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Comic Book Characters and Chess

I have found about 200 comic books that feature chess on its cover or has a chess story.  Here are some comic book characters that play chess.  Are there any more?

Aladdin - Disney’s Aladdin plays chess.  He appears on the Cover of Disney’s Aladdin #10 (1995) playing chess.

Alice – Alice (from Alice through the Looking Glass) appears in several comic books playing chess

Archie – Archie Andrews appears on a few comic book covers and in a few comic strips playing chess.

Batman – Batman appears on one comic book cover (Batman #24, June-July 1944) playing the Joker in chess.  He has a giant chess set in the bat cave.

Betty – Betty and Veronica are on the cover of an Archie comic book (1950) playing chess

Bizzaro – plays chess.  Beat Lex Luthor in a game of chess.

Black Panther – The Black Panther (T’Challa) plays chess with Dr. Doom.

Brainiac 5 – plays chess against Marshall Lorca of the Khunds

Captain Comet – Fictional DC Comics superhero who plays chess.  The Guardians of the Universe send Captain Comet (Adam Blake) on a mission to win a chess tournament.  He holds his own with Xtnal from Venus.  He defeats Pyg-Gar, a grandmaster from Pluto.  He is able to see 200 moves in advance. (Strange Adventures, ‘The Cosmic Chessboard,’ 1953)

Casper – Casper the Friendly ghost appears on a cover (Casper #117, 1968) playing chess.

Cerebus the Aardvark – Plays chess with his friend Po.

Chequerians – Masters of the checks and balances of the universe.  They play chess with entire planets as chess pieces.

Chessmen, The – Team name of personal assassin of Millionaire industrialist Obadiah Shane, who is trying to eliminated competitor Tony Stark (Ironman).  Shane was brought up with a great respect for chess, so he patterned his actions associated with the game.  Members include the King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, and Rook.

Chess Set, The – Super-powered criminal individuals named Brass Bishop, Dark Tower, King Coal, Killer Queen and Over-Knight.  They first appeared in Marvel’s Alpha Flight #121 (1983).

Despero – Villain who first appeared in Justice League of America #1 (1960).  He likes to play chess for the fates of his enemies.  He defeats the Flash in a game similar to chess by cheating.   He also plays the Martian Manhunter in a game of chess.

Donald Duck – appears on a comic cover playing chess.

Dormammu – a mystical entity who plays chess with Odin.

Dr. Doom – Dr. Victor von Doom likes to play chess.  He plays chess against the Prime Mover in which real people are pitted against robots constructed by Doom.  He also plays chess with the Black Panther (T’Challa) and the Sub-Mariner.

Dr. Fate – Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) takes part in a chess game in which humans take the roles of chess pieces in a huge board. (‘King of Crime,’ More Fun Comics #76, 1942)

Dr. Mid-Nite – forced to play chess with Mr. Terrific.   The loser would be electrocuted.

Dr. Wrath – All who oppose this chess master die (‘King of the Chess Killers,’ The Blue Beetle #11, 1942).

Flash – plays Despero in a game of chess and loses because Despero cheated.

Hulk – makes a blunder in chess and the game is stalemated against Galactus.

Galactus – Devours worlds.  Plays chess with the Avengers after being challenged by Storm.  The game ends in a stalemated due to a blunder by Hulk.

Grandmaster, The – one of the ageless Elders of the Universe who has mastered most civilizations’ games of skill and chance, including chess.

Green Arrrow – plays chess (‘The Human Chess game,’ Adventure Comics, 1955)

Joker – plays Batman in chess.

Kang – Kang (Nathaniel Richards) plays chess with the Grandmaster for the life of Ravonna.

Karno the Chessman – a villain who plays chess.

Kingpin – Kingpin (Wilson Fink), a villain, plays chess with The Foreigner

Lex Luthor – plays chess.  Got beat by Bizarro.

Manhunter from Mars – plays cosmic-level chess with Despero using Justice League of America figures as chess pieces.

Mister Mxyztptlk – impish villain from the 5th dimension.  Learned how to play chess from Superman’s advice.

Mr. Terrific -  forced to play chess with Dr. Mid-Nite.   The loser would be electrocuted.

Odin – plays cosmic chess with Dormammu

Prime Mover – Robot employed by Doctor doom to play chess.

 Prince Valiant - plays chess

Rathcone – Nazi operative operating in the United States in the 1940s who played chess.  He plotted murders using a chess board with chess pieces that resembled real people. 

Richie Rich – played chess with his expensive chess set

Sabrina – plays chess

Seaguy – plays chess with Death in New Venice

Sub-Mariner plays chess with Dr. Drrom.

Superman – plays chess on a few comics covers.

Thor – Appeared on some comic covers playing chess.

Veronica - Betty and Veronica are on the cover of an Archie comic book (1950) playing chess

Wizard – The Wizard (Bentley Wittman) was a child prodigy and chess champion who became a supervillain.

Yugi Muto – plays chess against Mokuba in a Capsule Monster Chess game and wins.


  • 6 months ago


    Click either image above for my chess.com Marvel/DC chess set.

    Here is another link as well: 




    Kerry Lawless

  • 14 months ago


    Just a friendly correction: I believe Batman and the Joker play chess on the cover of Batman #23, not #24. A classic Batman cover. Would love a framed poster of it.  As a lover of both chess and comics, I appreciate your starting this fun thread!

