Cinnamon (Jen van Meter version) (DC Comics)


(Modern era version)


Cinnamon is a DC Comics character who first appeared in her own 2003 mini-series. It was an obscure, but cool modern action thriller written by Jen van Meter.

This Cinnamon patterns herself after Kate Manser, the Cinnamon of the 1870s. Thus, you might want to read Manser’s profile first.

The part of the biography that covers her El Ciclo miniseries was kept light, to avoid the worst S P O I L E R S. However, the rest spoils the balls-to-the-wall, amazing final arc to Rucka’s Checkmate. Which was amazing.



  • Real Name: Cinnamon (last name unrevealed).
  • Other Aliases: Checkmate Rook Beta.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Father (name unrevealed, deceased), Jeannie (mother, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 140 lbs. Age: Early 30s.
  • Eyes: Light green Hair: Very red

Powers and Abilities

Cinnamon II, like the historical Cinnamon, is a dead shot and a superior gunfighter. She is able to engage half-a-dozen armed men and prevail. She even has adopted the signature weapon of the original – a sharpened sheriff’s star used as a heavy shuriken.


Cinnamon has lightning-fast reflexes, is steady under pressure and has a superior pain tolerance and physical constitution. She is also a competent brawler, and seems to have some level of martial arts training.

An experienced and capable mercenary and pistolera, she has extensive street contacts in northern Mexico (throughout the border area). She also has an excellent reputation among the persons exposed to her world.

She is streetwise in both Spanish and English. Cinnamon deals especially well with other women in illegal professions, such as prostitutes.

Big irons on her hips

Her guns look like Colt M1873 Army Model .45s. They do not seem to be replicas, and may have been rebuilt and rechambered for a more modern caliber (such as .45 ACP) and a modern double action. Her friend Maurice, who is knowledgeable about guns, referred to them as “antiques”. But it may have been a figure of speech.

She will switch to the sharpened badges if gunshots are likely to have dangerous consequences, such as attracting cops.

Cinnamon is a fast draw champ. She can reliably get the drop on most opponents while her pistol is holstered and her enemy has a gun already pointed toward her. Her Checkmate appearances imply that she’s just as fast when it comes to reloading.

In their Majesties’ last chance service

(The following section includes BIG S P O I L E R S)
Cinnamon is one of the four Rooks. These are Checkmate’s last-resort weapons, used in cases where it is necessary to gamble on the survival of the planet. Thankfully, the Rooks have only been deployed once.

The Rooks follow Checkmate’s all-important Rule of Two, where each superhuman operative is matched by a human person.

“Command bunker Baker. Locks are free. The Rooks are active.”

In this specific case, Rook Alpha (Tyson Sykes a.k.a. Gravedigger) and Rook Beta (Cinnamon) are the humans. Gamma (Sebastian Faust, a mage) and Delta (an upgraded J.A.K.E., a.k.a. the G.I. Robot) are the superhumans.

Big guns

As a Checkmate agent, Cinnamon is provided with much more powerful firearms, presumably from Checkmate’s arsenal :

  • .50 BMG Windrunner M98 Tactical Takedown Rifle. A 34 lbs. anti-materiel rifle. Cinnamon uses it to support the other Rooks, usually by firing from a helicopter a short distance behind the others. Apparently there’s a large store of pre-loaded magazines for her to go through (and perhaps even spare barrels – she was chain-shooting like crazy.) Cinnamon kept carrying the rifle just in case after moving indoors, though at that point she can only bring one mag.
  • .454 Casull Taurus Raging Bull. This four pounds revolver has a blued finish (meaning it’s black – don’t ask). It fires an enormously potent cartridge. She is issued with custom-made, high-end armour-piercing bullets that can remain lethal for a bit after punching through a thick stone wall. Cinnamon carries a lot of ammo for this hand cannon – maybe five speed-loaders and a pair of bandoleers under her duster.
  • One would hope she’s also equipped with selective in-ear noise filters to deal with the report of her own weapons and that of her colleagues.

The apocritic, part 1

A big part of what makes the Rooks special is being issued on deployment a dose of apocritic. This is a solution containing engineered alien D.N.A. from Starro the Conqueror. If all goes well, and after inducing the vomiting of some alien goo, the apocritic creates a powerful telepathic network between the Rooks. This allows them to isntantly share all perceptions, thoughts and reflexes.

This makes the operative extraordinarily efficient in the field.

Cinnamon II and the rest of the Checkmate Rooks

The G.I. Robot is not a full part of the apocritic-induced teep  network, since obviously it’s not organic. It uses the brain nacelle that used to carry Max Lord’s encephalon, though. That is sufficient for it to use some apocritic fluid to join the network as a passive participant – but not for a DNA infection to go very far.

The G.I. Robot can share its perceptions over the network, but still must communicate verbally (and receive its orders verbally).

J.A.K.E. monitors the teep network. He has special sensors constantly scanning the progress of the DNA infection within the body of the other Rooks. Past a certain threshold, the mental link gets too strong and starts summoning Starro. One assumes that the Conqueror then immediately takes over the infected person.

