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‘The Paybacks #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I’ve mentioned this in previous reviews, but in case you missed it, I am a big Bronze Age guy.  I love what was being (mass) produced in the late ’80s/early ’90s, as it really was a reflection of the times . . . a little bit of political butt kicker, a whole lot of showing off the billionaire side of being a superhero.

The Paybacks turns its lens – and its acid-tongued wit – on this era, to great effect.  It is a series that teams dangerous fringe heroes as an intergalactic repo team, built to bring back the big, multi-billion-dollar toys that self-funded heroes and vigilantes buy and, in the end, can’t afford. Written by Donny Cates (Ghost Fleet and Buzzkill) and Eliot Rahal (Dark Horse Presents) and drawn by Geoff Shaw (A Town Called Dragon and Buzzkill), Dark Horse gets a really fun – and funny – new series that old-school comic readers are going to really enjoy.

The team is made up of edgy and funny heroes, like team leader Emory Rains, and the rest of her crew, Bloodpouch, Skisquatch, The Soviet Nunchuck, Miss Adventure, Driver, as well as the mysterious Dr. Blaqk, the team’s medic.  With a wide array of powers and the sensibilities of bounty hunters, this team – funded by the super secretive Mr. Pierce – is hired to repo equipment from Night Knight (perhaps my all-time favorite comic book character name), self-described as “London’s very own knight of the night,” and Battery, a member of the Command and a well-known billionaire playboy.

Without giving away too much plot, the team is divided into two groups to pursue the targets and encounter less-than-easy pick-ups on both ends.  Especially in the case of Battery, who may have met with nefarious foes prior to the team’s arrival.

I love this kind of storytelling, as it reminds me of the Justice League International when it first re-emerged in 1987.  A lot of fun banter and inter-team bickering, coupled with real action and great, great dialogue.  And, the art is really eye catching with bold strokes, as well as some really skilled coloring from Lauren Affe (who worked with Cates on Ghost Fleet and Buzzkill, as well as some great work on Five Ghosts). I am not familiar with Cates and Rahal but am really looking forward to seeing how this title moves forward.




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