The Fix is a perfect modern crime caper from Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill, and Ironbark, which delivers, in full, every month, and that delivery is bang on this month, too. If you've not heard of this book, I can speak to the delivery agencies for your rocky outcrop on your behalf. This issue will tug your stony heart.
Up until the last few issues the duo have lived relatively care free, which has meant that the comedy quotient (ah, film producers going crazy) has been high. It's not been without its moments, but the drama lately has built well, and strongly. They focus the story where it needs to be focused, and don't make concessions, which I really like. Here the somewhat redemption arc (which I guess the whole book is really) continues for Mac and Roy, but this issue is all Mac. Well, Mac and Pretzels. Got to love Pretzels. OK, Pretzels and Cinnabon.
It's laid on super thick by Spencer, Lieber, and Hill, pushing the whole heart of the bond that's grown over in this one comic (with only a hint or so in #4), but it's done so well. Somewhat in the spirit of a one-shot, or a single issue story, there's a beautiful compression going on here. The complete absence of Roy in this issue helps that, but it also helps build a possible slight detachment from Roy in Mac. He's really reliant and fond of his new partner. This said, Mac hasn't really been in any of the Roy centric past two issues. You just feel it more here, as the relationships that he holds are put up in focus a lot stronger. There's a very literal description of that with his girlfriend on page 7, here, feed:
There's a lot (lot) more non-obvious and obvious exposition on Mac's emotional state in here, including montages, and a nice call back to issue four. It's basically there to highlight the danger that he feels. Yet it's all done so simply, no more so than that callback on page 16 with Mac thinking about the people in his life:
Which is a rather direct call back to this from #4:
I wanted to look really cool here and say how much Lieber and Hill's combination reminded me just a little of the coloring in the Hawk Guy work by Hollingsworth, but I did a reference read there, and I'm wrong. It's fantastic, though, and if anything there is at least the same mood setting. But I'd be stretching. OK, I'm fallible, it seems. You might think I'm stretching again to say that the facial expressions are super important here, especially when I've just posted two panels that were re-used 3 issues later, however it's really expressive work. Yet what am I going to give you to go on that? Yeah, the dog. This yapping hound initially seems like a pain, but if you don't fall for Mac and Pretzel's relationship, you're dead inside.
This is easily one of the best books on the stands, it's got to be competing for many awards (and will almost definitely be in our reader ones somewhere) this year. I was late to the party on it because I was scared it would be some anthropomorphic tale, and I'm not really there for that. Thankfully I was way wrong, again (fallibility on the internet – sacrilege!) and I couldn't be happier. For the teams ability to put so much comic in this one issue, and the sheer breadth of the content, this is my first fiver. If this isn't on your pull list (and I'd be interested in your opinions below) put it there now.
- Title: The Fix
- Volume: 1
- Issue: 7
- Published: 21 December 2016
- Publisher: Image Comics
- Writer: Nick Spencer
- Penciler: Steve Lieber
- Colorist: Ryan Hill
- Letterer: Ironbark
- Story pages: 22
- Print price: $3.99
- Digital price: $3.99