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.


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