The Beginning of the End of the Beginning...
Written by: Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal
Art by: Geoff Shaw, Lauren Affe and Michael Heisler
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 23, 2015
I love comic books. I guess that should be evident since we spend so much time dealing with comics each and every day on our site and then have a 5+ hour podcast each and every week. Yea, that does sound a bit depressing, but that's why we started the Just for the Hell of It Mondays thing that this comic is a part of. We get to actually pick a book to review and thus, can pick something awesome and enjoyable like this series...The Paybacks. I am so in love with The Paybacks that I just started lobbying to allow comic reviewers to marry comic books. Don't look at me like that, people should be able to follow their hearts! I've already started writing my vows and everything. Here is a sneak peek..."The Paybacks, I remember hearing about you online and I while you sounded cool and all, I just didn't know how cool until I actually took the time to read you myself. I laughed at the idea of love at first read up until then, but you made me a believer. I still remember that first time that I took you upstairs and pulled down my..." Okay, it does get a little personal from there on out so I'll stop. I understand if this is taking a bunch of you by surprise and believe me, I know what all of you are thinking, "Hey Jim, aren't you jumping into this a little too fast, you haven't even finished reading and reviewing the series, yet?" Well, did they say that to Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries? Britney Spears and Jason Alexander? Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman? I think not! Anyway, I'm here to review The Paybacks #4 and afterwords I will pronounce my love with my kickass rendition of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You...
As the awesome "Previously in..." catchup told us, the last issue ended with The Paybacks (some of them at least) trying to protect their latest target, The Matador, from a whole bunch of scary assassins and that's where we pick up here. As the team is about to get overwhelmed, Miss Adventure calls for backup and...gets it as Driver smashes into the church and he brought a bunch of "heroes" to help out. However, we immediatley see that the evil plan going down may be a little more evil than we were lead to believe.
It's all so action packed, Pee-wee and that continues as we find out that the Matador is a speedster with a severe distaste for loan sharks and that Skisquatch kind of has a revelation, why are they all doing what they are doing? It is something that readers of superhero comics have to ask themselves all the time...why does (insert hero here) continue fighting the good (or bad, or ugly) fight? It's even better when the character wonders that and that's one of the things that makes this book extra special.
One of the other things is the humor and that continues with Nunchuck and his action movie lines. He's getting better, but I hope he doesn't get too good because him kind-of quoting They Live was one of the best parts of this entire series! Too bad that Skisquatch wasn't there to hear it.
The shit is really hitting the fan, but after Night Knight captures The Matador and Miss Adventure saves Emory, the assassins get word from their leader and teleport the hell out of there. That is all well and good, but the book takes a dark turn when Driver is forced to deal with Ski going AWOL. If you thought that this book would pull any punches, then you my friend are wrong...dead wrong!
While we see a little bit of the aftermath of that, the book shifts into the Van and again, Doctor Who fans reading this book have to have a humongous smile on their faces. Since I don't like things that others like, I only had a little smirk, so there! The big moment of the series, however, isn't about a swimming pool that turns into a squash court, but who is behind all the recent troubles that the Paybacks keep running into. The reveal is shocking in a "I used to think that's who it was, but then I didn't and now I see it goes even deeper and I'm a big dummy" kind of way. What I'm saying is, it was awesome! I can't wait until next issue to see what happens next...
When this issue first came out, it was an ending that read like a cliffhanger. Well, now that Heavy Metal has picked up the comic and will continue it this summer, it's not an ending, but still reads like a cliffhanger. I'm confusing myself, but I'm not confused by how much I continued loving this series. The characters, dialogue and just about everything else is a spot on satire of comic books, but also just a great comic in it's own right. I can't wait to continue reading this series.
Geoff Shaw's art is another thing that continues kicking mucho asso each and every issue. It is all about his character designs and the only thing missing is page after page of character drawings. I would love to page through them and make up adventures in my head. Yea, I'm a lonely guy.
Which leads to the moment you have all been waiting for. Before I reveal my score, I will serenade my love...
Bits and Pieces:
The only thing I can say bad about this series and this issue in particular is that I want so much more. Thankfully, Heavy Metal is continuing it because it really feels like things are just heating up...probably because they are. We finally see the mystery big bad and it just opens up a world of possibilities going forward. I will be reviewing The Paybacks when it comes out this Summer and I can't wait!!! If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor and grab the trade (it just came out), but remember, it's mine!