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Checkmate: A King’s Game


Superhero comics are usually more closely allied to action than thriller, but this Infinite Crisis spin-off, penned by Greg Rucka, mixes superheroes with spies. Crisis aficionados will remember that Checkmate was the anti-superhero organisation that played a key role in setting the events in motion, but that its leader was disposed of by Wonder Woman. However, the United Nations is left feeling that ‘meta-humans’ – a posh word that encompasses both superheroes and supervillains – shouldn’t necessarily be allowed to keep trashing the place with no regard for us regular folk.

Its answer is to reinstate Checkmate as a CIA-like organisation, with undercover operatives working with a mandate to close down any meta-human activity that crosses the line of acceptable behaviour. Lead by a dual partnership of both human and meta-human leaders, the organisation features such DC Comics notables as Mister Terrific, Fire, Sasha Bordeaux, Amanda Waller and a Green Lantern.

Rucka’s involvement ought to mean that it’s something that will stand out a little from the usual superhero crowd, since he’s already blended heroes with cops in the wonderful world of Gotham Central.

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Andy Shaw

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