Checkmate notices a robbery going on at the Nest Egg Bank in Quadropolis, and attempts to stop it. He tells the criminals (Kragg and Mr. Whiz) to stop. They do not. Kragg heads into the vault while Mr. Whiz insults Checkmate, calling him horse-face. Checkmate fires his laser blasts at Whiz, who uses his superspeed to avoid them. After learning his opponents names, Checkmate is punched and made dizzy by Mr. Whiz, and then clocked by Kragg, sending him through a window and out of sight. Kragg and Mr. Whiz got away with the money. (Kragg and Mr. Whiz #1-2, 2014)
In the Initial Era, Checkmate first appears in D.O.P.E. Volume 1, Number 9. He volunteers to fight the monster Sludge as part of a team led by Numbskull. Of his powers, we see Checkmate can fly and he can zap electricity from his pawn hand. He ultimately proves futile against the giant monster and gets knocked into a building before the main four triumphantly return and defeat Sludge.