Reviews for Just a Friendly Game of Chess
DJ Dubois chapter 3 . 4/2/2014
Hi. Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed this piece very much. You deftly weave several simultaneous strands together and employ a deep knowledge of Cap and the Skull. A war of intellects indeed! Thank you for sharing.
PJ chapter 2 . 10/30/2013
Next Chapter Please
PJ chapter 2 . 10/30/2013
Still liking it.
But I'm thinking that the first sentence of the second paragraph might be deleted/altered, as we already know of Steve's wardrobe and strong physical appearance.
The second sentence reveals more of his mental/emotional state (Great)
I might have more comments on this chapter latter, but for now I'm moving cause I want to know more of the story.
PJ chapter 1 . 10/30/2013
So far,,,so good
peterjamespaul chapter 1 . 10/30/2013
I Like It.
I think some small amount of editing would improve on your story.
I am very interested to read on.
Lady Kalinda chapter 2 . 3/19/2013
This is awesome! I really love these two and their epic conflict. Hope you update this soon :)
laughtw chapter 2 . 3/8/2013
A great story! I loved your descriptions - they were very detailed, and were worded brilliantly! Showing the Skull's darkness, even as an old man, kept him to character. I've seen quite a few fics with villains simply going nice. Although Johan/John is now in admiration of his former enemy, it is good to see his core is still there - dark, old Bavarian - and then you added back story!
Anyway, I also loved the use of the chess game. It showed the tension levels during Steven and John's conversation. The skilful way that you wrote meant that a second chapter wasn't needed - but it also worked well.
Well done! This story was great!
Musicwolf7 chapter 1 . 3/2/2013
Gosh, you're good... O.o Excellent writing! Love the characterization! Two thumbs up!
Kukapetal chapter 2 . 3/2/2013
Again, great stuff here. The writing, the dialogue...it's all fantastic. The mental chess these two play during their conversation is very interesting and entertaining, and I like how you let Cap get the upper hand here a few times. Skull's snarky observations were well-written and amusing and I really loved the part where you compared the characters as being something more than just two people...as the personification of ideals. I think that's exactly how Red Skull would view things.

I'm still having some trouble with the characterization though. Cap is spot on (other than being strangely chummy with Red Skull, as I already pointed out), but Red Skull is just way too...personable. He's not this suave or charming. He is bad-tempered, openly contemptuous and dismissive of the people and things around him, prone to outright taunting, gloating, and insulting when he thinks he can get away with it (he once annoyed Cap so much Cap told him to shut up, if I remember correctly) and quite petty when he has the upper hand. He's really not the "gentleman villain" you've portrayed him as here. Don't get me wrong, you've written an excellent and interesting gentleman villain character, but it just doesn't seem to suit cranky old Johann. He's not the kind of guy who would cordially discuss a baseball game with someone...at least, not without a lot of character development.

It also doesn't seem to suit with his "ultimate evil personified" vibe that you've given the character, where everyone who sees him is unnerved and frightened by him (which is very well written, btw). Again, he's just too personable for that. He seems more like the type of guy who'd charm the pants off me one moment and then causally slit my throat the next. Still evil, but not obviously so...instead, the kind of evil you might not see coming until it's too late.

Now, we obviously differ in our interpretations of the character, and that's not a bad thing...the nice thing about comic characters is that their personalities can vary greatly depending on the writer and the time period, so liberal interpretations of them when writing fanfiction are certainly allowed. I just want to remind you not to forget about the more openly temperamental and hostile aspects of his personality while you paint the picture of your level-headed chessmaster.

Despite my gripe about characterization though, this is still an excellently written and interesting story exploring the complex and yet strangely simple relationship between these two characters.
Kukapetal chapter 1 . 3/2/2013
The writing and characterization are fantastic, once again and I enjoyed that you also threw in a few chuckles along the way (not sure why the JC Penny thing made me laugh so hard, but it did :P ). However, I spent the chapter really REALLY confused why Cap and Skull were acting like BFFs with no explanation.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the premise you've got here. And I think it could work, given the history between them, and how the two of them are "tied together," in Red Skull's eyes. But you've gotta give us some sort of reason why Cap would sit down and have a friendly chat with his arch-enemy out of the blue like that. The few times I've seen Cap chat with the Skull in the comics, he didn't seem to enjoy it at all. He clearly loathed being in the same room as someone like Red Skull. Of course, I haven't read every comic featuring the two of them, so maybe they've had interactions more like what you've written and I just haven't read them. But based on what I know about them, Cap just doesn't seem likely to sit down and hang out with Skull like they're old buddies.

Again, I don't think it would take much tweaking to make this premise possible, but it does seem unlikely if you don't give us at least SOME sort of explanation why Cap would be willing to do this.

Also, unless you're basing this on an alternate continuity of some sort, Johann's mother died giving birth to him and his father committed suicide shortly after. He never knew either of his parents.

Anyway, other than needing to justify the premise a bit more, this was an excellently written story and I enjoyed it a lot. Good work!