Checkmate 16 – 31

check16

Checkmate (Volume 2) #16
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Joe Bennett and Joe Prado

What a fantastic issue! I forgot how good this series was. This is one of those relationshippy issues which I love, especially focusing on the relationship between Sasha and Mr. Terrific, as well as the friendship between Fire and Ice. It was great to see the two of them together again.

check17

Checkmate (Volume 2) #17
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric S. Trautmann
Art by Chris Samnee

This was a decent issue focusing on the security of the Checkmate Castle and the man behind it. It was pretty high concept and I liked that. The idea of a man with a computer in his brain is so simple I am surprised no one has ever thought of it.

check18

Checkmate (Volume 2) #18
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Joe Bennett

Ah this looks like it is going to be a fun arc. Amanda Waller is going to get her ass handed to her I have a feeling as Checkmate is figuring out her scheme with Taskforce X. I did not expect to see Martain Manhunter in this and it made me very sad to realize he will die soon after this in Final Crisis. I really miss him. His death was a shame.

check19

Checkmate (Volume 2) #19
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Joe Bennett

I like how we are seeing both sides of the mystery so it’s the characters that are in the dark about everything. Amanda Waller is fascist biatch…I can’t wait to see her fall. I like that this series doesn’t glorify the US government (in fact, it does quite the opposite). The art is fantastic by the way.

check20

Checkmate (Volume 2) #20
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Joe Bennett

Hell ya Amanda Waller has fallen! Most of the characters on this cover don’t appear unfortunately but still, Amanda Waller has fallen! The rest of Checkmate totally got her where they wanted her and got her to resign. I am excited to see who will b e the new White Queen. My question is though, has Martian Manhunter been the Black King this whole time?

check21

Checkmate (Volume 2) #21
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric S. Trautmann
Art by Chris Samnee

You know I am not sure why but I didn’t really care for this issue. It just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t bad and I thought the whole Madame Moiselle Marie legacy thing was interesting, but I guess I just found it kinda dull.

check22

Checkmate (Volume 2) #22
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric S. Trautmann
Art by Chris Samnee

So this issue really grabbed me with the Madameoiselle Marie concept….I really liked the historical aspect and the tradition. And I liked seeing her whoop ass. Seriously she was brutal. I hope this character is not forgotten after this series ends.

check23

Checkmate (Volume 2) #23
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric S. Trautmann
Art by Joe Bennett

This looks to be a fun and thrilling arc dealing with Kobra. I remember rather enjoying the first Kobra arc on this title. Bringing in Superman may have been the easy-way-out, but at least it was a smart move on Checkmate’s part.

check24

Checkmate (Volume 2) #24
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric S. Trautmann
Art by Chris Joe Bennett

This was intense as Checkmate gathers the Global Guardians, the Outsiders, the Justice League, and Justice Society to stop Kobra’s evil plan. Oh how occults are freaking scary and especially when said Cult has killer reptilian babies.

check25

Checkmate (Volume 2) #25
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric S. Trautmann
Art by Joe Bennett

This ends Rucka’s run on this title and it was definitely a nice ending. I expected Checkmate to kill the babies but I was pleasently surprised to see they hadn’t. As for the rooks, I am not sure I really understood exactly what was going on with them. They all shot up with alien DNA?

check26

Checkmate (Volume 2) #26
Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Manuel Garcia

Not sure what to think of this issue. It didn’t focus on Checkmate so much as this new character Chimera that Checkmate scientists created from a near-dead soldier in Iraq. The issue was page after page of very disgusting scenes from a bear getting ripped apart to a person being stung by a giant and his whole body swelling up. I read Jones’s Nightwing run so I know he can write disgusting but I really don’t know what to think yet.

check27

Checkmate (Volume 2) #27
Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Manuel Garcia

Okay we haven’t seen Sasha Bordeaux or Mr. Terrific since Jones took over, these are these are the stars of the book! So far this is about Chimera, a new character, and not really Checkmate at all. Wtf!check28

Checkmate (Volume 2) #28
Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Manuel Garcia

Ya this Chimera stuff isn’t doing it for me. I liked when this series was about the inner workings of Checkmate, not their monster operative only. So far, no good. But at least Sasha appears in this issue.

check29

Checkmate (Volume 2) #29
Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Manuel Garcia

Ya this still sucks Chimera Balls! I really could care less about this character or the monsters attacking everywhere. Jones really likes writing about monsters for some reason. How did the girl find out Adam Sharp was Chimera? Did I miss something?

check30

Checkmate (Volume 2) #30 Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Manuel Garcia

Ya this is utter crap. Still more fighting monsters and focus on a character I don’t give a crap about. What an extreme drop in quality for this series. Bruce Jone’s Nightwing wasn’t great, but it wasn’t this bad.checkmate31

Checkmate (Volume 2) #31 Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Manuel Garcia

This is the final issue of Checkmate and I am really not sad to see it go. Sure it had some great moments under Rucka but Jones had really taken this series to an all time low, focusing way too much on Chimera and not on Checkmate. Heck, Mr. Terrific hasn’t even appeared since Jones took over the title. Chimera saves the world from the boring monsters and this was just a big borefest. Not recommended.

