When it comes to suggesting comics for individuals to check out, it’s often good to start with what they like in other media like television, movies, books, or video games. Enter If/Then, where we’ll throw out suggestions for you to check out!
Debuting this past Thursday on NBC was the latest television show based in the world of comics, Powerless.
Unlike so many other live action television shows on the air right now, this one takes a comedic take on the world it’s set in. Instead of battles with bad guys, the show focuses on average people trying to work and survive and a particular company who creates safety products.
Comedy and superheroes isn’t a combination you see too often in comics. But, I immediately thought of one series that not only combines the two, but does so in a brilliant way.
Heroism doesn’t come cheap, so when superheroes borrow money to finance their genetic enhancements, robotic suits, or crime-fighting supercomputers, their debts make student loans look like I.O.U.’s. Enter the Paybacks, a repo squad composed of bankrupt former heroes like Night Knight and Miss Adventure, here to foreclose on everybody’s secret lairs. But now the Paybacks have discovered a fate far worse than debt: a murderer is on the loose . . . and it just may be one of their own.
The Paypacks is by Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal, and Geoff Shaw and been released in two volumes. The first by Dark Horse, and the second by Heavy Metal, the first volume has been collected in a trade paperback that’s out now for purchase now.
There’s so much I love about both volumes and it’s one of the few comedic superhero comics that I found myself not only laughing while reading, but laughing multiple times each issue. Cates, Rahal, and Shaw brilliantly have created a comic where each character is a joke. Each scene is a joke. Each thing said is a joke. It all comes together in a way that’s entertaining as a superhero comic all on its own or sending up 75+ years of comics and superheroes.
Nothing is sacred here and things are taken to an extreme that you can’t help but laugh at the situations and the characters. Take Blood Pouch, who has lots of pouches, everywhere, even over an eye. Guess who’s the target there? But, what these three creators do that’s great is not just go after easy targets, but the more difficult ones too. Batman, Superman, so many characters are set up for laughs. It’s impressive.
Action, humor, fun, the comic and series has it all. The writing is top notch, the art nails every small detail (and adds so many to each panel, that alone will get you to laugh), The Paybacks is the perfect mashup of superheroes and comedy in comic form.
What would you suggest that I didn’t include? Sound off in the comments below!
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