Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Fix #4 Review and *SPOILERS* - Just for the Hell of It Review

Love Is In The Air

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Publisher: Image
Review By: Dan Mayhoff

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

When it comes to comic books, particularly superhero comics, there seems to be a kind of mentality among its writers and readers that there are only two kinds of tones. The first is dark and gritty and the second is bright and fun. There also seems to be an idea that these two tones cannot mix properly. I understand that way of thinking. Honestly, those two tones are so vastly different that seeing them both in the same comic would be jarring and ultimately a failure. At least, that’s what I would have said before this book came into my life. This book melds those two tones perfectly giving us dark and gritty situations filled with fun and humor (dark humor a lot of time, but humor nonetheless). If you’ve been paying attention to comic book news, you might have heard about this book and I can assure you that the book easily lives up to its expectations. But enough beating around the bush, let’s jump into The Fix #4!

Much like the last issue focused mainly on Roy, this issue gives us a lot more of Mac. The book starts out with a monologue about love and we get Mac’s life story, from looking at nudie magazines to eventually looking across the bar and meeting the gaze of a beautiful woman that would become his wife. Fast forward to the present and we see that the lovely woman he once loved has become the classic nagging wife who shows she has a hold over Mac when she is able to manipulate him. She hates that Mac is working with a dog now and she wants the dog out of her house. We get some really hilarious situations that really tie into the words that appear in the monologue. “Yeah, Love—it’s a complicated thing.”

Mac heads off to work after rubbing one out and as he enters the elevator he runs into Josh, a crime boss who has been waiting for Mac. You see, Mac must gain the trust of his dog partner in order to stop him from confronting a member of Josh’s organization when he goes through LAX. However, Mac has been having trouble getting his dog, Pretzels, under control. Josh tells him that he needs to either get the dog on his side in the next 24 hours or, off the dog and hope to have better luck with it’s replacement. Josh ends the conversation with telling Mac that he will have a colleague coming into town through LAX and that it will serve as a test run for the big heist.

During a conversation with a fellow K-9 agent, Mac comes to realize that in order to get Pretzels on his side, he has to worry more about getting the dog to respect him rather than simply like him. This is when we get introduced to this “colleague” of Josh’s as he is sitting on a flight. They provide us with an incredible introduction to the character. Honestly, it is so good, I’m not sure I could even properly do it justice by telling you exactly what happened. We get a lot of dark humor as well as some badass moments with this guy and it’s easy for the reader to really like this character already.

Meanwhile, Mac finally gets the chance to prove himself as Pretzels suddenly begins to chase a passenger coming into LAX. The K-9 agents follow him to find Pretzels has latch onto the passenger’s balls. With his teeth firmly planted into this man’s junk, Mac confronts the man by interrogating him about what he was sneaking into the airport. The man, screaming in pain, finally admits that he had lost a ball to disease and he was using the spare space to sneak in cocaine. Having made the arrest we get the moment that we’ve all been waiting for as Mac and Pretzels become the best of partners and trust is finally achieved between the two of them.

If I was being honest with myself, this would be the weakest issue of The Fix so far. That being said, it’s still an incredible read and probably the best book I read this week. There’s so much I want to praise about this series and this issue. First off, it should be no surprise that the art is phenomenal. It fits so perfectly with the world that Nick Spencer has created. The dialogue that we are given is perfect. Reading this book I could legitimately hear people saying these lines. If these characters were real, this is absolutely how they would talk. Nothing is wasted and nothing feels out of place. Finally, the characters in this book are really something special. Most of us know character that are like these ones but all of their defining characteristics are exaggerated to create quirks and humor in a normally very dark world. Even the dog seems like a perfectly fleshed out character.

Bits and Pieces:

I love this book and if you aren’t reading it right now, I cannot recommend highly enough that you should go to your local comic book shop and catch up on the series (or maybe at least wait for the first trade). We get dark and gritty situations that have been given some dark humor to really give the reader something unique from most comics out there. This issue in particular may have focused more on the fun side of this comic, but it’s still a joy to read as the art, dialogue, and storytelling remain at the top of the game.

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  1. The boss from IA may be my favorite character in a long ass time. Every issue he is getting at least one hilarious moment and I love it every time.

    1. Isn't he incredible? So entertaining to read. He's hilarious and quirky and then at the drop of a dime he becomes terrifying and brutal.


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