  • 23 months ago


  • 2 years ago


    I suppose this is "cheating" as it's from the daily comic strip, BUT Zippy has appeared in many comic books as well!
  • 3 years ago


    Tintin plays chess with general Alcazar in "the broken ear" and with captain Haddock in "Tintin in Tibet"

  • 3 years ago


    @ Pavrey: Sounds like something very similar to one of the wonderful films made by Satyajit Ray, "The Chess Players" [original title: Shatranj ke Khilari]


  • 3 years ago


    A movie was made in India called Shatranj meaning chess. The King in the movie was obsessed with chess, even at the cost of his kingdom being raided and defeated

  • 3 years ago


    Their is a character in ultimate muscle (a japanese anime) called Checkmate. He appears in the Manga also, naturally, and has the power of the Rook and Knight.

  • 3 years ago


    Did chess in movies years ago.


    Needs to be updated for movies the past 2 or 3 years.

  • 3 years ago


    Interesting article. Now how about chess in movies? Here's one to get you started: Independence day -  Jeff Goldbloom plays against his father near the start of the movie.

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago


    Not a comic book, but an incredible webcomic by the author of "Understanding Comics": http://scottmccloud.com/1-webcomics/chess/chess.html

  • 3 years ago


    DenverHigh, Yes I had seen that one and had Flash on my list.  will need to add Prince Valiant.

    So far, I have seen chess in: Action Comics #33 and #112, Advance Comics 91, Adventure Comics 83, 105, 177, 219, Aliens/Predator #10, All-American Comics 90, Alpha Flight 121, Amazing Spider-Girl 13, Amazing Spide-Man 289, Arak #40, Arcade 5, Archie 132, Archie Giant Series 139, Archies Girles 2, Archie's Joke Book 263, Arion the Immortal, Avengers 101, Avengers the Contest 1, Aztec Ace 14, Baffling Mysteries 26, Batman 23, 100, 619, Batman Lagends of the Dark Knight 126, Batman Gotham Knights 40, Battlestar Gallactic Annual, Beauty & the Beast #4, Beyond Wonderland #5, Black Cat Mystery 43, Plack Panther Vol 3 #27, Blue Beetle Vol 4 #5, Boy Commandos 22, Bugs Bunny 151, Bunny 16, Captain America #1, Captain Britain, Caption Thunder 8-10, Century Comics #10, Cerebus 158, 166, Checkmate 1-33, Countdown #44, Cthulhu Tales 1, Dai Kamikazi 11, Dark Shadows 34, Dennis the Menace 81, Detective Comics 158, 474, Disney's Aladdin #10, Dr Strange #1, Dynamic Comics 12, Eclipso 10, Eerie 41, Eerie Adventures 1, Epic 17, Fantoman 684, Felix the Cat 85, Four Color 1175, Fran Frazetta 8, Gambit, Ghostly Haunts 138, Giant-Size Defenders 3, Haunted Thrills 16, Horror Tales vol 6 #1, House of Mystery 12, 211, 226, Humongous Man 2, International Comics 2 & 5, Invisibles Vol 3 #7, Iron Man 163 & 164, JSA Secret Files 2, Jughead vol 2 #184, JLA 1, 61, 178, Kingpin #7, Land of the Lost Comics #9, Laugh Comics 266, Mad Magazine 41, Man in Black 4, Marvel Adventures the Avengers 26, Marvel Spotlight 29, Mast of Kung Fu 60, More Fun Comics 76, New Mutants 10 & 68, Our Army at War 10, Phantom Lady 21, Popular Comics 108, Prez #2, Prof Coffin #21, Rakan #5, Ripley's Beleive it or Not #1, Sabrina vol 3 #25, Savage Action 3 & 4, Seaguy #2, Shadow Comics  Vol 5 #10 , vol 6 #7 and #9, Shanda the Panda #5, Simpsons #56, Smax #3, Smoke #3, Sports Starts #3, Spunky #1, Star Rider #1, Star Trek #71, Star Wars #35, Star-Spangled Comics #125, Strange Adventures #35, Strange Suspense Stories 36, Strange Tales #102 & #167, Stupendous Series #10, Sub-Mariner #29, Superboy 218, Superman Vol 2 #137, Superman/Wonder Woman #4, Lois Land #79, Target Comics Vol 7 #11, Wilkin Boy #46, The Beyond 16, The Blue Beetle #11, Brave and the Bold 183, Casper #117, Hand of Fate 9, Haunt of Fear 22, Mighty Avengers 69, Thor #9, OMAC Project 5, Pink Panther 61, Rook Magazine, Uncanny X-Men 299, Witching Hour 37, Twilight Zone 35, Uncanny Tales 30, Unknown Soldoer 206, Unusual Tales 37, Vamirella #1, Weird Mystery Tales #9, Weird War Tales 43, Wilbur Comics 77, Wonder woman 55, 208, Vol 2 122 and 218, Wonderworld Comics #9 and #10, and Yu-Gi-Oh! #3.

    Kerry Lawless did some chess covers.  You can see the chess covers at:


  • 3 years ago


    blog be so much better if we could see the covers

  • 3 years ago


    Prince Valiant:

    It's a draw:

    It could be how the game ended:

  • 3 years ago


    From the Italian series, Dylan Dog:

  • 3 years ago


    Hi Bill:

    Here is the picture of the one I got. The chess board is going the wrong way. I will start looking for more. I didn't know there were that many.

    You can add the Justice League of America to your list.


  • 3 years ago

    NM flashboy2222

    lol :D

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