Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review - The Fix #1 (@ImageComics)


"I'm not gonna lie to you..."

There are two sides to the law. Those two sides are eternally at odds with one another so it only stands to reason that crossing over and playing both sides would make things easier for that individual. Even playing both sides brings with it plenty of danger as one will find out in reading The Fix #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Nick Spencer, illustrated by Steve Lieber, colored by Ryan Hill and lettered by Nic Shaw.

The Fix is a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper!

The Fix #1 is a criminal tale that relies on an old-school mentality to drive the characters through a new way of being a criminal. Lieber's script is very snappy and fast-moving, effectively giving readers what they need to know about the players involved and their somewhat dastardly motivations. And the entire issue builds up to an extremely satisfying reveal at the end that sets the direction of the remainder of the series. Every characters feels realized and Lieber gives them plenty to work with as far as personality goes. There's also plenty of great callouts to what it's like being a physical criminal in a digital age, using that as a plot device to force the criminals into some rather unseemly (even by their standards) situations.

The illustrations in The Fix #1 lend the story an almost whimsical sensibility. Spencer's characters are defined by pretty sharp lines and and square jaws, all of which works together effectively to present the cast of characters. There's also a lot of attention paid to the backgrounds the characters live in, with Spencer filling each panel with plenty of detail that adds to the tone of the book. Facial expressions also really help the book as well with Spencer giving each character expressions that are lively and really give them a sense of emotional heft which also has the effect of giving the events plenty of levity. Hill's colors mute the action to an extent, but seems to fit the ideal that California is a place that seems to be under a continual fog of some sort.

The Fix #1 is a very enjoyable first issue that sets a rather irreverent tone. The premise seems like a relatively straightforward crime caper story, but there's a lot more going on in it to make it stand out on its own. Lieber's script feature rapid-fire dialogue and plenty of entertaining characters, working together for a story by criminals and about criminals. Spencer's illustrations are fantastic and really give the book the almost airy attitude it needs. The Fix #1 is a lot of fun and is something readers will definitely want to check out.

The Fix #1 is in stores April 6.

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