'Event Leviathan: Checkmate' Realigns DC's Secret Spy Agencies

Event Leviathan Checkmate launch - Publicity - H 2020
Alex Maleev/DC
The sequel to last year's thriller sees the return of creators Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.

Creators Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev spent last year taking apart the espionage agencies of DC’s comic book universe in the Event Leviathan miniseries, and starting this April, they’re going to create something new from the wreckage with the upcoming Event Leviathan: Checkmate.

Another six-issue mini, Checkmate teams Green Arrow, the Question, Lois Lane and Talia Al Ghul — the daughter of famous Batman foe, Ra’s Al Ghul — as they push back against Leviathan, the mysterious organization that took down multiple intelligence agencies in the previous miniseries.

They’re not working alone, however; according to DC, there’s a “secret hero working from the shadows” whose involvement could significantly change the balance of power in the ongoing informational Cold War. Their identity is remaining secret until the release of the first issue of the series, per the publisher.

The first Event Leviathan series, which ran from June through November of last year, spun out of events in Bendis' Action Comics and Superman series, and saw Leviathan (later revealed to be former hero Mark Shaw, AKA Manhunter) attempt to overthrow the governments of the world after dismantling multiple intelligence operations and recruiting agents to its cause, which it portrayed as creating a more honest, less secretive world order. 

The use of “Checkmate” in the title of the new series perhaps points to one of the results of the new series; since 1988’s Action Comics No. 588, it’s been the name of a covert operations agency at the heart of a number of DC comic book series and storylines, including a period where it was under the control of Maxwell Lord, the villain of this summer’s Wonder Woman 1984. As this stood at the end of the previous Event Leviathan series, Checkmate was one of the agencies dismantled by Leviathan; could the series title suggest a new incarnation is soon to be created?

Event Leviathan: Checkmate launches April 22.