Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Paybacks #3 Review

Dial M for Murderousness

Written by: Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal
Art by: Geoff Shaw, Lauren Affe and Michael Heisler
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 18, 2015
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

I already loved this series after the very first panel, but last issue Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal showed me that this book is hardly just a goofy satire of comics, but a legitimately awesome superhero comic in its own right. It ended with a cliffhanger that was so good that it upset me that I had to wait to review this issue.  Damn Weird Science and our DC Comics only policy!  Well, away we go...

The issue opens with a look at yet another crazy Paybacks team (Echo Team) that I want to know more about NOW!  However, we have to move along quickly as the Team has found yet another Paybacks target murdered in one of the most heinous ways possible...think Trainspotting times ten.  Whoever is doing the killings is one sick fuck and it's driving Driver completely bonkers.  Yes, I said "driving Driver".

While the murder mystery is driving the overall story forward, we left last issue with Night Knight finding out that Miss Adventure was not exactly who she said she was.  We get some answers and a dual origin story that shows us that Miss Adventure is in fact a mantle (you Thor fans out there know all about that, right?) and Detroit is a horrible place for a hero to set up home base.  We also find out that unless you want to activate your dental plan, never pull a gun on Miss Adventure!

I mentioned it in my introduction and also the last review that I have totally 180'd on this series. Instead of looking everywhere for in-jokes and Easter eggs, I am totally into this story, the characters and just about everything else.  Sure, the humor and references are still all there, but that is just icing on the cake.  

The issue moves on with Night Knight getting the care he needs (maybe) and Miss Adventure getting her hands on the file that caused the whole problem, but it's when Driver goes to give out the next assignments that had me laughing out loud.  Alpha Team is having their weekly team building popsicle club and while it is hilarious, Driver is not amused.

The Paybacks get split up for their next missions and Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal give us some hints at what is going on with some really good dialogue.  They have been doing this from the start and I applaud them for not spoon-feeding the reader.  It all makes it that much more exciting when we get the promise of something huge...which happens in Egypt when Skisquatch and Bloodpouch walk right into a murder in progress.  The murderer doesn't get away, but after a cool variation of a Suicide Squad death, he ain't talking either.  However, it does point to something a bit larger than Driver suspected.

The issue ends with the rest of the team in Spain, looking to collect The Matador.  Really, how many cool ass heroes and villains can they come up with?  Luckily, the Matador is still very much alive, but the cliffhanger kind of shows that might not be the case for too long. Actually, it ends with everyone in a whole lot of trouble!

As for this issue, it continues the greatness even if this is pretty much set up for the big finale next issue.  I wonder how one issue will tie all this up, but I can't wait to find out.

The art team of Geoff Shaw, Lauren Affe and Michael Heisler kicks ass once again and I have to point it out because they kind of are the unsung heroes of all of this.  The main draw is the overall concept and the witty and hilarious dialogue in each and every issue, but the art sells it all with the awesome character designs and overall coolness of this series' look.  Kudos to the three of them.

Bits and Pieces:

This is the penultimate issue of the series and while it is mainly set up for the finale, I loved it still.  I really cannot recommend this series enough to every comic fan out there.  With the sequel coming out this summer, why not jump in now and get caught up?  I did and it was one of the best decisions I have made since eating ten tacos in one minute to win fifty cents!


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