Lease-to-own the night.
When Batman needs a sweet ride with specialized technology on the fly, Bruce Wayne simply drops the GDP of a medium-sized island nation and ta-da! Evil gets to being thwarted pretty quickly; however in the world of The Paybacks, no one needs a bank account to join the fight against ne’er–do-wells, just the right set of loans. Like Ursula making with the legs, the Super Banks have a pretty tight clause for repayment: Not only will they repossess all of your gear, you’ll be required to work in their reclamation department for an agreed-upon term, to take stuff from other heroes who are about to join you.
This episode begins with the brains behind the loan operation, and he seems . . . nice? Polite, at least. I have an odd feeling about him . . . probably nothing. Anyway, he sets the group toward the undersea Justice League clone to collect upon, with their newest member Night Knight in tow. Through him, we are further introduced to this world with a very interesting twist at the end. I’m having a lot of fun with this story by Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal; it has a familiar feel to the Borderlands games, with snarky and somewhat nonsensical bluster and bombast filling up a surprisingly deep and well-thought-out narrative. The goofy mercenary feel to the established Paybacks crew is fun and smacks of gallows humor and camaraderie, and Night Knight is a wonderfully silly sot to toss into the mix. He’s a mix of Adam West at his bat-best and what would happen if Alfred was less cool and thrust into the cape and cowl (not the Earth One version, he’d wipe out everyone in this thing. Think more the Animated Series incarnation flying the batwing, or at that Poison Ivy Spa). It’s a good mix of many different aspects, and, surprisingly, the myriad of elements make the whole much better than its disparate parts.
The art team seems to be having a helluva lot of fun with this series much like the writers, and it shows. Geoff Shaw keeps the action and tension together when needed, but the true art happens in the gags, making these silly characters really come alive and throwing little nods out to the readers. In the first issue, we got a nice Batcave alternate, and when we get a peek at the collected materials in the bank’s vault in this issue, there’s a smorgasbord of every great comic weapon, gadget, vehicle, and other nonsense that will make you smile no matter what your reading background.
I can’t speak enough of how fun this series is. It’s whakadoo slapstick that manages to toss a solidly interesting storyline at you when you least expect it. It’s a mix of madcap and menace that deserves a good readership that might be itching for a lighter tone from the dark and dower of the Big Two. Enjoy the nonsense.
Share the stories that move you.