THE FIX VOL.1
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Steve Lieber
Publisher: Image Comics
So two guys rob a retirement home and it turns out that they’re— wait. Never mind, I’ll tell you about it later.
Let me instead start by saying that The Fix from Image Comics by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber is an under-appreciated gem. In our modern world where crimes can be committed from a computer, two guys, Roy and Mac, are still trying to make it in L.A. the old fashioned way (with brute force, gumption and a severe lack of brains).
Okay, so The Fix starts off with two crooks robbing a retirement home. Yeah. Granny ain’t safe from the not-so-dynamic duo. It’s after the (less than successful) robbery that you learn that Roy and Mac are, wait for it…cops.
In Roy and Mac’s case, being cops all about being in the spotlight. For them, it gets you all the glory of looking like a hero and you get to do whatever you want. In The Fix, being bad feels so good. If you want to survive in Roy and Mac’s Wild West world, you need to be morally flexible.
They’re the cops that end up investigating the robbery at said retirement home right after it happens.
All of this is to pay off a gambling debt. If they don’t pay off the debt, Roy and Mac have to deal with Josh. I’ll get to him.
If you’re looking for a gritty, dramatic crime story, you should go look elsewhere, my friend. This book has characters like Donovan, an insane Hollywood producer and hilariously depraved sex maniac (just read the book). Or Sheryl Malone, a corrupt and fed up internal affairs officer who constantly cleans up after Roy and Mac’s shit.
Then there’s Josh. Well… Josh is a suburban husband who takes care of his baby while his wife is out of town. He makes kombucha and goes to the farmer’s market. When he’s not doing those things, he’s a mob boss who stabs eyes out with hot pokers or chokes guys to death with banjo strings. At some point he claims that he’ll carve out Roy and Mac’s taints if they don’t get him his money. Not good for Roy and Mac.
Oh and there is a hero in this story. Our hero is a dog. A police beagle named Pretzels who sniffs out drugs at LAX. (You’ll see more of him in other volumes.)
Even after reading The Fix for the third time, this story about bad-cops being dumb criminals still makes me laugh out loud.
Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber make something special when they work together. They did it with The Fix and with they’re criminally underrated Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Spencer and Lieber’s specific type of humor is kind of rare in comic books. Not many creative teams can pull of humor the way they do. Even on the page, their timing for words and art is pitch perfect. My theory for why they gel so well is because of their attention to detail.
Open any Steve Lieber book and take a look at his art. Every panel conveys a story, has movement and a personality. He works in a way that if you were to close his comics, the worlds inside might actually start coming to life inside the panels.
When I refer to Steve Lieber, I usually refer to him as the Seinfeld of comics. By that I mean that he knows how to make mundane scenarios hilarious. His sequential art style has a distinctive personality.
Nick Spencer is genuinely one of the funniest writers working in comics. It’s a shame because not enough people acknowledge it. He will make you laugh while also talking about police corruption, exploitation in Hollywood and more. The man knows how to throw topical subjects into his stories but also make the story enjoyable.
Spencer and Lieber are a fluid team. If they get back together for a book, they have my money.
Ryan Hill’s colors bring The Fix’s Los Angeles to vibrant life. Los Angeles looks vivid, beautiful and oftentimes grimy with Hill’s colors. The colors compliment the mood of each scene. It’s done in a way that makes you sense heat when the scene is set outside in the sun. It feels crowded if a scene is in a club and you feel the urgency…when a guy is being choked to death by a banjo chord.
This book is fun as hell. Imagine a world with no rules where you can steal a car and speed as fast as you want down the with a Los Angeles sunset in view and no consequences. There’s a lot that goes on in this story about two bad cops/dumb criminals who are in it for the glory but it’s worth a look.
If you’re not convinced by now, let me try to win you over one more time. It’s my final stand, I guess. The Fix is: funny, ballsy, whip-smart, crude, has amazing art and colors. Honestly, it’s not expensive. The first volume is just $10. You can definitely find it cheaper somewhere. If you have a Comixology account, go check out the first few issues and see if you dig this indie book. Or you can always go to a local comic shop.
I would give this book 10/10 Pretzels. No. 10/10 successful retirement home robberies.