Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Steve Lieber
Colors: Ryan Hill
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Cover: Steve Lieber
Publisher: Image Comics
After a six-month break, we return to the seedy underbelly of Hollywood.
We join dirty cop, and wannabe film exec, Mac as he crosstrains and monologues about his plan. Last time we saw him, his canine partner Pickles was shot whilst saving Mac’s life. We see Pickles doing his physical therapy interspersed with Mac’s training montage, which helps get us up to speed. Mac can’t stand for someone plugging his four-legged friend, and he tracks down a lead, hoping to get either some answers, or revenge.
The story moves quickly, mostly centering on Mac’s mission. Roy, his human partner, is only featured on a handful of pages in this issue. Even for a title known for its comedic prowess, this issue was especially packed with jokes and sight gags. Spencer and Lieber have always worked well together in this regard, but they are really hitting a smooth stride now. While there’s plenty of books laced with jokes, it’s rare to find a genuinely funny book like this, as dark as it might be at times. It’s also a welcome alternative to superhero beat’em-ups.
As I mentioned, much of the comedy can be attributed to Steve Lieber’s masterful cartooning. His style and simple layouts may not stop you dead in your tracks, but he shows time and again he’s one of the best in the industry. This is only enhanced by Hill’s color palette, which gives the book muted noir tones and conveys the perfect mood in each scene. The cover bears mentioning as well. It’s a beautiful mix of fine art and rough comicstrip-style line work, which perhaps compliments the range this book has.
This is an incredibly decompressed issue, only moving the story forward slightly, but is still immensely enjoyable. There really aren’t any other books that deliver on so many fronts right now (besides Image’s other title slots, maybe) so I’m always happy to see a new issue of The Fix. It might read better in trade, but it’s only because I’m always left wanting more.