- "Being killed is... basically, my job."
- —Christopher Chance[src]
Christopher "Chris" Chance, nicknamed the Human Target, is an individual with a special set of skills and master of disguise. He worked with Solntsevskaya Bratva and later with Star City Mayor's Office on missions, both of which centered around protecting Oliver Queen. For the sake of his mission, Chance thoroughly researched Oliver's identity, including his vigilante alter-ego known as the Green Arrow and his romance with Felicity Smoak. Later, he helped Oliver during his trial by impersonating Tommy Merlyn, in order to convince the public the latter is Green Arrow, then impersonating Judge McGarvey, allowing himself to overrule the jury's verdict.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 References
Working for Anatoly Knyazev
Christopher Chance was hired by Anatoly Knyazev to protect Oliver Queen and take care of Viktor, a member of Solntsevskaya Bratva who didn't trust Oliver and set a trap for him. Chance, at first, tried to warn Oliver to not leave the party at Cafe Lyublyu, but Queen refused to listen and was trapped by two of Viktor's thugs. Chance then rescued Oliver from the two men. He told Oliver he expected Anatoly to pay the remainder of his fee within the hour as he walked off and took off a prosthetic face mask, changing his whole appearance.
Faking Oliver Queen's death
After being contacted by John Diggle, Chance disguised himself as Oliver Queen, using a prosthetic mask which resembled Oliver. As Oliver Queen, Chance spoke to Susan Williams, requesting she give him one month to prove himself as a suitable mayor. Later, Christopher got the councilman Kullens to pass an ordinance rezoning for low-income housing. As Chance left City Hall, he was shot several times by a masked figure. Chance then arrived at the Arrowcave and introduced himself to Team Arrow.
Oliver thanked Chance for helping him throughout the day. Chance then told Oliver that when he becomes his target, he learns everything about them to the point where he knows as much as them. Chance then tells Oliver that he can't move forward hiding behind a mask, and he should move on as Felicity Smoak did, Oliver unaware that she was in a relationship.
Taking down Tobias Church
Chance disguised himself as a gang member under Tobias Church, using the opportunity to assist Team Arrow in their plan to destroy Church's organization. He approached the masked assassin Scimitar, employed by Church, right as the masked man defeated Evelyn Sharp and Curtis Holt. When Scimitar said that he' got the situation under control and the gangster should go assist Mr. Church instead, Chance opened fire, bringing Scimitar down. He then removed his mask and retreated together with the vigilantes he saved.
After Oliver addressed the issue of faking his death before Star City, explaining that it was part of the plan to infiltrate and take down Tobias Church's syndicate, Chance approached him at the office, where he and Oliver bid farewell. When Felicity arrived at the scene, Chance quipped about "speaking of the Devil", leaving Felicity bewildered about her being "the Devil".
Out of the country
In 2018, Chance ended up captured by a militia in Kasnia. Eventually, he was rescued by John Diggle, who brought him back to Star City to help with Oliver's trial. To that end, Chance made a mask of Tommy Merlyn and dressed himself in the Green Arrow suit before dramatically dropping into the courtroom from the skylight and cast reasonable doubt about Oliver's secret identity. The judge then ordered him remanded to Iron Heights Prison, though in truth, corrupt cops on Ricardo Diaz's payroll had other plans. Chance was subsequently rescued by Diggle and Rene Ramirez as Spartan and Wild Dog and they then escaped in a police van. Subsequently, Chance impersonated the judge, allowing himself to overrule the jury's verdict. Chance then later unmasked himself before Oliver, Felicity Smoak and William Clayton in the Arrowcave before insisting they not seek his help for another year.
- "I don't just put on faces, Oliver. I become my target, and to do that, I've got to learn everything there is to know about them, more than they know about themselves. I've got to become them."
- —Christopher Chance to Oliver Queen[src]
In Chance's normal-self, he is genial, yet professional, able to joke about his choice of work and how often he's paid to fake deaths. After removing his mask, he wasn't against Felicity Smoak goofing off with it, knowing that the mask wouldn't work on other people the same way it does on him. Working with his employers, he researched them on a personal level, which allowed him insight into their psychology, manners of speech and personal issues.
Despite not having to do this, Chance tried to give Oliver Queen friendly advice on his problems with Felicity and cheer him up regarding his work as a mayor. Bidding goodbye to Oliver, Chance showed his sense of humor one more time, quipping about Felicity being the Devil, leaving her comically indignant.
While Chance has good faith working with the heroic Team Arrow and Star City's Mayoral Office, Chance showed a less-carefree, more professional and no-nonsense side when working with the characters as shady as the Solntsevskaya Bratva. After Oliver ignored his secret bodyguard's advice and needed to be saved, Chance gruffly told Oliver to tell his boss that he expects payment within the hour, before leaving.
