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Checkmate is a covert agency under jurisdiction of the U.S. Government. Their primary goal was to enlist metahumans and superheroes, such as those involved with the Justice League and Justice Society of America, to defend the world from extraterrestrial threats. The agency also organized and employed the Suicide Squad.

Known Agents

  • The Black King: Maxwell Lord (unknown)
  • The Black Knight: Ray Sacks (alive)
  • The Black Pawn: Cameron Mahkent (unknown)
  • Suicide Squad (active)
  • Though not exactly in the field, there is a medic that tends to wounded members of Checkmate within the very walls.


Checkmate headquarters.

Checkmate's headquarters, hidden within the Rocky Mountains of the United States, is called the Castle. Inside its walls, the Castle is a command base checkered with black and white like a chessboard.

A room that Icicle remained in for consultation with Amanda Waller was conditioned with low temperature setting and color setting for him. When he was being detained after his failure, he was contained in a red-setting room with some conditioned heat.

Amanda Waller's office was more professional with a chess set for her to move her players (members) in their order.

Identification and Call

Members of Checkmate receive a chess piece or even symbol so their fellow members can be recognized in their place in society. When needed for operation for whatever the cause or time, the operatives perform without thought after seeing their chess piece sitting on their own personal setting that they convene to often.


Operatives use a truck for conducting spy operations or transporting unwilling individuals to their base. Checkmate transports contain militaristic cameras as well as weaponry.


Each agent contain within themselves an embedded device that tracks their very movement. It is capable of movement within the skin and buries inside the host should it even feel threatened.


The only way for anyone to leave Checkmate is to be put to death, for they cannot be trusted to let go with sensitive information. And if they were to be ever caught or monitored, Checkmate would activate an embedded chemical which would kill them as they foam at the mouth.

Early History

Checkmate approached the Justice Society of America, demanding that they work for them and for them to unmask themselves. When they refused, Checkmate uncovered the JSA's secret identities on their own, and then began to hunt them down with the help of the police.

The JSA members were arrested, but with no evidence or conviction to charge them with, they were released. Unfortunately knowing what the government was capable of doing to get what they wanted, the JSA chose to disband.

When Amanda Waller became leader of Checkmate, she hired a LuthorCorp employee named Tess Mercer to spy on her boss, Lex Luthor, and his alien investigations and projects.

Checkmate started an operation that included the recruitment of criminal individuals with special abilities (those that were imprisoned for their evil activities and those that happened to be the heir/protege of the original villain). For the imprisoned, Checkmate made an order to have their information and records missing to conduct their operations.

The ship of the alien, M'gann, crashed in Colorado, near Checkmate's Headquarters. There she was found by some of the organization's agents and kept captive in the facility. After Dr. Faraday's daughter died, he became attached to the little Martian and raised her as his own daughter, despite always in the limitations of her cell.

Season Nine

Agent Waller.

Agent Mercer.

Amanda Waller employed Cameron Mahkent, the son of the original Icicle, as a Black Pawn [citation needed] to begin tracking down and killing members of the Justice Society of America. First, Icicle killed Sylvester Pemberton aka the Star Spangled Kid and then Wesley Dodds the Sandman. He then killed Doctor Fate and took the Helmet of Nabu for himself.

While wearing the helmet, he faced off against a combination of the Justice Society and Oliver Queen's team of heroes. Icicle returned to the Checkmate agency hoping to kill more JSA members, but Waller revealed that she only wanted him to bring the JSA out of retirement. She then pointed a gun in his direction and said, "Welcome to the Suicide Squad"... and fired the gun.

Checkmate then turned their sights on the one called Watchtower, who they knew was the key to accessing many metahumans like The Blur, Green Arrow, and the rest of their team. To do this, they first kidnapped Green Arrow after a successful diversion by Agent Mercer. Bringing him onto one of their mobile bases, Waller met with Green Arrow, demanding that he accept Checkmate's invitation to join their ranks and serve his country. Green Arrow refused and managed to escape the van. Waller hounded Tess for not making sure the prisoner was secure, telling her that failure was not an option. They realized Green Arrow's team was onto them when Detective John Jones, a Martian, managed to make his way to Checkmate headquarters at "The Castle". Waller confronted him, telling him that the alien blood sample they had received a short time beforehand was proof of alien life (the blood sample had been given to Waller by Lois Lane from a scientist torturing Kryptonian's lab).

Checkmate captures Watchtower.

