Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Colors by David Stewart
Letters by Josh Reed
The Rundown: Mark Shaw manipulates a set of circumstances involving members of Checkmate.
The beginning of this chapter takes place several weeks in the past. Shaw receives information from his team regarding Lois Lane’s actions. It is also revealed that he was able to take control of a previous situation involving Damian Wayne. Then, the situation fast forwards to a date two weeks in the past. There, Shaw faces off against Talia Al Ghul. In a surprising twist, an unexpected hero appears comes to Talia’s aid. In the present, Lois Lane travels to a secret family location. Her movements are watched by Green Arrow and The Question serving as lookouts. Suddenly, Lois disappears and her protectors have a skirmish with Merlyn. Afterwards, Merlyn travels to meet Shaw. Then, an unexpected event is created by a Checkmate member. Finally, Shaw questions Lois Lane.
The Story: Bendis has created a compelling narrative that stretches across different time periods. I find this series to be brilliantly written and layered. And I really appreciate the format used. However, I must warn that the time periods can be tricky to navigate. Also, in this chapter, I found the cover’s title to be very misleading in its relationship to the story being told. However, I am fascinated by Mark Shaw’s large reach. The way he appears to control the events surrounding him is impressive. Especially his ability to handle the most dangerous members of the DC world. I’m deeply invested in this plot-line and can’t wait to find out more in the upcoming issue.
The Art: This issue is eye-catching and entertaining. Maleev and Stewart do a phenomenal job of visually capturing the tone and spirit of the story. The action scenes are well done. And the illustration-only panels are extremely impactful.