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‘Paybacks #4:’ Comic Book Review

This is sudden.

I really don’t know how this can be the final issue of this series. There was so much fun potential and craziness in store for this brilliant idea!  But, alas, much like Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal’s Buzzkill, it seems that four is it for this really original and supremely funny bunch of ninnymuggins.  Having had their last several targets wiped out by some shady, ninja-like baddies, the Paybacks attempt to collect in coin what the opposition looks to gather in blood, and we end up in an all-out brawl when the two sides meet.  The forces that have put everything into motion thus far finally begin to show the strings they’ve been pulling, and these jerks then pull a Game of Thrones on me that has me demanding WHY? but I’ll never get an answer now, will I?

Yeah, I’m bitter much.  Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal had created a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the drudgier aspects of superhero-ing and turned it into a wonderful expression of something that all of us examine a bit in our own lives: are we just chasing our own tails with the work that we do?  What does it mean to be a hero if you end up having to become servile in case you ended up not turning a profit? It’s not a topic that the book is mired in but gives it an honest ennui that allows the absurdist humor to fly off the page.  Mixed ever so slightly in is the somewhat maudlin undertone, and it makes for the best mix of poignant and slapstick since M*A*S*H*.  Yeah, I’m old. It was good, doggone it.  The final panels set up such a good piece of intrigue that will bother me for ages with its non-conclusion-ability.   And, I don’t want to give anything major away, but if you read my previous review on this series, you’ll know who got the apparent ax this issue.  Made me real sad, then peeved, then sad again.  Then, I had ice cream, but I’m still a little bummed.

Geoff Shaw and Lauren Affe once again do a stellar job on the art front, complementing the serio-goofy vibe of the script and making these characters really become the silly menagerie that they have to be for this thing to work.  The palette comes alive in the drawing, and the sense of action is never lost from panel to panel.  Everything tracks very easily for the eye and repeated reads reveal more subtle clues and tiny, awesome moments that make the world really come alive.

Well, no sense in telling you to jump on the series at this point, but be sure to definitely pick up this final issue and maybe Dark Horse will open this oddball Pandora’s box back up.

Share the stories that move you.

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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