First, Brave and Bold 13 and 14. Issue 13 seems to be a standalone. I don't see how it would connect with 14. At any rate, after a complicated and long arc with the story told with revolving character pairings, 13 was a straight partnering of Batman and Jay Garrick/Flash. Nothing special, but some nice character bits.
Issue 14 pairs Green Arrow and Deadman in a race to save Nanda Parbat in what is an extended story and next issue will pair Nightwing and Hawkman which I'm looking forward to. The art by Kolins (a new name to me) was okay, but nothing that really impressed me. The faces were a bit odd looking, IMO. Anyway, there was plenty of creepiness and this was a decent start to the next continued arc.
Now, the rant.
WTF does this story have to do with Checkmate?! Oh, sure, they're marginally involved and I guess we'll see them in issue 28, maybe even some familiar faces, but really, two issues into Bruce Jones's opening story and no sign of the regular cast?! What the hell is Jones doing? If he wants to write about his own characters, let him write a novel or something. If he's writing Checkmate, he should write about Checkmate. This is like writing a classic Star Trek story and leaving out the crew of the Enterprise. It might make for a nice one-shot, but not for a continued story and hardly what I'd consider a solid opening story by an author whose work on other books has, well, sucked. He almost destroyed Nightwing, which impossibly made Devin Grayson's last story arc on that book look good. His Warlord was a frigging mess. And now this?
Seriously, what was the man thinking? He could have set this up with 2-3 pages, maybe a bit more if he alternated between the story set-up scenes and actual goings on with the Checkmate regulars. Checkmate is about Checkmate, with all the political machinations and how so much of the members' personal lives are sacrificed for the job they need to do. That's what I've been reading this for. For Michael and Sasha and all the rest. Hell, even for Waller, the bitch woman of the DCU.
I am so dropping this book. Tomorrow, when I go pick up my comics for the week, I'm telling them to cross this abomination off my pull list. It might end up being a good story, but it's not Checkmate. And with such a poor beginning about characters I don't know and have no time to even care about, I don't see how this could be good. I mean, if I'm willing to drop it before the story ends, that's not a good commentary on the first 2 chapters, right? Sheesh. Someone at Marvel or any other company needs to sign Jones to an exclusive contract so the DCU can be spared any more of his creative efforts.
End of rant.