Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Josh Reed
The Rundown: Shaw makes an unusual miscalculation, and the members of Checkmate discover a critical piece his ultimate plan.
Weeks ago: Superman rescues Talia from Leviathan after she has a violent encounter with Shaw and his hirelings. Afterwards, he takes her to the police in the United States. Later on, Talia has an interesting visitor in her prison cell. And that person reveals something surprising. Elsewhere, Mr. King has an enlightening conversation.
Today: Arrow relates important information regarding Lois Lane’s disappearance to Manhunter, and Director Bones. Meanwhile, Robin contacts the group requesting assistance. Meanwhile, in Markovia, Lois Lane prepares to interview Shaw regarding his current activities. However, they are soon interrupted by an unexpected occurrence. Shaw then teleports Lois Lane to a surprising location. After which he realizes that he has made a pivotal mistake. Lois then returns to Checkmate headquarters and reveals her newly obtained information. The group then sets up a plan involving Robin and Talia.
The Story: I am really enjoying this story. Bendis has created a compelling narrative filled with twists and turns. There is something very appealing about a mystery that finds its main “heroes” at odds with each other. I also really enjoy the non-linear path this tale uses to show the evolution of Shaw’s master scheme. I find it engaging. It feels as though I am a detective using historical events to inform my perception of current events. I am fully invested in this series and look forward to the next episode.
The Art: Maleev and Stewart use a traditional comic book style that matches the tone of the story. The illustrations are transportive. And there is an emotional intensity that permeates the pages despite the heavy emphasis on content versus action.