Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Checkmate #3 Review

Double Agents And Losing Patience

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Alex Maleev, Dave Stewart, Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 24, 2021

It's time to jump back into the world of mystery and espionage that is Checkmate..... I guess. I mean, I know that's what this book is going for but mostly the only things I get from this book after reading it is that the characters have awful dialog, they don't sound like themselves and I don't think Bendis fully understands the characters he's using...... but maybe that's just me. Previously we had a time-jumping story where people talked about "The Snowman's Ticket", which we've done for a while now but the thing that was infuriating is..... No One Knows What The Fucking Snowman's Ticket Is!.... They're still talking about it though like it's important. Let's jump into this issue and see if things can become more interesting than they've been and if Checkmate becomes a book that not only becomes clearer in its story but something that matters in the rest of the DC Universe, that just feels like it's left this story behind.

So for this issue, we have international incidents left and right as Superman invades the country of Leviathan, formerly known as Markovia so that he can rescue Talia Al'Ghul, who supposedly left blood everywhere, but you only see it on the ground after they mention it..... it's clean as hell before this aspect and in a little tit for tat, Mark Shaw later kidnaps Lois Lane as we saw at the end of the previous issue and teleports her from Coast City to his nation....... and really, it just seems like with Leviathan involved, nobody wants to play by any rules anymore....... which means that everyone feels like they're out of character. Added to this element, people are still talking about the Snowman's Ticket like it means something to them, even though it doesn't, and after being teleported away from the country of Leviathan to the Hall of Justice, Lois has an epiphany after looking at the Hall and then looking at the snowman chotchkie she took from her father's houseboat in the previous issue and now this series seems to be about Mark Shaw getting to the Hall of Justice computer system........ and the people of Leviathan being worried about algorithms.... they're weird over there.

If that wasn't enough to satisfy you..... or piss you off, we continue this story with the idea that there's a mole within Checkmate that's working with Leviathan and while I'm not going to reveal who that person is.... go and read the book, I will say that this reveal feels weird for where the character is currently in the DC Universe, but maybe this reveal is a ruse overall and there will be redemption but since this story feels so out of place, it probably doesn't matter and I'll just end this bit with telling you that the Toyman shows up in this...... he's not doing much but he shows up and if you're anything like me, you might just be happy that Winslow Schott showed up and had something to do in DC Comics since he's so barely used anymore.  

All in all, I continue not to be a fan of the art style of this book because it not only just feels static and dull but because they're telling me there's blood everywhere and it only shows up after that mention. As for the story..... Well, that too continues to be dull with characters that just stand around and talk in nonsense-sing-song ways that don't feel like the characters at all and I spent the majority of this book wondering how the hell Merlyn looked like he survived the last issue after Green Arrow blew up his airship but I guess I'm going to keep wondering because it's never brought up in the issue. Beyond that, the Snowman's Ticket continues to be something that people talk about but it means absolutely nothing to nobody and I really have no idea why this series had to be six issues since we've legitimately done nothing for three issues already.

Bits and Pieces:

Checkmate continues to be a series that not only comes across like it's been left behind by everything else in DC Comics, but a series that just presents the characters we love in weird ways and has them saying and doing weird things throughout, while also not giving much progression in the long run. People standing around and talking about nothing with art that just isn't for me overall..... Hopefully, as we now hit the second leg of the story things will start happening and make it feel like Checkmate is somewhat worthwhile.... but I'm not holding my breath.


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