Fresh off a stand alone issue, Rucka (and friends) are stirring things up in Checkmate, in what appears (to be concluded) to be a two part-er.
And, if the cover didn’t say it loud enough.. enter the Suicide Squad!
Writer: Greg Rucka, Nunzio Defillipis & Christina Weir
Penciller: Cliff Richards
Inker: Dan Green
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Golden Tiger rescues Sarge Steel from a prison in Qurac.
Amanda Waller pitches an operation that would have Checkmate go in and stop a suspected meta human-based power plant in Myanmar (previously known as Burma). Waller has no proof to back her hunch up, and is turned down by the UN Security Council.
Back at Checkmate castle, Sasha Bordeaux explains to her Bishop, Jessica Midnight, that Waller is a White Queen because the governments on the UN Security council don’t trust her, given her checkered past. If she runs any operations and they find out, she is out of Checkmate.
Mirror Master gathers a group of Suicide Squad-ers to run a job the job that Amanda wants done, to make it look like she had it arranged. They do this to get back at her, and try to loosen her control over them. They know, going in though, that the Secret Society of Villains hasn’t been asked to approve, and that could be a problem. Which it ends up being.
Amanda goes to recruit Rick Flag to go help/stop the Rogue Suicide Squad, and the Bronze tiger volunteers to go along. The Squad will need the help, as the Society knows their plan, and alerted the guards at the power plant. The Squad is ambushed, and we have a cliffhanger.
The Good: Even though Rucka is the only regular on the comic this month (and only one of three writers on the book) this does not look or read like a fill in issue. The information about Waller is an important reveal, and the Suicide Squad is another fun complication in the complex world of Checkmate.
The Bad: 6 pages of Checkmate out of the standard 32 actually covers Checkmate business. This two part-er feels more like a crossover with an existing Suicide Squad title. If it sets up something a bit more Checkmate related (the link to Waller aside) than OK, but the pace of the book felt like it was picking up, and now it feels like we’re keeping the Checkmate plate spinning, but trying to get a Suicide Squad plate (comic?) spinning also. If though, we have Suicide Squadders that could be used in Checkmate, well, now we’re talking.
I felt the art lacked a bit in the background details, but that is a “critic” comment. As a fan, the art was fine.
Commentary: I’m still in, and I enjoyed the issue. I just want more Checkmate in my Checkmate. Overall, I want the comic to move faster.
(As an aside, Waller mentions that before Checkmate was sanction by the U.N., she tried to put the Squad back together for a mission into Kahndaq, and it failed. Something to look forward to in 52 I suppose)