The Chessmen

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The Chessmen
© Juke Box Productions


Status: Unknown
Earliest Appearance: prior to 1968

Personal Data


Appearances (in Publication Order): Armor Only

Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #17

Event Timeline


The Chessmen

The Chessmen are a fourteen-person group of criminal enforcers for Astro City mob bosses in powered armor who use a chess motif. The identities of the people within the Chessmen suits have not remained constant over the years.


The group was defeated by Jack-in-the-Box in 1968. Their armor was thought to have been destroyed in 1998 by Samaritan, but was found abandoned in London by the Red Queen and her men. The armor while not fully ready, was unleashed to chase down the Mock Turtle all the way to Astro City, where the Queen's men were defeated by a group of black masks from Kiefer Square.


There are four types of Chessman armor, each of which is based on a specific chess piece.

Pawn: There are eight of these. The pawns carry hand-held energy blasters and can fly via jetpacks on their backs.

Rook: There are two of these. The rook armor, with its twin heavy-duty blasters, possesses the greatest firepower. The jets in its base allow it to fly, albeit slowly. In a sense, it is an airborne tank, sacrificing maneuverability and speed for protection and sheer destructive ability.

Knight: There are two of these. The knight armor is the only one incapable of flight. Instead, the knight rides upon a flying robotic horse. The knight armor can generate both an energy sword and an energy lance, which the wearer wields in his hand. The knight is capable of short-range teleportation, though it is unclear whether this technology is housed in the armor or the horse.

Bishop:There are two of these. The bishop armor is built for speed and movement. Its jets are capable of both great speeds and precise sharp turns, and the suit, when in flight, very much resembles a human rocket. The bishop's gauntlet can fire an energy blast.


Known Members

Denton Kent, Pawn. A grisly murderer who was unmasked in 1968 by Jack-in-the-Box.
Sean Hanrahan, the original Queen's Bishop and later one of Headstone's lieutenants.