Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Checkmate #1 Review

You Know, Checkmate

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Alex Maleev, David Stewart, Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 22, 2021

It's 2021 and for some reason, we're still talking about Mark Shaw and Leviathan and I have no idea how that's possible. When Bendis pulled out his big story of destruction and espionage it seemed like it should have been something that blew the hair back of all the DC fans out there but when your big villain reveal is Mark Shaw, a character that most people don't care about and a backstory that feels just forced in and doesn't really add up to something that makes sense throughout the world......... Well, you have yourself a bit of a dud of a story. The only thing that could make that dud worse is waiting for everyone to forget about it and bring it back up in a series that acts like everything just happened yesterday. Let's jump into this issue and see if Checkmate can somehow make Leviathan feel important or if this is something that is just being put out simply to be put out.  

So for anyone who has trouble remembering where we left things off previously, we now have a new Checkmate that's supposedly made up of the best detectives in the DC Universe......... you know, people like Lois Lane, The Question, Green Arrow, Mr. Bones, Steve Trevor, Kate Spencer and their mysterious leader, Mr. King. This lineup and the designation of the best detectives doesn't make a lick of sense and them coming together doesn't really do anything in this book to try and discover where Mark Shaw or Leviathan Island is. Simply, they come together, chitchat, and then move on and nothing gets accomplished.

So yeah, ultimately we're trying to discover more about Leviathan but they're whatever they need to be for the story and everyone is involved with it it seems and they have evolving technology that will always keep our heroes on their toes but we're still no closer in understanding why we should care about this clandestine group because we're so far removed from Leviathan shutting down the different groups and agencies in the DC Universe that they're all backup and running in the other books and Leviathan's opening move just seems like not such a big deal anymore. Even with that though, we're going to be spending six issues hunting Mark Shaw down and I hope beyond hope that it becomes more interesting than this boring first issue.

All in all, we have Alex Maleev back on art from Event Leviathan to continue where he left off to give this book the same style that we previously had and the art is definitely the best part of this issue, but it's too bad that I don't care for this art style and think that the colors are just too drab for my tastes. Yeah, I'm sure that this is supposed to be a dark-looking book but I wasn't a fan of how Event Leviathan looked and this is the same. As for the story........ I'm not sure what the story is because we have a lot of people saying they're going to hunt down Leviathan but they're not doing anything while I'm lost on the motives of what Mark Shaw wants and find myself looking for a reason to care because everything from the characters presented to the way they're shown makes me think that we're just stuck in a boring story that doesn't have any real rhyme or reason.

Bits and Pieces:

If you were a fan of Event Leviathan and the big nothing burger that gave us, then you'll love this too because you continue to get nothing out of the first issue of this six-issue mini. The worst part is, I thought the story was dull previously, but now after having so much time removed from Leviathan and the complete lack of progression we got out of that story, this feels even worse because nothing feels like it matters because the reader, like the rest of the DC Universe, has moved on.



  1. What about Evan Levianthan? He really liked Event Leviathan, do you think he'd really like this?

  2. Evan Leviathan is a cool name, but he may want to read better comics!