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Mate in Three

Solicits came out today for DC’s May books. If’n you’re the kind what’s interested in this kind of thing, you can find them posted at Newsarama. If you scroll WAAAAY down, you’ll find the listing for Checkmate #26. And you will note that it is written by Bruce Jones, and that it is illustrated by Manuel Garcia (who, incidentally, did a fantastic job with the art on Five Books of Blood #5, which is out tomorrow).

All of this is a bass-ackwards way of confirming for all and sundry — those of you that care, that is — that, yes, Checkmate #25 is the last issue for Joe Bennet, mercuryeric, and myself.

So as there’s no confusion about this, I was not removed from the book. I decided that #25 would be my final issue on the title at least a year ago, and informed DC Editorial of my decision shortly thereafter. Since then, I’ve tried to arrange things such that my departure would leave the book in as strong a position as possible, and headed in the direction I thought best. Ultimately, however, the choice on who takes over the book is DC’s, and not mine.

Mine and Eric’s final arc will be “Castling,” beginning with issue #23 and ending with issue #25. We think it’s some of the best work we’ve done on the title, and, hey, it finally — finally! — reveals the identity of the Rooks! I firmly believe we’re going out strong, and I hope you’ll all continue to read it, and that you’ll share our opinion if you do.

31 Responses to Mate in Three

  1. technoir

    For what it is worth. I have enjoyed your run. Checkmate is on my monthly pull list and is one of my fave titles every month.

  2. kei87

    As sad as I am to hear that a Rucka-penned Checkmate will soon no longer exist I can’t wait to see what else you’re working on.

    The early issues of Checkmate always struck me as a neutered Q&C. Good, but certainly nothing compared to Tara and company. But after the collaboration with Winnick I thought the revitalized series creatively surged in a great big blast of awesomeness.

  3. dculver

    Your run on Checkmate was great. Can’t wait to check out the last arc and I’m sorry to see you all leave the book.

  4. hdefined

    Putting Bruce Jones on the book means it’s sunk for sure. Deadman, Warlord, and Vigilante were some of DC’s lowest selling titles of the last four years (and they were terrible too). I thought for sure after his name stopped showing up in solicitations for the last few months that he was done with the company . . . sadly not.

    Still, it’ll probably make the first 25 issues look even better.

  5. thecomicman


    …damn it.

  6. lancescott

    Sad to see you go, but glad it’s on your terms. I enjoy the hell out of the book.

    - Jamie

  7. electricvinyl

    Well… crap… :(

    I’m really not a fan of Bruce Jones, so unless #26 really wows me, I guess #25 will be my last issue too.

  8. devilman145

    I’m sad to see you leave checkmate, but it’s been a great run and I’m glad to see the series still going after your departure. Hopefully there will be a Question ongoing down the line.

    On another note, I can’t wait for the DD arc and hopefully you guys will get a HC out of it down the line.

    Best of luck with all the new stuff, Crime Bible #5 can’t come soon enough.

  9. insektmute

    I know you weren’t booted off or cancelled, but it figures that once I got into the book, something like this would come along. It’s like the story of my comic book reading habits.

    I won’t write Jones and co. off, but I hope DC puts a preview up somewhere so I can get a taste.

  10. jjgalahad

    While I’m saddened that neither you or Trautmann are going to be continuing on with Checkmate, I’ll definitely support Jones’ run. You’ve created a beautiful, complex facet of the DCU in Checkmate and I’d hate to see it fade away after the two of you have clearly put so much love and effort into it.

    Thanks for a terrific run.

  11. anw

    Poop. I think this is my favourite superhero work I’ve seen you do, so this is a real shame. Also, I fear if you didn’t get around to shining a spotlight on Tommy Jagger in your run, no-one else is ever going to do it, and experience teaches me he’ll now be viciously murdered.

    (I know, I know; Marvel is the one that tortures and murders all its homosexuals. DC is the one that makes all its homosexuals hot girls who kiss other hot girls! So I suppose Tommy will now become a hot girl.)

    (Yes, I am a mean old cynic.)

  12. mercuryeric

    Chuckle. :)


  13. davesbu

    oh that’s a shame…but endings give us meaning.

  14. dannyperkins

    Well I’ll probably at least try Bruce Jones out.

    But this is sad news indeed.

  15. editor_lass

    Glad it was your decision, but I can’t pretend I’m not disappointed. Checkmate‘s been a real treasure, month after month. Thank you for 25 great issues. At least there’s Daredevil to look forward to.

    …and pipe-dream or not, I can still wish for you to write a Renee Montoya/Sanderson Hawkins teamup one day. The protege of one of the great modern costumed detectives! The protege of the first–and perhaps the best–of the costumed detectives! And it’s not like Sand has anything to do over in JSA….

  16. kali921


    I’m glad it was your decision, and not DC’s, to leave the book. Still, I’m plunged into a mini-existential crisis, because I so enjoyed your and Eric’s work on the book. I’ll probably be dropping it, and waiting for you to announce what next you’ll be working on.

  17. kali921

    Way to bring my week down, man. I’m so bummed that you’re both off the book.

    But thank you so much for the marvelous work on Checkmate. This humble fangirl is grateful that Rucka & Trautmann exist.

    And, you know, hop to it! Go do something else awesome!

  18. supergodginrai

    doh! Not a big Bruce Jones fan, I’ll give it a try, who knows.
    Will have to get my Rucka fix somewhere else ?

  19. midusunknown

    Here’s Looking Towards the Future (…of your next title)

    Bruce Jones eh? Well, I’ll give him the same benefit I did on Nightwing (the benefit of buying a book that will utterly disappoint me). Who knows, maybe the castle will be so well fortified by your run that he wont be able to ruin all the good from within it’s pages.

  20. insektmute

    I vote for more Queen & Country.

  21. incogvito

    not happy about this as the first Castling issue was brilliant.

  22. supergodginrai

    I just finished the new Checkmate.
    Plattsburgh AFB is now the Plattsburgh International Airport :)
    Cool to see the ‘Burgh in a comic though :D

  23. wmd_actual

    It was a really good run. I always put the new issue of Checkmate on the top of the stack when I started reading my weekly pile of 4 color yumminess.

  24. alexg119

    Dammit…Well, the book has been great. Castling I was particularly good. But hey, bigger and better things right?

  25. komainu

    Thanks for the Checkmate you’ve given us. I’ve been loving it (which, with my luck, is the kiss of death).

  26. mercuryeric

    I went to college there briefly, and my mom still works there.

    Also: it’s not set at the AFB. It’s set in the warehouse/industrial parts of PARC. Is there a goof I missed?



  27. supergodginrai

    Actually, I picked up the book again tonight after reading your reply and it says
    “Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelpment Center – Plattsburgh, NY”

    So Greg is up to date, lol, since that would be the P.A.R.C projects lol.

  28. mercuryeric

    …I wrote that part, yo.



  29. dedagda

    Noooooooo! Everyone I like for the most part is leaving the DCU. crappers.

  30. supergodginrai

    Doh! Sorry Eric. Never made the connection, my brain is fried. I apologize, lol.

  31. dewline


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