She trapped John with a cage of fire and left him while she had other matters to attend to. Meanwhile, Checkmate captured Watchtower, Chloe Sullivan, and brought her to "The Castle" after she had investigated Checkmate's connection to Icicle. Clark Kent, the one called The Blur, arrived to rescue her, thanks to interrogating the location of headquarters out of Tess, when he met with Waller. Waller demanded his and his team's loyalty, telling him that if he refused, Watchtower would die. A power outage ironically caused by Tess allowed the Blur the time to rescue Chloe and escape "The Castle". John Jones was able to break free of his prison thanks to his Martian shape-shifting abilities and he then destroyed the blood sample, before wiping the faces of Watchtower, The Blur, and Green Arrow from Waller's memory so she no longer remembered their secret identities. Frustrated by the loss of Watchtower and therefore the entire team that could help protect them from the coming alien invasion, Waller angrily went back to her office where a Red Queen chess piece awaited her. She realized an entirely new player had entered the game.

The Black King attempts to discover The Blur's identity.

Maxwell Lord, the Black King of Checkmate, set his sights on discovering the identity of The Blur and using that information to get to the rest of the metahumans on the planet. He helped one of The Blur's enemies, Ray Sacks out of jail in order to help him find people with any information on The Blur. They collected people who had caught glimpses of The Blur and Lord used his mind reading abilities to force the images out of their minds and project them onto a monitor. Lord offered Sacks a Black Knight position in Checkmate for his services. After nearly completing the image and kidnapping Lois Lane, who held the last piece, The Blur himself showed up. He destroyed the monitor the moment it completed his image in anger after Lord tried to rip his image out of Lois' mind. Lord escaped but was found by a man who threw him into a limo where he met with the mysterious Red Queen face to face.

Agents Waller and Campbell moments before The Castle's destruction.

Checkmate recruited Stuart Campbell, a former hacker under Tess Mercer's employ, into their ranks and with his help, they successfully hacked Watchtower of all of the information on the aliens on Earth. Stuart, wanting revenge on Tess for shooting him, disobeyed Waller to not search for Tess and did so anyway. Meanwhile, Waller used the information they had taken from Watchtower to track down half of the aliens, the ones who did not have their powers. She took their leader, Faora, while intending to kill the rest. The remaining aliens were saved by The Blur while Waller tried to press Faora for information. The aliens' true leader, Zod, attacked Waller and threw her into a windshield, hoping to kill her, when The Blur arrived, hitting Zod away and saving Waller's life. Stuart returned to "The Castle" after being unable to track down Tess where he found Waller. Waller explained that the war had begun now that Zod had destroyed many of their bases and that they needed to contact the United Nations immediately on the situation. However, Zod was also at "The Castle" and had slaughtered many Checkmate operatives. Waller and Agent Campbell made a run for it as Zod unleashed a blast of heat vision, burning the entire castle to a cinder. Agent Waller's and Agent Campbell's fates remain unknown.

After Major Zod's attack to Checkmate, M'gann and Faraday were trapped inside the facility in the cell where the young Martian had lived since her arrival on Earth. Here the two stay together for months before the man died from hunger and, in a last sign of affection, recorded on his cellphone a message for whoever finds his corpse: take care of his daughter. Again alone in the darkness, M'gann lives in desperation alongside to her surrogate father's deceased body.

Season Eleven

In Checkmate's Headquarters, the duo of Batman and Martian Manhunter found a rocket's launch project and discover that the White Martian was kept prisoner in it. While looking around, John finds the body of an agent who remains locked inside the facility with the creature; as Batman noted, however, it seem that he died under natural circumstances and, before to did it, he recorded a message on his cellphone where he claims that his name is King Faraday and he begs the person which find his body to take care about his daughter.

In Washington DC, Senator Martha Kent gets into the car of a man who is nicknamed "Bones" and is the director of the secret organization, called D.E.O. (Department of Extranormal Operations), Martha mentions that she is aware of the organization's actions when she was still acting as "Red Queen" against Checkmate.

General Sam Lane later mentions Checkmate and Amanda Waller, while talking with Bones about D.E.O.'s independence.

While touring Clark Kent inside D.E.O.'s facility, agent Cameron Chase explains to Clark that Director Bones strives for a greater level of transparency with the American public than their predecessor, Checkmate, had.

In the Comics

Checkmate in the comics.

