Checkmate #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Artist: Alex Maleev Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: June 23, 2021 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 15 User Reviews: 33
7.4Critic Rating
4.8User Rating

From the award-winning creative team behind last year’s Event Leviathan comes the next surprising chapter in DC Comics’ deadliest saga. Leviathan has agents and acolytes all over the world, but what is the secret behind its power? The planet’s last, best hope to infiltrate Leviathan may be this motley collection of spymasters, now teamed up to try to take back the world that was stolen from under us all! Green Arrow, the Question, Talia al Ghul and other unlikely allies converge to tackle Leviathan as members of the new Checkmate, but who is the surprise hero behind this team? Big clues to the future of the DC Universe start here!

  • 9.6
    Supergirl Comic Box Commentary - Anj Jul 1, 2021

    But Shaw is suddenly distracted thinking about the Batcave ... him.  And then my favorite scene and moment in the book.  Read Full Review

  • 9.2
    The Super Powered Fancast - Timala Elliott Jun 22, 2021

    In this issue, Maleev uses a traditional art style that is paired with a changing palate of colors and tones cultivated by Stewart. Each scene is visually pleasing and engaging. I really enjoyed how the artwork completely captures the mood of each time period and setting. Read Full Review

  • 9.0 - Spencer Perry Jun 23, 2021

    As is typically the case, your mileage may vary with Bendis' brand of humor but since story features a lot of characters he hasn't put his mark on in a big way it's fun to see this time around. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Olivier Roth Jun 22, 2021

    Complimenting Maleev’s line work are Dave Stewarts’s colors - and boy, does Stewart compliment Maleev. Stewart’s mastery of color is expressed wonderfully throughout the issue. I would say there were four distinct set pieces throughout the issue, and the reader was queued visually to know, even without the text, that we had changed scenes, and this was all down to Stewart's colors.In all, the first issue of Checkmate continues a pretty good run for these creators on the Spy side of things in the DC Universe. Time will tell if the ideas seen within the series will bear fruit in the wider DCU - a one year delay and sometimes muddy plans - but I for one can’t wait to see more. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    Geek'd Out - Michael Thao Jun 23, 2021

    If you've been stalling on jumping into Bendis's Leviathan saga, Checkmate #1is a great starting point to see if this story is for you. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Dark Knight News - Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr Jun 26, 2021

    Having gone into Checkmate #1 completely blind, I wasn't 100% sure what I was getting into. I'm happy to report that Bendis, Maleev, and Stewart work together really well to deliver this introductory spy thriller issue. While there was more appetizer than meat and potatoes, it's still really fun. The dialogue between the characters is exciting; and I can't stress enough how much Maleev and Stewart's art brings the whole thing together. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Jun 22, 2021

    I'm not sure this has the momentum to work as an event, given how long it's been since the first chapter, but the team is talented enough for me to want to see it through. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    AIPT - David Brooke Jun 22, 2021

    Checkmate is a unique comic, especially at DC Comics. You can't get this type of moody espionage storytelling anywhere else, and knowing it's just six issues keeps things interesting as this motley crew attempts to thwart a godlike villain. The book is certainly on the slower side, but it's worth a look for fans of this legendary creative team. Read Full Review

  • 7.2
    Comic Watch - Kevin Rossi Jun 22, 2021

    The pandemic caused this story to lose some steam, but that might play into its favor. Once again fresh in readers' minds, a smaller team with more to prove could lead this to be a very interesting book. Bendis is known for his huge events, but shifting focus to a smaller team could show that Bendis doesnt need every major character in a story to be worth reading. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Razorfine - Alan Rapp Jun 25, 2021

    Despite DC's tagline that its greatest detectives are behind the new Checkmate, we see no appearance of either Batman nor Detective Chimp (c'mon, can you really say the “best” detectives without including these two?). The first issue gives us Talia and Damian captured by Leviathan while the other members of the team look to piece together information and form a plan of attack. We also get some flashbacks to Shaw originally working his way into Leviathan as the first step of a master plan. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    But Why Tho? - William Tucker Jun 22, 2021

    Checkmate #1 is an entertaining start to the series but struggles to find its feet. The characters involved possess huge potential, the partnership of Maleev and Bendis reuniting is definitely exciting. However, the plot lacks forward momentum and true clarity. The art is stunning but most of the characters are yet to get involved. This comic needs to get moving to prevent readers from losing interest. Read Full Review

  • 5.7
    Major Spoilers - Matthew Peterson Jun 23, 2021

    This doesn't really feel like a first issue at all, more like #3 of 12, and that's difficult for understanding what's going on. Maleev's art is cleaner than some of his previous work, but muddy coloring covers some of it up. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Lyles Movie Files - Jeffrey Lyles Jun 22, 2021

    As usual, Bendis seems game, but he gets stuck in his mindset of telling a story for an audience of one. Checkmate doesnt flip the board on Event Leviathan and feels especially irrelevant in the new Infinite Frontier landscape of DC. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Batman-News - Cam Lipham Jun 22, 2021

    This book is". fine? It's not a very explosive intro for sure, and I think it relies too heavily on the assumption that you will already be hooked. There wasn't a lot here to grab a first-time reader, and it really felt like Bendis just wanted to write more Event Leviathan. I hope it turns around, because I genuinely think this book could be amazing. But as of right now, I don't know if I can really recommend this book yet. Maybe give the series another issue or two. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Weird Science - Eric Shea Jun 22, 2021

    If you were a fan of Event Leviathan and the big nothing burger that gave us, then you'll love this too because you continue to get nothing out of the first issue of this six-issue mini. The worst part is, I thought the story was dull previously, but now after having so much time removed from Leviathan and the complete lack of progression we got out of that story, this feels even worse because nothing feels like it matters because the reader, like the rest of the DC Universe, has moved on. Read Full Review

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