By Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill, Nic J Shaw
Spencer and Lieber keep the fun rolling in this latest issue of The Fix, but something feels off…
When I say “off” I don’t mean the issue is bad, its engaging and funny and perverse like the last three installment. While the last two focused on Roy, this issue focuses on his partner (in crime and otherwise) Mac who we learn is actually the more likable of the pair. He has his own girlfriend in a long-standing relationship, they share an apartment and have built a life together. Mac, seemingly more simple minded than Roy, seems to go along with the strongest personality in his vicinity whether that’s his partner or his girlfriend.
His new job at the airport finding contraband with a drug-sniffing dog Pretzels isn’t going well, due to the dog knowing his partner is dirty. Eventually, the two bring down a drug mule and gain more appreciation for their partnership except that someone much worse slipped under the radar.
Mac’s affable idiocy is fine but I’m not sure if he’s a good lead for a series like this. Roy invents trouble faster than he can handle, Mac by comparison is more passive. This issue is more heartwarming than the past three, and the elevator bit of surprising someone by just waiting 10-15 minutes for them to enter is funny, but it lacks punch.
On art, Lieber and Hill are as great as usual. Lieber’s cartooning really shines here with large stacked grids to convey beat-by-beat moments and Hill mixes up the color palette depending on the mood of the scenes, the more intense of which lean towards dark oranges and purples. Lieber really sells the character expressions, like an assassin politely threatening someone, or a mob boss being annoyed at failing to nail an elevator entrance, or Mac just trying to keep his girlfriend happy (also wondering why a dog named Pretzels hates pretzels?). All of this makes the book so much fun to read, not just because it delivers the jokes so well, but because it makes the feel a bit more human even as they’re acting completely bonkers.
Maybe it was a side-effect of speed-reading all my books to chose The Week’s Finest, but The Fix didn’t satisfy me as it usually does. Spencer’s script felt different, not just in its heartwarming message and backstory on Mac, but like there wasn’t the same need for this story. It’s clear he’s building to something, but Roy’s side of the plot just feels more important and interesting. Maybe I’m not getting why Mac is an equally great character. Nonetheless, The Fix #4 is still in a league above many other titles on the shelf and worth your time and money if your a fan of these creators.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent