Checkmate is a governmental "spy" agency with a hierarchy revolving around the pieces in the classic board game, Chess, with Kings & Queens being the leaders, the Bishops oversee missions behind the scenes, the Rooks plan the missions, the Knights carry out the missions and the Pawns are the support staff. The agency was set up by Amanda "the Wall" Waller as its first Queen to serve as a branch of Task Force X, which also included the black ops organization called the Suicide Squad. Also, designations of Black or White indicate whether their specialty is Operations (Black) or Intelligence (White).
The Agency was first set up by Amanda Waller to serve as a small branch of Task Force X under the command of Colonel Valentina Vostok (formerly Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol) to perform operations worldwide considered vital to the security of American interests. She relinquishes command to Harry Stein, who recreates The agency with a new image and organization, dubbed Checkmate, in relation to its chess-inspired organizational scheme.
"The Janus Directive"
"The Janus Directive" is a crossover storyline that involves an inter-agency war between Checkmate, the Suicide Squad, and Project Atom, who are manipulated by Kobra in order to distract the United States intelligence community from his activities. Checkmate loses at least 38 Knight agents (tallying to more than two thirds of Checkmate's Knight force) and its headquarters (as well as its cover, Konig Industries) in Shelby, Virginia in the incident. In the aftermath, Sarge Steel takes Waller's place as head of Checkmate, and Checkmate relocates to a new NORAD base in Colorado.
A Russian version of Checkmate is introduced in the last issues of the original series run. They are admittedly underfunded but wear armor similar to their U.S. counterparts.
Deathstroke, the Terminator
Sarge Steel reactivates Checkmate in order to find the comatose body of Deathstroke (Slade Wilson). Phil Kramer is promoted to King and Kalia Campbell to Queen. Harry Stein's said to be on indefinite leave of absence after his son was shot and to be spending more time with his family. Gary Washington and two other Knights appear in the story as well. Checkmate Knights invade the lair of supervillainess Cheshire, but most are killed by her operatives and a revived Slade Wilson. Just as two Checkmate agents are about to defeat Deathstroke, Roy Harper (at that time also known as Speedy) knocks them down, revealing to be helping Cheshire as a double agent in both Checkmate and the Brotherhood of Evil. The Russian outfit of Checkmate appears when Deathstroke, Cheshire, Speedy, and others try to steal a group of nuclear warheads in Russia. It is revealed that Harper called in Checkmate and that he was working on their side all along. Ultimately, Deathstroke is also revealed to be working for the CIA, and joins up with the American and Russian Checkmate that invade Cheshire's base later on after she's threatened the world (unleashing a nuclear warhead on the country of Qurac as leverage). They are able to defeat Cheshire, and the warheads are destroyed.
A man called David Said has taken over the role of King within the organization, and Checkmate invades the Batcave, in order to recruit the Huntress in the process. On Batman's word she agrees to temporarily assume the mantle of Queen, using this position to relay information to Batman on at least one occasion.
Bruce Wayne - Murderer
After the events of Bruce Wayne: Murderer? and Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, his bodyguard and partner Sasha Bordeaux is framed for the murder of Vesper Fairchild. She is recruited as a Checkmate operative by Jessica Midnight, as the two fake her death and Sasha undergoes plastic surgery.
The OMAC Project
It is revealed that Maxwell Lord has assumed the position of Black King within the Checkmate organization with the intent of manipulating the agency to kill all of the metahumans present on Earth. While DC did not explain how or when Lord came to power (or had seemingly gone from supporting metahuman involvement in the protection of the planet to this personality), it has been implied that Checkmate may have been the victim of Superboy-Prime, who warped the very fabric of reality by punching the walls of his prison outside this dimension. As a result of Superboy Prime's actions, the hierarchy of Checkmate was changed and a changed Maxwell Lord was suddenly in charge of the organization.
In order to hide his activities, which included hijacking and reprogramming the super-spy satellite Brother I that Batman originally built to monitor all metahumans to his own purposes , Lord murdered former ally Ted Kord. He also mind-controlled Superman, sending the hero after other former allies such as Batman and Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman then proceeded to kill Lord in order to break his control on Superman's mind, which left Checkmate dismantled as an organization.
