Monday, April 11, 2016

The Paybacks #2 Review - Just for the Hell of it Mondays

Squatch is Totally Happening!

Written by: Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal
Art by: Geoff Shaw, Lauren Affe and Michael Heisler
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

I really enjoyed the first issue of the Paybacks and because of our JFTHOI review policy, I can now get back to reviewing the series, picking up with issue #2.  For those not in the know, The Paybacks are a superhero team that now function as super-repo men and women for an as yet, unknown benefactor.  I really can't do it justice, but believe me, it is a hilarious satire of superhero comics that had me legitimately laughing out loud.  You know, actually laughing out loud, not just LOL.  It all ended with a bit of a mystery that had me back for more.  Was my return visit just as fun?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with the reader kind of learning who the benefactor of the Paybacks is.  Well, you really don't learn much, but you get to look at his shadowy profile.  It's "shadowy" for reasons besides lighting and makes me hope he or she is wearing a mask.  Oh, I really hope it's a mask!  Last issue ended with the discovery of the murdered hero "Battery", but detective work ain't paying the bills here, so instead of searching for the killer, Mr. Pierce is sending the Paybacks to the underwater hangout of Battery and his superteam, the Command to collect on their debt.  The way things are already going in this series, things are about to get pretty damn exciting!

Things continue with a hilarious Suicide Squad situation that shows us why these heroes stay in line before heading off to Acquisitions to get our heroes armed and dangerous.  Danny Cates and Eliot Rahal continue hitting all the right notes and I have to stress that the reason it all works is because they are obviously fans of the medium and learned the rules before deciding to break them.  The world they give us is hilarious and even ridiculous, but it still feels like a world.  That comes into play when Night Knight realizes he now is forced to work with one of his villains. Again, hilarious world building with character development to boot.  Also, the beginnings of a huge fight that is interrupted when Doctor teleports the team to the Kraken, the underwater base of the Command.

My favorite part of the first issue was definitely the hilarious back and forth between the team and that continues this issue (squatch!) and leads to a huge battle royale between the Command and the Paybacks.  It only gets better when Emory jumps in and we learn her power set...well, more of a lifestyle than a power set, but it's all semantics in the end.  After showing she also has a big brain to match her incisors (!), the Paybacks win back the day once again.  However, not all is fine and dandy.

The issue ends with Night Knight being more "World's Greatest Detective" than I ever imagined he'd be in this book when he uncovers what Mr. Pierce was after and that leads to another mystery...this time it's not why a hero is dead, but why she isn't.  

This issue wasn't as knee slapping funny because it is too busy being a kickass, action packed superhero comic.  Cates and Rahal have won me over with such a crazy combination of hilarity and awesomeness.  I can't wait to read The Paybacks #3.

It would be easy for Geoff Shaw's art to get lost in the shuffle of witty one-liners and awesome back and forth, but to his credit, it doesn't.  In fact, it melds in with everything going on and adds to the jokes and excitement in such a unique way.  What I'm saying is it's part of the awesome whole that is The Paybacks.

Bits and Pieces:

Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal and Geoff Shaw combine to give readers such a great satire of superhero comics, but this issue shows that they can do more than laugh and point at the status quo.  This issue can proudly sit alongside the Avengers and the Justice League as an equal even as it makes fun of them.  That's a winning combination and one that has me fired up to read the rest of the series asap.  If you are a fan of superhero comics, you'll love The Paybacks.  If you hate superhero comics, you may just love it more.

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