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The Fix: "Where Beagles Dare" (Image Comics, 2016; #1-4)

Good news everyone!  We are 1% of the way to 2018 and my freedom from this self-inflicted curse!  Let’s celebrate by buying comics—it is Wednesday, after all, and there are new collections of Grayson, Green Arrow, Superman, Amazing Spider-Man, Bendis's New Avengers run, and—wait, I see what you’re doing, Backlogger!  You won’t trick me so easily.  

(That’s a lie.  Yes, you will, you terrible influence.)

Speaking of terrible influences, let’s talk about The Fix, Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s creator-owned tale of crooked cops, teen pop stars, and kombucha-guzzling crime lords.  The book follows a pair of detectives who became police officers so they could get away with whatever they want.  These are absolutely terrible people, and they do absolutely terrible things.  And if you are anything like me, you’ll laugh first and realize what you’re laughing at second.  “Hahahahaha…wait…” is the sound of a person reading The Fix.

As funny as this book is, that moment of realization might be what makes it special.  Social commentary hides behind cynicism.  For example: the idea of a suburban crime lord who is concerned with his stooges’ gluten consumption is, in itself, hilarious.  But the casualness with which the same middle-aged, dopey dad is cruel to people he sees as subordinate permeates everyday life—and Spencer and Lieber drive this home not with images of menacing or murder, but with a sight-gag that reveals him to be anti-vaccination—truly, the most idiotic, self-absorbed kind of trendy.

Lieber’s art—with colors by Ryan Hill—blend the visuals of grimy crime comics with over-the-top expression and motion.  More than once in this first arc, Lieber draws characters in ski masks and manages to convey facial expression despite only being able to see those characters’ eyes. Physicality and movement work to keep the book’s pacing feel like a comedic movie in motion.  (Also, I don’t know whether Lieber, the book’s letterer Nic Shaw, or someone else is responsible for the “Fap! Fap! Fap!” sound effects but I would be remiss not to applaud whomever is responsible.)

This is an easy book for me to recommend; if my regular comic shop hadn’t consistently stayed sold out of the first issue, I’d have read this book monthly instead of in trade.  The Fix is one of the funniest books to come out of 2016 and would be at home on the shelf next to Sex Criminals (which is less cynical) or The Flintstones (which is less subtle).  

Collected in

  • The Fix, Vol. 1: Where Eagles Dare (#1-4)


Writer: Nick Spencer | Artist: Steve Lieber | Colorist: Ryan Hill | Letterer/Designer: Nic J. Shaw

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