DC Comics
Checkmate # 17
By Koppy Mcfad
August 21, 2007 - 07:22

DC Comics
Writer(s): Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann
Penciller(s): Chris Samnee
Cover Artist(s): Kalman Andrasofsky


Checkmate headquarters shows off its new security system-- but can it stop an attack by a band of mystical invaders? This self-contained issue looks at the complexity of Checkmate's inner operations, the jockeying within the group and pressure faced by the organization's security chief-- some guy who was once a Superman villain called "Deathtrap." They do give us some details on this character-- his failed attempt to defeat Superman and Mr. Miracle, his troubled relationship with this daughter and the way he is exploited by Checkmate. It is a very talky issue with a lot of internal narration by "Deathtrap." It is too bad that the pacing of the story makes the climax look like it came out of nowhere. The art is highly detailed and captures a sense of the frustrating bureaucracy at work in the Checkmate organization but the art is also rather turgid, never capturing the danger and suspense of the attacks on headquarters. It is almost as though the people behind this comic are stylistically trying to distance themselves from the superhero universe they inhabit. Yet at the same time, they embrace the superhero world, making references to the League of Assassins, an old villain from "Hitman" and a minor character from the "Outsiders." It is a very different look which may not be what many comic readers are looking for. Two and a half stars out of five.

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