Advertisements

I Am Ready For Batman And The Outsiders

Outsiders (Volume 3) #49
Written by Judd Winick and Greg Rucka
Art by Matthew Clark and Ron Randall

This is the final part of the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover that began here and continued here ,here, here, and here.
This was an action-packed finale to what was a suprisingly well done crossover. Outsiders is a hit or miss for me but this was a hit. I even like the idea that this series is ending and relaunching as Batman and the Outsiders. I love the original Batman and the Outsiders series so I can’t wait. Yes, I miss Halo (Too bad she won’t be back). There were a lot of great one-liners in this issue including Grace telling the Checkmate Agent about Batman warming up to people and the conversation at the end between Batman and Nightwing. I think it is totally in character for Dick to want to leave now and I liked how he says he actually doesn’t like being in the Outsiders anymore. Dick liked the Titans and the Outsider are not the titans. I look forward to the next issue, which is the final one before the relaunch.

Egg Fu’s Torture Fun

Checkmate (Volume 2) #15
Written by Greg Rucka and Judd Winick
Art by Joe Bennett

This is part four of the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover that began here and continued here ,here, and here. The best part of this issue has to have been the very end where Batman says “I don’t work for the Security Council”. That is so bats and I ate it up like candy! Rucka and Winick continue this crossover really well, we get to see Egg Fu who disgustingly tortures Boomerang and Sasha Bordeax just because he wants to know how they work! Not for any good reason! That is awesome. Egg Fu is one scary bastard but at the same time I can’t wait to see him when I pick up a comic. I can’t wait to see him hopefully get his ass handed to him next issue. Probably by the Dark Knight himself.

Eggs And EMPs

Outsiders (Volume 3) #48
Written by Judd Winick and Greg Rucka
Art and Cover by Matthew Clark

This is part four of the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover that began here and continued here and here. This was probably my favorite part of this crossover to date. I have a feeling that Rucka had more to do with the writing of this issue than Winick and that is probably why. The cliffhanger ending was so exciting, especially for any fan of 52. I was wondering when they were going to bring in those familiar faces (Or really just one big giant yellow egg-face) and I am glad they did. Both teams work together really well this issue ignoring the fact that Nightwing, Sasha, and Boomerang get captured. I like that finally Sasha’s status as partially OMAC is finally mentioned. I don’t remember it being brought up in any issue of Checkmate to date. The whole EMP thing with Nightwing was pretty cool. I really enjoyed this.

Gray

Checkmate (Volume 2) #14
Written by Greg Rucka and Judd Winick
Art by Joe Bennett

This is part 3 of the Outsiders/Checkmate that began here and continued here. The interaction between the two teams is still a lot of fun. I have to say that the Checkmate parts of this crossover are better than the Outsiders parts. Probably because the art is a lot better. I am not such a big fan of the cover of this issue though, kinda bland. My favorite moments probably were between Sasha and Nightwing, being a Batman fan I love to hear them talk about Bruce together. The entire mission seems a little screwed up by the end of this issue and it looks like the one doing the screwer is Amanda Waller. What a bitch she is. But you gotta love her. She is the most gray of any DCU character.

Outsiders 45 – 47

Outsiders (Volume 3) #45
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Carlo Barberi

Now, to start off, I did really like this issue. I liked how Roy Harper’s house is so heavily guarded to protect his daughter, I liked how Black Lightning is so noble that he turns himself in for an accidental murder of a pretty bad guy, heck I even liked the budding romance between Grace and Thunder. But is Winick obsessed with Jason Todd and Deathstroke. He uses them in like all of his books and sometimes it seems they are appearing for no reason. Weird.

Outsiders (Volume 3) #46
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Carlo Barberi and Art Thibert

This was another good issue and I look forward to seeing as how this story ends. Unfortunately, it does not take place in this series but in the Outsiders Annual so I will not be reviewing it here. This part of the story was pretty awesome. Grace’s speech was just the best. I love how she calls the rest of the Outsiders self-righteous bastards. This series is a lot better than most people give it credit for.

Outsiders (Volume 3) #47
Written by Judd Winick and Greg Rucka
Art and Cover by Matthew Clark and Art Thibert

This is the second part of the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover that began here. It is one year later again and we are back to the time where Katana’s costume is uglier and Thunder’s is cooler. Oh and I am excited as hell about this storyline now. I did not realize that the Outsiders were recruited by Checkmate to help take out Oolong Island. It is great to hear about the island after 52 and it looks like it is still a haven for mad scientists. There were a lot of great moments in this. Especially the exchanges between Sasha and Nightwing. Nightwing finally figures out just who Sasha is and it is fun to see how they both relate to eachother because of their “batman” past. Can’t wait for the next part of this crossover.


Outsider Hunting

Checkmate (Volume 2) #13
Written by Greg Rucka and Judd Winick
Art by Joe Bennett

And this begins the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover that will run through both titles. DC seems to be doing a lot of inter-title crossover as of late (well, JSA and JLA is the other one) and I like that. I kind of miss them (I know most would disagree with me). And this crossover starts out really well. It was a lot of fun to see how Checkmate goes about catching and trapping the Outsiders and I love how Nightwing is the only member they haven’t caught yet. At first, I was wondering why Nightwing seemed to be so mean to Sasha Bordeaux. I mean he does know her from her days when she hung out with Batman right? But then I remembered that she has gotten plastic surgery (not to mention, she is like what part robot now?) so maybe he doesn’t recognize her. It was also cool to see the Outsiders out of uniform. I am going to have to recommend this.