Checkmate # 5: Stand in the dark

Checkmate # 5 hits shelves this week and continues to unravel the mystery of Mark Shaw and Leviathan’s plans. As we approached the last issue, I thought I would celebrate with a joke. An Australian eats at a chess-themed restaurant in the United States, and the waiter walks up to the table and asks, “Can I get you something else?” The Australian shakes his head no and says, “just the check, mate.” I wrote this joke so Checkmate # 5 won’t be the worst chess-themed thing you’ll read this week.

Issue 4 finally gave readers a taste of the action with Leviathan troops infiltrating Checkmate‘s hideout. I was delighted to find that problem # 5 is repeated in this action. Good things don’t last. However, we get a change of scenery. I’ve criticized every issue in the series for essentially being the team standing in a dark room with bland dialogue. This time, the team is teleported, with its hiding place, to Thailand. It was a breath of fresh air not to have the team standing in a dark room. Now they are chatting outside in Thailand. Moments later, they’re back in a dark room to talk about the rest of the problem. The team is able to use some type of portal to get them to the basement of the Justice Room where they can observe what is happening above. At one point, the power goes out and everyone in the courtroom is now talking in a dark room.

Lois Lane’s story gets somewhat interesting with the revelation that Daemon Rose is her brother. I was getting vibes from Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor about this problem, a vibe that I shouldn’t have. With the issue ending with Shaw taking on Lane and Daemon Rose, number 6 needs a Hail Mary to make it all make sense. Despite my criticisms, I can’t wait to see how it ends because I’ve been here from the start. I’m a fan of every member of the creative team and am excited to see what they do after the Leviathan books. They are all incredibly talented but seem to be stuck with a series that lost its spark before the pandemic.


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