In 52 Week 24, Martian Manhunter reveals that he has spent months undercover undermining the remnants of Checkmate to convince the President of the U.S. to disband the organization. Within days, however, it is reconstituted as a United Nations agency. In Week 25, Alan Scott reveals to Mister Terrific that he will lead the agency as White King, and asks him to join as well.
One Year Later
The United Nations Security Council votes on whether to charter Checkmate as a permanent organization. While the Royal Family believes France will veto the resolution to cover up the fact that Kobra is obtaining weapons from a French source, the actual source, and veto, come from China. Checkmate agents infiltrate a Chinese weapons base, discovering a super-human facility and enter into a confrontation with the Great Ten. White King Alan Scott intervenes, locating the Kobra mole and allowing China to save face in return for removing its veto. The resolution to allow Checkmate's continued existence passes, but the United States, angry that Alan Scott prevented them from publicly embarrassing China, removes him from the organization.
A new Suicide Squad goes into Myanmar to hunt down its new power source (an imprisoned young metahuman) after the Security Council prevents Amanda Waller from taking action. Despite heavy losses and a traitor on the team, the Squad frees the metahuman and are rescued by former Squad team leaders Bronze Tiger and Rick Flag (recently freed from a Quraci prison) under Waller's direction. Meanwhile, the other royals can only suspect Waller's hand in the operation.
The Department of Metahuman Affairs arrests a terrorist cell attempting to join Kobra, unaware one of the members is a covert Checkmate agent. Checkmate deputizes the Shadowpact to help orchestrate the agent's escape and to get him through Kobra's mystical screening process.
Waller uses the Suicide Squad to rig an election in Santa Prisca to prevent Bane from winning, but one of the Squad members, Colonel Computron, defects and offers Checkmate proof of the falsification if they protect him from Bane. While Tommy Jagger defeats Bane in combat but lets him go (despite Bane's murder of Jagger's father, the Judomaster), Fire kills Computron at Waller's behest. The other royals learn Waller is blackmailing Fire, a one-time assassin, with knowledge of her father, Ramon Corvalho's participation in war crimes decades earlier, and convinces her to testify against him to avoid a court martial. The Black King confronts Waller with the fact that she is still covertly directing ops missions.
Checkmate abducts all members of the Outsiders except Nightwing, allowing him to infiltrate their headquarters offer them a deal: the Outsiders won't be shut down over their actions in Africa in exchange for infiltrating Oolong Island on behalf of Checkmate. Sasha, Nightwing and Captain Boomerang are captured and taken to North Korea where they are experimented on by Chang Tzu before being rescued by the mission team with Batman's assistance.
Former villain Carl Draper defends The Castle against a series of assaults and is appointed Castellan, The Castle's chief of security.
The other Royals continue to gather evidence that Waller is secretly conducting her own covert operations. With the assistance of Martian Manhunter they learn about Operation: Salvation Run and succeed in forcing Waller to resign.
Justice League: Generation Lost
Alton Janus confirmed that Mr. Terrific and Sasha Bordeaux has both resigned and Valentina Vostokis dead. At the moment, Alton Janus and Taleb Beni Khalid are the only Royals at the Checkmate Headquarters.
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
In this new continuity, Checkmate is an international organization run by Maxwell Lord that works with all of the world's governments but is answerable to none of them. They are described as a Global Peace Agency, albeit with questionable methods. Sarge Steel is put in charge of the investigation when Cadmus project Brother Eye goes rogue and creates OMAC. They send a team of agents led by Steel after the monster, but he defeats them and escapes. Mokkari also fails to capture OMAC. In desperation, Lord enlists the help of S.H.A.D.E. and their leader Father Time sends his best operative Frankenstein to kill OMAC. The conflict becomes personal when Brother Eye attempts to assassinate Lord. In their final battle, Max outsmarts Eye and has him destroyed. They decide to leave OMAC alone, determining that he is no longer a threat.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
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- No trivia.
- 159 Appearances of Checkmate (New Earth)
- 17 Images that include Checkmate (New Earth)
- Team Gallery: Checkmate (New Earth)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Checkmate (New Earth)
Links and References