Checkmate is a fictional covert operations agency. Checkmate is a governmental "spy" agency with the hierarchy revolving around the pieces in the classic board game, Chess, with Kings & Queens being the leaders, the

Members of Checkmate and the interiors of the castle as it is in the comics.

Bishops oversee missions behind the scenes, the Rooks plan the missions, the Knights carry out the missions and the Pawns are the support staff. The agency was set up by Amanda "the Wall" Waller as its first Queen to serve as a branch of Task Force X, which also included the black ops organization called the Suicide Squad. Also designations of Black or White indicate whether their specialty is Operations (Black) or Intelligence (White), Bruce Wayne refused membership,but it is ironic since he is the "Dark Knight" as Batman.

The Agency was first set up by Amanda Waller to serve as a small branch of Task Force X under the command of Colonel Valentina Vostok (formerly Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol) to perform operations worldwide considered vital to the security of American interests. She relinquishes command to Harry Stein, who recreates The Agency into a new image and organization, dubbed Checkmate, in relation to its chess-inspired organization scheme.

The organization'

Checkmate castle as it is in the comics.

s headquarters is a castle in the Swiss Alps known only as "The Castle."

Checkmate was at various times involved with the other government agencies in the DC Comics universe, primarily the Suicide Squad, which resulted in the crossover "The Janus Directive." Checkmate! was canceled after 33 issues but the organization continued to appear, mostly in titles related to either the government or Batman. Checkmate also has helped create an organization called The Global Peace Agency that may be the new prime DC espionage agency.

In the new DC 52 continuity, Checkmate is an international organization run by Maxwell Lord that works with all of the world's governments but is answerable to none of them. They are described as a Global Peace Agency, albeit with questionable methods. Sarge Steel is put in charge of the investigation when Cadmus project Brother Eye goes rogue and creates OMAC. They send a team of agents led by Steel after the monster, but he defeats them and escapes. Mokkari also fails to capture OMAC. In desperation, Lord enlists the help of S.H.A.D.E. and their leader Father Time sends his best operative Frankenstein to kill OMAC. The conflict becomes personal when Brother Eye attempts to assassinate Lord.In their final battle, Max outsmarts Eye and has him destroyed. They decide to leave OMAC alone, determining that he is no longer a threat.


  • This is the second DC Comics agency that has appeared on the show (the first being Cadmus Labs which appeared in Season 1).
  • While antagonistic and believing that the Justice League could pose a threat, Checkmate also saw them as an asset and the world's best hope to fend off alien invasions.
    • Waller manipulated Icicle into bringing the J.S.A. out of retirement and having them join forces with the Justice League, believing the world would need them if they were to stand a chance against the imminent arrival of Apokolips.[1]
    • Waller sought to draft members such as Oliver Queen as operatives for the organization, hoping they could combat the Kandorian threat.[2]
    • After John Jones erased Waller's memory of the League's identities, Checkmate attempted to hack Watchtower's servers to gain intelligence on the Kandorians and the team alike.
  • In the comics, Checkmate had members of other superhero teams including Alan Scott. Current Mister Terrific, Michael Holt, was a member of Checkmate as well..



See also

Tess Mercer in Smallville
Family Lionel LuthorPamela Jenkins
'Ships Lois LaneLana LangChloe SullivanLex LuthorLionel LuthorConner KentOliver QueenClark KentZodEmil Hamilton
Work LuthorCorpDaily PlanetCheckmateJustice League
Other Injustice LeagueLuthor MansionNear-death experiencesEpisodes
Places in Smallville
Smallville Crater LakeHigh SchoolKawatche CavesKent Farm (barn, house, storm cellar) • Luthor MansionLuthorCorp Fertilizer Plant Number ThreeMain Street (Beanery) • Medical CenterMiller's FieldTalon (apartment, basement)
Metropolis Ace of ClubsBelle ReveCadmus LabsC&L's apartmentDaily PlanetIsis FoundationGeneral HospitalLuthorCorp Plaza (Level 33.1) • Queen TowerSuicide SlumsSummerholt InstituteUniversityWatchtower
Other Black CreekCheckmate CastleD.E.O. headquartersEgyptFortress of SolitudeGotham City (Arkham Asylum, Batcave, Wayne Manor) • GranvilleS.T.A.R. LabsStar CityThemyscira
Planets AlmeracApokolipsEarthEarth-2Earth-MajesticKrypton (Kandor, New Krypton, Phantom Zone) • MarsOa