Superheros Pay Up or Shut Up in “The Paybacks #1” (Advanced Review)

Aug 6, 2015

Mad Cave Studios


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Paybacks3The Paybacks #1
Dark Horse Comics

Written by: Donny Cates & Eliot Rahal
Art by: Geoff Shaw
Colors by: Lauren Affe

It’s no secret around here I am a huge Donny Cates fan, from Buzzkill to Ghost Fleet he really has done no wrong in my book. So when reading this review please be aware while I try to remain as bias as possible I am so excited to have finally read The Paybacks #1. Donny and Eliot first teased this book back on our podcast Geeks With Wives & Capes Episode 67 and ever sense that moment I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival and it does not disappoint.

The Paybacks takes place in the same universe as Buzzkill except we have ditched the drug and alcohol fueled superhero for a team of super powered repo men and women as they reposes all the goodies, gadgets, toys, trinkets, costumes and cars from superheros who just can’t seem to pay their bills. You think being a superhero is cheap? Well, it’s not and in the world of The Paybacks if you want to fight for what is right and make a difference it’s going to cost you and while Mr. Pierce is happy to oblige defaulting on your superhero loan will result in a visit from The Paybacks.

Cates along with new writing partner Eliot Rahal are going full bore crazy superhero satire in The Paybacks and I love every second of it. From the opening moment of the comic we are hit dead in the face with Cates’ and Rahal’s trope-tastic band of characters. My personal favorites being Bloodpouch whom resembles a Rob Liefield 90s era superhero with enough patches and padding to give any cosplayer a wet dream, Night Knight a Batman-esque character who has a talking unicorn of which he never actually rides and Doctor Blaqk a returning character from Buzzkill who makes a brief but magical appearance (Pew).paybacks1

The Paybacks is a perfect comic as Cates and Rahal present a story that is not only laugh out loud hilarious but is also a love letter to the superhero genre. With every single turn of the page you can tell Cates and Rahal have a deep affection for all things comic book and love playing in this satirical world they have created. And let’s not forget about Geoff Shaw who did the art on Buzzkill and now gets to return to the universe he helped create. Shaw is at his best in The Paybacks and while his work on Buzzkill was great here it seems to have mutated into something extraordinarily beautiful. Each panel is filled to the brim with art and with Lauren Affe colors each page becomes an experience to behold. I wanted nothing more than to pull these characters from the page and act out my own outrageous superhero repossession.

If it’s not obvious by now The Paybacks gets a big fat 10. The Paybacks #1 is a comic you will read over and over again, and then pass it along to your friends proclaiming “you have to read this.” Superhero fans will rejoice at its satire and love for the genre while comic fans in general will admire its beautiful aesthetic and perfectly paced, humor filled story. If you haven’t already add The Paybacks to your pull list, I promise at the very least it will make you chuckle and brighten your day for at least 15-20mins.


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