Bendis & Maleev’s Event Leviathan: Checkmate is back after year-plus postponement

(Image credit: DC)

After announcing its indefinite delay in June 2020, DC appears to have placed Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Event Leviathan: Checkmate six-issue limited series on the schedule for June 2021.

Checkmate #1 cover (Image credit: DC)

The series seems to have been rechristened just Checkmate. It stars the “superspies of the DC Universe” as they unite to take down Leviathan.

Checkmate was originally scheduled for an April 2020 debut, and then later rescheduled for June of that year, and then later postponed altogether. See the original June 2020 story below for all of those details and a refresher course on the whole Leviathan storyline.

The first scheduling delay was almost certainly COVID-19 related, and at the time, DC announced its eventual postponement was to “align with upcoming DC Universe storylines,” which in retrospect is likely the DC Universe-altering events of Dark Nights: Death Metal and/or Infinite Frontier and/or Bendis taking over as writer of Justice League in March.

One possible complication was the involvement of Talia al Ghul in the original cast, and who does not appear to be on the new cover.

As per Death Metal #7, Talia is a member of the Totality, a superteam of heroes and villains that is described as “a shield protecting our world from future threats, manned by its greatest minds.”

Either way, the series will only serve to continue to raise the profile of Green Arrow, who will get an 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular in June and who is playing a role in Bendis’ Justice League along with his romantic partner Black Canary. 

Checkmate #1 cover (Image credit: DC)

Look for more details on Checkmate when DC releases their June 2021 solicitations, which we believe will be soon.  

Original story follows…

DC has indefinitely postponed Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s upcoming Event Leviathan: Checkmate six-issue limited series, promising in its most recent retailer mailer that it will be “rescheduled to align with upcoming DC Universe storylines.”

Event Leviathan: Checkmate spins out of Bendis and Maleev’s 2019 series Event Leviathan in which the malicious, mysterious espionage group Leviathan – led by the eponymous villain, whose secret identity was revealed as the one-time Manhunter Mark Shaw – took over the world of DC’s spy underground. The new Checkmate teams Green Arrow, Talia al Ghul, the Question, and Lois Lane to take on Leviathan in secret.

The series was announced in January with a planned April 22 on-sale date. However, DC canceled that release date when the Direct Market comic book industry went on pause due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Event Leviathan: Checkmate was then rescheduled for a June 2 release – although that date came and went without the issue’s release, which seemed to go largely unnoticed until DC’s update of its postponement.

The original announcement of Event Leviathan: Checkmate revealed only the limited series’ creative team and issue count, tying into the cryptic nature of the original series, which focused on a team of detectives organized by Lois Lane – a key player in the relaunching Checkmate – trying to solve the mystery of the identity of the leader of secret spy organization Leviathan (also conveniently named Leviathan).

In that series, Lois showed a gift for espionage by eventually deducing Leviathan’s identity as one-time hero Mark Shaw/Manhunter with the help of a secret second team of infiltrators.

A second planned spin-off titled Manhunters: Secret History was previously canceled outright.

Newsarama staff writer who learned to read from comic books and hasn’t shut up about them since. 

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