The only reason I have a few copies of the 80s CHECKMATE series in my collection is they’re part of the summer events I’ve annotated or, like this one, they’re a crossover with another series I was either getting at the time or have since picked up as back issues, in this case SUICIDE SQUAD or CAPTAIN ATOM. Issues #16 of CHECKMATE was a crossover with both (along with FIRESTORM and MANHUNTER) forming part of The Janus Directive storyline.
Tricked by a piece of intel called The Janus Directive, the various spy agencies in the DCU – Checkmate, Task Force X, and others – become convinced that the other agencies are working against them, which is why Checkmate, on the orders of Amanda Waller, attempted an assassination/kidnap attempt against De Megala and General Eiling of Project Atom, ending up with Megala captured.
Convinced Waller’s gone to far, Checkmate stage a break in at Belle Reve to capture her but, unsurprisingly, run into a few of the Suicide Squad:
Alerted by the commotion, Waller manages to escape, and while all that’s been going on, Megala manages to let Eiling know where he’s being held so Eiling unleashes Major Force against Checkmate:
It’s all a lot of plotting and scheming interspersed with some fighting but credit where it’s due, DC tried to do something different than the traditional superhero crossover here, but jumping in to part three probably isn’t the fairest way to give this a review of sorts. This was just a couple of years after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and it’s nice to see the various agencies interacting (or in this case, just fighting) with each other.