centeno over to the third coyote, who is supposed to get her to her mother. The coyotes do nothing to discourage her or make her doubt that she will soon be reunited with her mother. The fate of the first coyote, on the other hand, makes it fairly clear that her guides have other things in mind for her.
The last image of Maria could be of any young girl or boy. All that is visible is her hand pressed up against the window of the third coyote's truck. The fingers are spread. Although it is probably meant to be a wave goodbye to the second coyote, it (coupled with the reassurance by the third coyote that she will soon see her mother) made me sad.
Cover Image: Human Target #12
Human Target was published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics.