When I was in Grade 12, our laid back physics and astronomy teacher once asked our class, “What do you want to do when you leave here?” One bravely honest soul replied, “I don’t want to work very hard, but I want to have lots of money.” Our teacher replied, “Ah – so the career for you is crime!”
Sometimes you just want to be the bad guy. That’s the conceit of the new book from Image Comics, The Fix, and it runs with every crime comedy trope you’re used to seeing to revel in the glory that is being a Hollywood criminal. Just like my former classmate, Roy, The Fix’s protagonist, has fully embraced the life of a criminal, taking pleasure in the old-school, sawed-off shotgun-type of crime (rather than, as he sneeringly says early on in the comic, the new Russian hacker-type). He and his partner (sporting to obligatory Hawaiian shirt of the Hollywood bank robber) being this story by robbing a Senior Citizens’ home, in a rather opulent display of idiocy. They get away with cash and don’t suffer any consequences, because (mild spoilers), they also both happen to be Police Detectives. Playing both sides of the fence, drifting between the legitimate law enforcement world and the criminal underworld, they lead a fast-paced and mostly responsibility-free life.
Writer Nick Spencer seems to revel in the witty Hollywood cop-robber dialogue, often reaching the wisecracking heights of Archer or Californication. Steve Liber (artist) and Ryan Hill (colors) set exactly the right tone with their realist renderings of the usual scenes of cars and streets, and slightly more unusual flashback scenes of not just the characters’ pasts, but the recollections of the wildcard character, Hollywood Producer Donovan.
Donovan in particular seems like a character right out of Californication, with his priceless opening line, “Have you ever tasted your own cum?” — and he doesn’t get any less vulgar or graphic from there. Hollywood and its own imperial machinations (rarely has there been an industry so obsessed with making itself into the Roman Empire) fits in perfectly with these small-time crooks who also happen to be full-time cops. It allows them to materialize any fantasy to which they care to cast their minds, offers access to people even crazier and less scrupulous than them, and, most importantly to our heroes, puts them in a position to earn lots of money.
Another wonderful character is Josh, the hippie left-wing activist who also happens to be a cold-blooded killer and hard-core criminal. He hides he request for repayment of loans under comfy sweaters and gluten-free foods, and assigns our cop/crooks cases to work.
In this first issue, there is little more than showing us the characters, introducing their environment and promising more fun to come, but from the looks of it, fun is precisely what this book will deliver. For any fan of the crime-comedy genre, The Fix will more than satisfy.