Review: CHECKMATE #21 & 22

Probably one of the best comics being created at the moment, Checkmate still stands on the verge of cancellation. That being said, take the jump to find out what I thought of Checkmate 21 and 22, the story of the new Black Queen’s knight; Mademoiselle Marie.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Greg Rucka has crafted a book that is, from beginning to end, captivating. With issue 20 we saw the end of Amanda Waller’s reign as White Queen, and for those who have witnessed Waller’s activities throughout previous DC history, we know we haven’t seen the end of her.


But in a pair of issues that are obviously placed as a large intake of breathe, the quality of the story hasn’t dipped in the slightest. Josephine Tautin, aka, Mademoiselle Marie, the new Black Queen’s Night, was somewhat introduced and integrated in to the story very quickly. These two issues serve as a way of introduction, something the majority of the other characters never needed (ie, Michael Holt, aka, Mister Terrific, or even that of the new White Queen, Valetina Vostok, a past member of the Doom Patrol).

The storyline effectively weaves the past of Mademoiselle Marie, a presumably fictional title given to maybe one woman in a generation, for service beyond the call of duty for France. It weaves in the history of seven previous “Marie’s”, including Madame Sabine (Roth), who trained and gifted Tautin with the title Mademoiselle Marie.


Simultaneously the impetus for the memorial is a mission that Josephine undertakes by herself, to rescue a girl from Bialyan terrorists. The story also sees the swift introduction of the new White Queen, as mentioned above, and her Bishop and Knight, but one would imagine further background on these characters will come later. At the moment, it looks like we’re getting ready for another Kobra incursion.

I would also like to comment on the art of this series. Chris Samnee adds a fantastic simplicity to this already brilliant comic. The way that Samnee manages to paint a descriptive picture, without necessarily adding in age lines that will narrow down the characters’ age simply by looking at them is appealing to me. I have loved other comic books where faces are almost realistically portrayed, but the simplicity is also a nice change of pace.


Checkmate must continue, and all of us who read it agree. More people need to pick this up, and not be afraid of the politics that takes place within these pages. The stories will more than make up for it – if you are someone who would prefer to bury their head in the sands from real life – and the action scenes are worth the cover price alone.

Once again I’m not going to provide a low rating, but it won’t be the same as always. Given my love of this series, owning the first two trades, and religiously praying that it will continue, this two-parter gets 5 fists out of 5! Make sure you go pick up Checkmate, you will not regret it!

5 Mighty Fists
0 Yes
0 No
Earth's Mightiest