DC This Week

Review – Checkmate #2: The Chess Moves of Mark Shaw

Checkmate #2 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Checkmate #2 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Alex Maleev, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: How do you tell a mystery when everyone already knows the answer? That’s the question Bendis is trying to figure out with this miniseries. The unmasking for former Manhunter Mark Shaw as the mysterious Leviathan didn’t really make much of an impact, because the character had been considered a DC footnote. But now, with his secrets out in the open, the cybernetic mastermind is actually working better as a villain. He’s declared his floating fortress to be his own country and has no problem kidnapping heroes and their allies so he can manipulate them and set them against their partners—all the while maintaining a vague form of diplomatic immunity. Yet at the same time, he seems to have something resembling a sense of ethics—namely, he still seems somewhat loyal to Superman. This leads to an amusing conversation with his millennial henchwomen, but also shows that he may have some hesitation about what needs to be done.

Related Post
Fortress in the sky. Via DC Comics.

Shaw is so in control of this series that it often makes the other main characters feel like footnotes. They just stumble around trying to find answers and often failing, with even top detectives like The Question out of their depths. Much of this issue’s non-Leviathan segments find Question and Green Arrow investigating clues left by Sam Lane before his death, and coming under attack by Merlyn. Leviathan’s involvement in Green Arrow’s affairs has also been teased in Justice League. But it’s Lois Lane who seems to be at the center of this mystery, with Shaw being oddly interested in her—and taunting her with knowledge of a conversation he had with Superman when Clark rescued Talia Al Ghul. Overall, it’s an intriguing series, but a third of the way through the story, it feels like it’s revealing its secrets very slowly. Not unusual for the creative team.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!

This post was last modified on July 26, 2021 4:59 pm

Ray Goldfield

Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

Share
Published by

Recent Posts

GeekMom: Changing of the Geek Flag

My particular brand of geek has morphed into many things over the years. From the…

September 19, 2021

GeekDad Daily Deal: 3-Year Membership to School of Game Design

Dive into making great games with a 3-Year Membership to the School of Game Design!

September 18, 2021

GeekMom: Make/Play/Watch/Read: Sign Languages

When I was in my first year of school, many moons ago, one of my…

September 18, 2021

GeekDad Daily Deal: 12 Months of Unlimited Talk and Text With Boost Mobile Prepaid Deal

Boost your mobile life with 12 Months of Unlimited Talk and Text with the Boost…

September 17, 2021

GeekDad Visits the ROM’s Great Whales Exhibit in Toronto

When in Toronto, the ROM's new Great Whales: Up Close and Personal is well worth…

September 17, 2021

‘Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions’ Is a Knockout

Longtime fans of the 'Rocky' franchise, newcomers who jumped aboard with 'Creed,' and lovers of…

September 17, 2021

This website uses cookies.