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The Black King

Ordering strikes
Ordering strikes

When Checkmate was reestablished as an organization run by the United Nations, Taleb Beni Khalid was appointed as the new Black King. As an Israeli-Arab Druze, he was able to enjoy a measure of being politically untouchable once appointed. Unlike Amanda Waller, he seemed to have no hidden agendas that he was using his position to seek out, likely due to his politically stable position. Shen Li Po, a Chinese intelligence officer, was made Black King's Bishop, and he specifically requested Fire as Black King's Knight. He operated in his own unique way, preferring more tangible things like index cards pinned to a board rather than computer monitors.


Trusting his Knight
Trusting his Knight

Khalid eventually became aware that Fire was being somehow blackmailed by Amanda Waller over something relating to the name "Corvalho." He was able to deduce that Corvalho referred to a colonel involved in Operation: Condor, which was an assassination ring coordinated by various South American states. That was what Waller had over his Knight. Fire was protecting her father from having to face prosecution for the crimes he committed when his name was Corvalho. Khalid convinced Fire to give her father up rather than take the fall herself, because he did not ask for Beatriz Corvalho the secret agent as his Knight. He asked for Beatriz Da Costa the superhero. Fire relented and turned her father over to justice, freeing herself from Waller's control. Waller vaguely threatened Khalid not to push too far with her, because the last King to do that was Alan Scott and he was no longer a King.

Khalid's New Bishop

After the Chinese were involved in a couple politically troublesome situations with Checkmate, Khalid found that Shen had returned to China for supposed personal reasons and that the August General in Iron had been appointed as his new Bishop on a temporary basis. Given August General in Iron's presence when Sasha Bordeaux had recently been held captive and tortured by Egg Fu, Khalid did not welcome this change, wanting to fire him. However, August General in Iron freely admitted that he was there to spy for the Chinese but claimed he could still perform his duties as Black King's Bishop. Shen Li Po was not going to return. He pointed out that China would find a way to keep tabs on Checkmate one way or another, so it would be better for Khalid to stick with the devil he knew. Khalid seemed to agree, keeping August General in Iron around.

Fall of the Wall

Master planner
Master planner

Though in no danger of losing his position as Black King, Khalid sided with Mr. Terrific and Sasha Bordeaux to remove Amanda Waller from her position as White Queen. While the others Checkmate Royals dug up dirt on Waller about her covert Salvation Run initiative, Khalid presented Waller with the chance to force him out of Checkmate too. He called a meeting with an old and trusted friend, the Martian Manhunter. J'onn appeared at the meet at first in a form identical to Khalid's before shifting into his usual appearance. This whole incident was photographed by one of Waller's agents, and she believed she had proof against him that at some time or another he was really the Martian Manhunter, violating Checkmate's Rule of Two regarding metahumans. She did not realize she had been distracted by this ploy until it was too late, and the three other Royals had the proof they needed that she was the one violating the Rule of Two by having nanites in her blood to control her Suicide Squad and Chemo, making her the metahuman. Waller was forced to resign.


Taleb Beni Khalid okays the Chimera Project. He then sends Chimera to battle Akhlut in Antarctic, against the wishes of Sasha Bordeaux. Then when he learns there are two other monsters in China and Venezula, he forbids August General in Iron and Fire from leaving the castle to help, trusting in Chimera instead.

Later when Taleb learns how bad things are getting in the world and realizes how worse they'll get he calls in the Global Guardians. He has them meet him in Israel. There he helps coordinate the attack on Azhi Dahaka.

Final Crisis

Khalid was one of the few able to keep free of the Anti-Life Equation and for a time had to bunker down with Mr. Terrific, Snapper Carr and the Thinker while working on a counterattack strategy. Circumstances required him to work alongside Amanda Waller again as well as they drafted the Question to help them with an evacuation plan to another Earth in the event that their own was too far gone.

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