Comic Book Review: The Fix, Volume 1: Where Beagles Dare written by Nick Spencer, art by Steve Lieber
Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway for the purpose of writing this review. No other compensation was requested or offered.
Roy and Mac are crooked cops in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, they’re not very good at being crooked. Or cops. They’ve gotten themselves deep into debt with the Mob, and now the local crimelord wants them to do him a favor. A large favor that’s going to take more smarts than these two have put together…and involves a beagle named Pretzels.
Of course, the actual plot is much more complicated than that, and most of this first volume of the comic book series is dedicated to setting up the many moving pieces of the story, some of which Roy and Mac have no clue about. There’s at least one scene which makes me wonder if there’s going to be a sudden genre change in the next volume. This does create the problem that my opinion of the series might drastically change based on how well all the pieces fit together in the back half of the story.
Roy is our narrator, a sleazy grifter who isn’t as smart as he thinks he is, and tries to project a “lovable rogue” image without being likable. His schemes succeed less often because they’re well thought-out than that they are so stupid and audacious that people don’t realize it was an actual plan. That, and a crooked Internal Affairs officer is covering for him. Roy doesn’t learn from his mistakes, and operates under the assumption that everyone else is secretly just as awful as he is, but covering it up better, or stupid.
Mac is slightly more sympathetic, being the follower type–he could have developed some decency if he had a better friend than Roy. Mac is vaguely aware that following Roy’s lead always gets them in worse trouble, but doesn’t know any other way of doing things.
I should mention that this is a comedy, with riffs on Hollywood option deals, anti-vaxxers and celebutantes, among other targets. Most of the humor is vulgar, with body fluids, sexual references and foul language, as well as some gory violence played for laughs. It’s got a “Mature Readers” rating for a reason.
The art is okay, but I really want to point up Ryan Hill’s coloring job as his work carries several sequences where pencils & inks just aren’t enough.
Overall? Again, a lot will depend on the conclusion of the series and how well all the moving pieces mesh together. I don’t really care much what happens to Roy or Mac, but at this point I do want to know what is up with Pretzels and hope he succeeds at bringing down the criminals.
Recommended to fans of the creators–others should wait until the second volume is confirmed up to snuff.