The best way to beat X-Men’s Professor X might be to lose

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WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Human Target #5, which is available now from DC Comics.

How do you defeat a telepath? This has been a question many enemies of the X-Men have been asking for decades, as they have often been faced with the possibility of facing off against the group’s founder, Professor Xavier. Some paras ingenious solutions. Magneto’s helmet, for example, was able to block all telepathic attacks, rendering Charles Xavier’s attacks useless against his former friend. But what if you can’t get hold of something like Magneto’s iconic headgear? In the case of a frontal psychic attack, it wasn’t Marvel who revealed the strategy, it was DC.

Christopher Chance’s search for the Justice League member who killed him continues The human goal #5 (by Tom King, Greg Smallwood and Clayton Cowles). The previous issue led him to the Martian Manhunter. The only tandatanya was that it’s difficult to interrogate a telepath. You will already know why you are asking them and what you are looking for. So the first step to defeating them is to figure out how to fight them before even getting into a battle with them. As it turns out, when he and J’onn went head-to-head, Chance’s best option was to lose on purpose.

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This edition of The human goal different from the others before it. It’s not just about figuring out how to interrogate J’onn Jonzz, it’s is interrogates J’onn J’onzz. This whole issue is the psychic battle between the human target and the martian manhunter. It may not seem like it at first, but it quickly becomes clear that this is the point. The issue’s disjointed narrative, which constantly jumps back and forth between different moments in Chance’s life, is disorienting at first. It’s clear that the protagonist of the series feels that too, since his normally calm and collected voice doesn’t flow as it normally does. It’s pulled in different directions, like the narrative itself, and it’s very effective.

Throughout the chaos, the human target reminisces about his time long ago with another psychic, Emra of Titan. She tried to teach him to resist psychic attacks. In this, The human goal provides the perfect metaphor for a telepathic attack. The telepath grabs the most important memory, and while the victim tries to hide it from him, he bypasses any other memory he has left unguarded. While trying to hide those memories from the victim as well, the victim becomes distracted and lets go of what they most wanted to protect. In the end, the telepath has a free hand over every secret, no matter how small. A perfect metaphor for a completely unseen attack, it highlights exactly what’s going on in this installment and cleans up the mess for what’s next.

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