The apocritic, part 2

J.A.K.E. will terminate the Rook before such a level is reached. This means that the Rooks’s life expectancy is counted in minutes after they inject the apocritic. An antidote is available for detox if the mission is completed before the infection gets too severe.

Apparently, despite all the precautions, there is a clear risk that Starro will be contacted whenever somebody is under the apocritic’s effects.

All perceptions and thoughts are shared over the network. The gestalt gains a composite view of the situation through six pair of eyes. This makes things much crisper and with a much better sense of depth that is available through human perceptions. Thanks to the increased mental bandwidth and scale efficiencies, reactions are radically faster than normal and far more precise.

Apparently the Rooks under the effects of the apocritic enjoy a much-extended working memory. Perhaps this is in imitation of the space aliens whom DNA they use. Thus, they are able to retain and share a perfectly clear perception of something for about 10 to 15 seconds. By contrast, a normal human brain will encode it into abstract patterns within 2-3 seconds.

Apparently pain is shared among the members. For instance the organics on the team winced when the G.I. Robot took some solid hits. How it works is unrevealed.

Deeper shade of soul ?

While it’s never mentioned in the story, there is a possibility Cinnamon II has a sliver of the soul of Chay-Ara (who was reincarnated as the first Cinnamon). Given the chaotic way the soul of Chay-Ara made its way into the mind of Kendra Saunders, all possibilities should be considered.

That would in fact make a certain sense in the context of the stories.


Cinnamon was raised by a mother with a deep interest in the legends of the American Old West. She told her daughter many such stories while she was a little girl. Cinnamon’s mum would have named her child Wyatt had he been a boy. She hesitated between two famous women of the Old West if she turned out to be a girl – Annie Oakley  or the avenger Cinnamon.

Cinnamon’s mother before her daughter was eight. As to Cinnamon’s father, he was a US Marshall. He was shot during a bank heist by a group of masked criminals, a few years after the death of his wife.

La venganza de la huérfana

From then on Cinnamon was wracked by nightmares about the brutal incident. She dedicated herself to vengeance, honing her markswomanship. Then she stalked those criminals who were at the heist.

At one point she found one of the seven killers. This man, Jason Samuels, was now middle-aged and a father. Bidding farewell to his daughter Marisol, Samuels accepted Cinnamon’s silent challenge and the pistol she handed to him. He was slain in the duel.

Eventually, Cinnamon killed all seven murderers.

Cinnamon then became reputed as a “freelance peacekeeper”. Various parties hired her services as a one-woman private police force. Typical jobs included protecting a bar, riding shotgun along shipments of goods of questionable legality, etc. Her professionalism and excellent results got Cinnamon a nearly constant stream of odd jobs.

El ciclo, parte uno

In 2003, Cinnamon heard that a hostile girl was looking for her. She soon deduced that it was Marisol “Mace” Samuels, the daughter of Jason Samuels. Accepting her destiny as always, Cinnamon travelled to LA to confront her.

Preferring to travel with her revolvers and out of sight of the law, she got a free ride from a coyote . That was in exchange for preventing any trouble from his clients.

The coyote intended to double-cross her, and was in the habit of selling his customers to slavers. But Cinnamon foiled the plot and saved the immigrants. This earned her a free ride to LA from an American cousin of one of the men.

El ciclo, parte dos

Once there, using local contacts, (chiefly Maurice, a former heavy who had reinvested his illegal gains into a strip club), she located Samuels. The girl was now a hardcore, illegally armed young woman running a squat serving as a less-than-legal shelter for street kids. Cinnamon simply waited for her outside the building.

One of Mace’s protégés, a runaway named Helen, was the daughter of a billionaire. Desperate to find her, Helen’s father eventually hired criminals. He hoped that their knowledge of the streets would enable them to find his daughter.

They made their way toward Mace. The incident started degenerating until Cinnamon drew her guns and chased the thugs away. She then challenged Mace to a duel at midnight. Then, things we won’t want to spoil for you about happened.

El viaje extraño de la pistolera

During the Infinite Crisis, in 2006, massive prison breakouts were orchestrated worldwide. The goal was to overwhelm any heroic opposition. At that point Cinnamon was in Honduras, not far from Tegucigalpa. She responded to the breakout at the San Pedro Sula penitentiary.

She was eventually overwhelmed and knocked out with a rock to the head. When happened next remains unknown, though it wasn’t looking good.

During the Infinite Crisis, those opposing the onslaught of criminals and super-villains were connected via a mental network woven by the Martian Manhunter. The strange experience of being put in psychic contact with a global army of heroes via a space alien’s mind likely was what led Cinnamon to be noticed by Checkmate.

Jaque mate por torre

Cinnamon was contacted to become one of the last-resort weapons used by Checkmate – one of the four Rooks. Cinnamon, with her muted death wish, likely accepted since she considered that the nearly suicidal role of a Rook would be a great way to go.

Given the tremendous danger involved, the Rooks were activated but once, in 2008. That was during Operation : Grassbeater, to foil a global Kobra plot. All Checkmate and even vaguely allied forces were engaged in other hot spots when the heart of the Kobra operation was discovered.

