But when the Janus Directive ( http://suicidesquadtaskforcex.blogspot.com/2011/04/janus-directive-checkmate-vs-task-force.html ) saga was going on I started to take a notice of Checkmate and the Suicide Squad again. Checkmate had a certain appeal to me because of four specific reasons. One, is that it was affiliated with Task Force X and Amanda Waller. Second, I liked the real world politics and international intrigue that was usually part of Checkmate story lines. Third, I really liked the whole concept of a spy/espionage agency with a command and operations hierarchy that followed the pieces of a chess board game. Fourth, Checkmate came in a format similar to the Vigilante title in which it was printed on a higher grade of paper and had language and scenes that were often more explicit then in the rest of the mainstream DC Universe. Case and point, the clip art from issue #8 you see below you is the sort of thing I'm talking about.
In the late 80s you really didn't have characters like Superman or Batman using words like "Hell", "bastard", "bitch", "goddamnit" or phrases like "I'll kick your ass" and "you son of a bitch". That was all fairly common in Checkmate. Plus you had stuff like women kicking ass in lingerie that was on the verge of falling off.
and this time it was a United Nations mandate as opposed to being a U.S. agency. The new series improved upon some things. First off, the art work was better it had a more sophisticated look and a style that suited the mood of the title. It also did a better job of integrating real world politics and historical narratives into it's story lines. The new Checkmate title also basically picked up the Suicide Squad continuity by having Amanda Waller as the White Queen and Count Vertigo as her knight. In issues 6,7,18,19 and 20 we also saw the return of Rick Flag, Bronze Tiger, Plastique, Deadshot and Nightshade.
In turn, King Faraday who had a work history with Rick Flag, Nightshade and Bronze Tiger was Waller's bishop in Checkmate. He came over to Task Force X in the "Raise the Flag" 8 issue mini-series acting as Waller's "right hand man" until the Suicide Squad's final appearance (Secret Six #18) in the old DCU during the Blackest Night saga. Faraday (who looks like Anderson Cooper from CNN) recently made his Young Justice debut and as irony would have it he was voiced by Clancy Brown who was the voice of Lex Luther in the Justice League Unlimited series. Aside from some more original members of the Suicide Squad I'm really anxious to see the 52 relaunch version of Checkmate.
|Checkmate verses S.H.E.I.L.D|