Arrowed: Checkmate!

The feature inspired by great cosplay and fan art where I imagine various DC properties taken to the small screen and wonder aloud just what their shows would be like. Today's pitch: Checkmate!
Fan art by: White Lemon (on DeviantArt) with Florencia Sofen as Sasha Bordeaux, photography by Jonathan Duran

DC could get into the superspy genre easily with Checkmate, and they've even got two versions of the organization to choose from (or mix and match). The New52 probably has a dozen covert groups, but none have the visual "hook" Checkmate has. Basically, people know what chess is, and would understand the group's hierarchy because it's based on that. Plus, it's a fine metaphor for the kind of intrigue, both internal and external, the characters would routinely get up to. White and Black even allows for shades of morality (though in the book, these are respectively intel and ops), and the possibility of compartmentalized missions from either "side" coming into conflict. The Knights from the original series have cool armors I'd love to see in live action, but such a show may or may not feature recurring characters are this lower level. (I think it should, personally.)

Now, you might call it DC TV's answer to Agents of SHIELD, but the Rucka series opens up the possibility of super-powered agents, some possibly culled from other DC TV shows. The comics series made use of Amanda Waller, Alan Scott, Mister Terrific, King Faraday, Sarge Steel, Fire, Count Vertigo and many more (Sasha Bordeaux too, obviously). Specialists (Rooks?) could come and go, regardless of the main cast. The original series eventually introduced a Russian Checkmate which could act as counterpoint or even antagonists, but the show's Checkmate could go after all sorts of despots (Baron Bedlam, Sonar), cult groups (Kobra's) and bad covert groups (HIVE, SKULL). There's plenty to do... if you can trust your organization's own agenda.

A little bit SHIELD, a little bit Game of Thrones, a larger bit James Bond, mixed with superheroes... What would you do with such a TV series?


American Hawkman said...

My ideal Checkmate series would focus on the intrigue aspect. Waller and Mr. Terrific as dueling leads, Max Lord as ousted former head that has his own agenda that both occasionally have to deal with. Field operative pairing of Sasha Boudreaux and Jessica Midnight, dealing with their bosses warring with each other and Lord's manipulations. Think latter seasons of Covert Affairs with a touch of the Blacklist.

Siskoid said...

I like how so little of this cast is made up of white men.

American Hawkman said...

I literally hadn't noticed that until you mentioned it. There'd be more around... it'd be narrative malpractice to not use King Faraday or Thomas Jaegger based on what they bring to an arc... but the series works best focused on the guys I first mentioned, which is pretty keen.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine