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 (21) Activities (23) Advice (74) Alien Nation (34) Aliens Say the Darndest Things (8) Alpha Flight (25) Amalgam (53) Ambush Bug (46) Animal Man (17) anime (52) Aquaman (71) Archetypes (14) Archie Heroes (10) Arrowed (20) Asterix (9) Atom (30) Avengers (58) Awards (33) Babylon 5 (140) Batman (677) Battle Shovel (13) Battlestar Galactica (134) Black Canary (22) BnB 2-in1 (40) Books (60) Booster Gold (16) Buck Rogers (13) Buffy (6) Canada (71) Captain America (69) Captain Marvel (55) Cat (156) CCGs (51) Charlton (12) Circles of Hell (6) Class (11) Comics (3964) Comics Code Approved (12) Conan (15) Contest (13) Cooking (15) Crisis (77) Daredevil (33) Dating Kara Zor-El (5) Dating Lois Lane (23) Dating Lucy Lane (13) Dating Princess Diana (11) DCAU (404) Deadman (9) Dial H (128) Dice (10) Dinosaur Island (16) Dinosaurs (67) Director Profiles (9) Doctor Who (1678) Doom Patrol (22) Down the Rabbit Hole (7) Dr. Strange (17) Encyclopedia (28) Fantastic Four (56) Fashion Nightmares (19) Fiasco (14) Films Within Films (6) Flash (84) Flushpoint (86) Foldees (12) French (49) Friday Night Fights (57) Fun with Covers (56) FW Team-Up (37) Galleries (9) Game design (26) Gaming (111) Geekly roundup (763) Geeks Anonymous (47) Geekwear (13) Gimme That Star Trek (60) Godzilla (53) Golden Age (434) Grant Morrison (75) Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction (8) Green Arrow (50) Green Lantern (87) Hawkman (39) Hero Points Podcast (13) Holidays (241) House of Mystery (15) Hulk (44) Human Target (8) Improv (34) Inspiration (45) Intersect (5) Invasion Podcast (44) Iron Man (50) Jack Kirby (87) Jimmy Olsen (74) JLA (96) JSA (26) K9 the Series (30) Kirby Motivationals (18) Krypto (202) Kung Fu (99) Learning to Fly (11) Legion (130) Letters pages (6) Liveblog (12) Lonely Hearts Podcast (21) Lord of the Rings (18) Machine Man Motivationals (10) Man-Thing (6) Marquee (89) Masters of the Universe (9) Memes (39) Memorable Moments (35) Metal Men (5) Metamorpho (65) Millennium (72) Mini-Comics (5) Monday Morning Macking (7) Movies (457) Mr. Terrific (6) Music (73) Nelvana of the Northern Lights (9) Nightmare Fuel (21) Number Ones (59) Obituaries (41) oHOTmu OR NOT? (76) Old52 (11) One Panel (292) Outsiders (166) Panels from Sheena (5) Paper Dolls (7) Play (76) Podcast (490) Polls (5) Questionable Fridays (13) Radio (18) Rants (20) Reaganocomics (8) Recollected (11) Red Bee (26) Red Tornado (10) Reign (563) Retro-Comics (3) Reviews (52) Rom (116) RPGs (539) Sandman (21) Sapphire & Steel (37) Sarah Jane Adventures (70) Saturday Morning Cartoons (5) SBG for Girls (4) Seasons of DWAITAS (100) Secret Origins Podcast (8) Secret Wars (25) SF (30) Shut Up Star Boy (1) Silver Age (368) Siskoid as Editor (35) Siskoid's Mailbox (10) Space 1999 (51) Spectre (20) Spider-Man (100) Spring Cleaning (15) ST non-fiction (19) ST novels: DS9 (8) ST novels: S.C.E. (19) ST novels: The Shat (2) ST novels: TNG (9) ST novels: TOS (13) Star Trek (1712) Streaky (2) Suicide Squad (38) Supergirl (89) Superman (1061) Supershill (11) Swamp Thing (23) Tales from Earth-Prime (7) Team Horrible (4) Teen Titans (84) That Franchise I Never Talk About (53) The Orville (29) The Prisoner (5) The Thing (54) Then and Now (4) Theory (51) Thor (52) Thursdays of Two Worlds (43) Time Capsule (8) Timeslip (7) Tintin (23) Torchwood (62) Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms (5) Toys (65) Turnarounds (7) TV (193) V (6) Waking Life (1) Warehouse 13 (9) Websites (102) What If? (103) Who's This? (204) Whoniverse-B (11) Wikileaked (3) Wonder Woman (82) X-Files (246) X-Men (102) Zero Hour Strikes (26) Zine (5)