Taking on other people's identities, Chance faked personalities indistinguishable from those of his targets. He also doesn't seem to mind killing, at least when defending others or himself, as he killed two Bratva members that where trying to kill Oliver, and shot down Scimitar when he had beaten Artemis and Mr. Terrific.
Powers and abilities
- Whether Christopher Chance's skills are based purely on tricks, powers, or both, is left ambiguous and as such the powers section is speculation.
- Physiology alteration (possibly): Beyond simple application of a convincing mask, Chance appears able to change his physical form to match his target (size, built, skin tone, etc.). His metamorphosis also appears to have an effect on the mask, allowing him to take on or features of the person including facial hair, as seen when once removing his Oliver-mask, such traits disappeared.
- Enhanced durability (possibly): Despite wearing a protective vest under the suit, the number of bullets Chance caught with his body would be impossible for a normal human being to survive, or a normal armored vest to endure. In fact, many of the bullets he was shot with actually went through him in the guise of Oliver Queen.
- Genius-level intellect/Expert tactician: In preparation for his role, Chance does an extensive background check of the target. He is so thorough at analyzing that in many ways, as Chance puts it, he knows the person more than they know themselves. He is able to prepare his role for various situations hours in advance, even faking the target's death. To which, he can effectively make an assailant's murder attempt seem real with proper padding.
- Master deceiver/Manipulator: Chance's portrayal of his target is more than just physical appearance. He is able to perfectly imitate the person's entire character (i.e. voice, accent, mannerisms, demeanor, speech patterns, ideology, etc.). He is able to apply the general thought-processing and natural reactions of his target to such efficiency that even fool people closest to the target. He is also a highly skilled liar, able to instantly device such convincing backstories to blend two separate identities as he did when portraying Tommy Merlyn as the Green Arrow, even while cross-examined by extremely successful lawyer Alexa Van Owen. Chance is a skilled fabricator and user of a highly sophisticated prosthetic make-up and masks, with his disguises allowing him to perfectly mimic another person's appearance.
- Expert investigator: Chance is an expert investigator as he knew about Felicity Smoak being in another relationship before Oliver did and learns about the targets he will impersonate until he knows them better than they know themselves.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant: Chance was able to swiftly overpower, disarm and kill two Bratva members with their own knife, which they tried to kill Oliver Queen with.
- Peak human physical conditioning: Apparently to make his impersonation of people so absolute, Chance is in superb form. Conditioning himself so thoroughly, he can apparently mimic other people's skills to similar efficiency. During his portrayal of Green Arrow, he showed similar agility and acrobatics to Oliver Queen, jumping from the roof of a building to gracefully land on the ground.
- Armored vest: Chance uses armored vests to amplify his resilience in the guise of his target.
- Cosmetic prosthetics: Chance uses prosthetic masks and make-up of his own fabrication. When worn by other people, like Felicity Smoak, Chance's masks do not resemble anyone, but when he uses them, they transform into the face of an intended person's, such as his Oliver Queen mask giving him Oliver's facial hair, despite no apparent hair being seen on the mask itself. Additionally, the masks seem to transform his body shape and skin color, as seen with the bulky "Friendly Bratva" reverting to Chance's own shape after lifting the mask, and the darker-skinned "Shooter's" hands becoming of whiter color after lifting the other mask.
- Machine gun: In his guise as a member of Tobias Church's gang shooter, Chance used a machine gun to take out Scimitar.
- Green Arrow suit: Chance used Oliver's suit while the latter was on trial. He disguised himself as Tommy Merlyn and dressed himself in the Green Arrow suit before dramatically dropping into the courtroom from the skylight and casting reasonable doubt about Oliver's secret identity.
- Green Arrow mask: Chance wore this while impersonating the Green Arrow.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics Christopher Chance is the third man to take a mantle of Human Target after Fred Venable and Detective Bruce Perry, but is the most known and prominent character to use the nickname.
- Character was previously adapted for television twice with his own television series from 1992 and 2010 (both named Human Target) with Rick Springfield and Mark Valley in the role of Chance respectively.
- In both series Chance was portrayed by more than one actor as in 1992 he was using elaborate disguises similar to those seen in Arrow, while in the latter Christopher Chance is a legacy name. It should be noted that one of the disguises of Chance (as Garner St. John) in the series was portrayed by John Wesley Shipp, who portrays Henry Allen, Jay Garrick and Earth-90 Barry Allen in the Arrowverse. The role was a nod from showrunners, who previously cast Shipp as Barry Allen in 1990's The Flash. Also Mark Valley recently appeared on as Anton Slater.
- Christopher Chance's appearances as other people are credited as "Shooter" (in the guise of a thug that shot down Scimitar) and "Friendly Bratva" (the Bratva member that saves Oliver) in the episode's end credits.
- It's ambiguous whether Christopher Chance's radical changes of appearance without his mask, as well as his enhanced durability hardly explained by just wearing an armored vest, are intentional artistic choices or just cases of suspension of disbelief, especially in a universe where people with powers are common, adding mystery to the character.