Running around in the superhero business isn’t easy, gadgets, cars, jets and other equipment aren’t exactly easy to come across. Paybacks looks at the other side of the superhero world with what comes after your series goes bust or those great crimes turn out as pretty mundane. We see a vibrant cast of ex-heroes now acting as repo heroes that invade and reclaim all those wonderful toys and locations for their boss to help work off their own debts. It’s complicated to say the least but it carries a sense of action and humor that let it flow with sitcom quality.
Issue 1 of The Paybacks brings our team into the world of Night Knight and his amazing Unicorn. Saving the day while his mansion and secret lair get completely ransacked by the repo team. It’s a unique situation for sure, the lovely Night Knight isn’t quite a front-page hero although his situations are far from light-hearted or even innocent. It’s a welcoming introduction, pitting the classical hero pondering their profession and the world while they’re largely unaware of the rummaging through their estate until it’s too late.
Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal do a great job bringing the central characters to life while also slowly teasing the lives of the Payback team to readers, no one hogs up too much space to confuse the narrative and with the backstory coming in tidbits, it seems we’ll learn all about the team in due time.
Geoff Shaw and Lauren Affe bring to life the Night Mare and the world of The Paybacks, I think that’s how it goes… That said it’s a traditional presentation with sharper angles that accent the bodies and pages but it’s not so serious and rigid that punch lines and awkward moments can’t shine. The panels feel natural and the characters compliment the twists and quirks of the storyline as the moment itself catches them by surprise.
We’re only getting a tight sampling of The Paybacks in issue #1 but it’s enough to capture interest to see where this story and their radical lives and workplace hazards turn next.