Image Dark Horse Comics website “The Paybacks” is the newest series from Dark Horse Comics that finds superheroes facing normal human problems, like repossession.
Image from Dark Horse Comics website
“The Paybacks” is the newest series from Dark Horse Comics that finds superheroes facing normal human problems, like repossession.

Dark Horse Comics has done it again.

Typically, I’m a DC or bust kind of person, but I’ve been known to traverse into “Abe Sapien,” “Hellboy,” “Heart In a Box,” “Umbrella Academy” and other frontrunners in the Dark Horse hall of fame. And now I’ve found another comic series to add to my list of exceptions —“The Paybacks.”

“The Paybacks” are not your typical “X-Men” or “Umbrella Academy”-esque kind of group. I suppose they can be loosely considered “heroes,” but their primary function is one we’ve seen played with on reality television and in movies: they’re repo men and women.

Superheroes with cool, expensive-looking gadgets have to get the money from somewhere, right?

And let’s face it, not every one of them is blessed with an abundance of wealth (looking at you Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark), so that money has to come from somewhere. In this case, the Paybacks’ employer, Mr. Pierce, provides loans to  the caped crusaders.

Well, the thing about loans is that there is always the risk of not being able to actually PAY BACK (pun intended) the money you’ve borrowed. So, naturally, Mr. Pierce is none-too-happy when heroes like Issue #1’s focus, Night Knight and Battery, don’t make their payments on time. When this happens, someone’s got to go collect.

Those someones just so happen to be people who’ve failed to pay back Mr. Pierce themselves at one point or another, and thus, work off their debt as part of, helpfully dubbed in Issue #1, “the super-repo team.”

The thing that captured my interest approaching the first issue, being a long-time “My Chemical Romance“ and “Umbrella Academy” fan, was the quote from Gerard Way on the cover of Issue #1, where Way says, “I think my favorite thing about the book is that Night Knight doesn’t ride the unicorn. Like, I think that is genius.” Wordplay and unicorns? Count me in.

Something else that’s hilarious right off the bat are the character’s names and descriptions, which I find absolutely brilliant. For example, there’s the character of “Driver” whose description states only, “Drives the Van. Angry.”

To me, the characters, their motives and the content of their adventures almost seem a nod at other famous characters in the realm of comic books.

Working within Dark Horse, Skisquatch reminds me (I guess for obvious reasons) of “Umbrella Academy’s Spaceboy,” while Miss Adventure puts me in mind of the Rumor, from the same series. Otherwise, there’s the character of Night Knight, who seems the poetic cousin of Batman with a unicorn companion.

“The Paybacks” is very clearly a parody and a satiric kind of comic. Don’t go into it looking for content as heavy as Batman’s “Hush” or “Death of the Family,” because it is meant to be laughed at.

That being said, if you have a sense of humor, read it. Just read it. “The Paybacks” is hilarious and I (im)patiently await Issue #3.