Cinnamon (DC Comics) (Checkmate) shooting a huge revolver

With her Checkmate hand cannon.

Checkmate was clawing at the bottom of the barrel for any personnel they could deploy. As a consequence, those agents who exposed the core of the conspiracy were but analysts and other desk jockeys. They were overwhelmed and killed by Kobra security.

Not having any other option and with speed being of the essence, Checkmate’s Royals reluctantly authorised Rook activation. The extremely risky strike was a success. Checkmate then dealt with the mystically-mutated newborns that were to herald the Kali-Yuga.


Cinnamon styles herself very much like a cowgirl – hat, duster, boots, embroidered jeans, etc.. Like an archetypal cowboy, she travels with but her bedroll and one saddlebag.

She has an unusually pale skin. Despite her Old West clothing she looks very much like the archetypal Irish beauty. Her voice may not be as soft as Summer rain, though.


Cinnamon is a calm, smart, resourceful professional. She is generally in control and reserved, though she becomes friendly and laid-back with the people she trusts. She is a drifter, in an almost zen-like fashion. Cinnamon has no direction or special plan, letting the universe lead her where it will.

Due to her guilt, she accepts whatever fate throws at her, perhaps with a faint hope that she’s going to die. She is attached to nothing, and has less than a half-dozen genuine friends.

Cinnamon is an outlaw (not that the police are a good thing in her world, of course) with a reputation as a killer. This reputation is not accurate. She will unhesitatingly kill in self-defense, especially against numerically superior opponents, but she prefers not to. Cinnamon has been known to let live even people who had shot her and inflicted a grazing wound.

El camino de la pistola

Still, she is a wanted murderer with a huge list of suspected crimes and felonies. She actively avoids the authorities and generally sticks to the peculiar, blood-soaked Northern Mexico frontier area.

Cinnamon’s drive to seek justice is strong. But she will never explain it, stating that it’s “just something [she does]” when embarking on a mission to save innocent people.

She sticks to the “bounty hunter with a heart of gold” Old West archetype. Yet she refuses to discuss it or to be considered a heroine or even a good person, due to her guilt over the bodies she left behind her.

She generally has patterned herself thoroughly after the historical Cinnamon, perhaps to honour her deceased mother. She wears a good approximation of her usual clothes, wields the same weapons, etc.


“Caton says you need a ride-along as far as Mexicali. Says you can pay 300.”

Little girl: “They’re already calling you their guardian angel.”
Cinnamon: “Don’t. That’s not what I am.”

“I’m not a bounty hunter. I’m an orphan.” (kills one of the murderers)

Mace: “You fleeing the jurisdiction ?”
Cinnamon: “More like moving on.”

Special operations co-pilot: “Ma’am, I’m…”
Cinnamon (curtly): “Name.”
Co-pilot: “Blackhawk Ensign Neal Bailey, ma’am.”
Cinnamon (coldly): “My horse is here when I get back, Neal Bailey… or you answer to me.” (boards the helicopter ; Bailey stays behind holding the reins)

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 021 HP: 025

Animals Handling (Horses): 05, Evasion (Ranged only): 06, Martial artist: 04, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Firearms, throwing stars): 06

Area Knowledge (Northern Mexico and frontier area), Language (Spanish), Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Paired pistols, Fast draw, Lightning Reload).

Street (High in northern Mexico, Low elsewhere), Doc Reyas (Low), Maurice (High).

Guilt (having killed the seven murderers), Mistrust, Misc.: Cinnamon has nightmares about the death of her father.

Equipment (baseline):

  • Renovated .45 M1873 Army Model with 5” barrel (x2) [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 06, R#02].
  • Sharpened Marshall Badge (x4) [BODY 04, EV 04, Note: Thrown weapon]. As usual, while Cinnamon can only use four in any given scene, she ’recovers’ those items between scenes.

Equipment (Checkmate):

  • .50 BMG Windrunner M98 Tactical Takedown Rifle [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 08, Range: 09, Telescopic vision: 05, Ammo: 05, R#02, Recommended STR: 05 (03 when using a bipod and the Bracing Bonus), Limitation: Projectile weapons has No Range, use the Range given next].
  • .454 Casull Taurus Raging Bull [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 05, Sharpness (Projectile weapon): 04, Ammo: 05].

Effects of the apocritic

  • All the AVs and OVs of the Rooks are boosted by 2CSes while they share the alien DNA teep link, provided at least one of them can perceive the target of the action or the source of the attack.
  • All Rooks act at the highest Initiative rank among them, plus ten APs of Enhanced Initiative.
  • The mental link itself is presumably around 20 APs of Telepathy (Communication Only) given the puissance of Starro, plus full Leadership between the members.
  • It is possible that the Rooks can share the post-LDD RAPS of damage of any type among themselves.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Cinnamon: El Ciclo miniseries (2003, DC Universe) written by Jen Van Meter – and later DCU appearances.

Helper(s): Darci, Capita_Senyera.