The Fix starts with a great high-concept opening: the march of technology has made reliable, old-school, brute force law-breaking obsolete. So, how can a thug indiscriminately shoot and rob people and get away with it nowadays? The Fix answers this conundrum in a way that makes it the most hilarious comic of 2016.
If you've read Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber's Superior Foes of Spider-Man — which featured a bunch of C-list supervillains with delusions of basic competency — then you might think you know what you're getting with their new series. The Fix also features a bunch of screw-ups on the wrong side of the law bumbling their way through hilarious crimes. That stuff does happen a lot in the first issue of The Fix...
The twist? These petty thieves are cops.
The last time Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber teamed up to make a crime caper comic, they leaned hard on the inherent absurdity of superhero universes to make the proceedings funny. They don't have that luxury in The Fix, which revolves around two dumb, corrupt cops who owe a huge debt to crunchy granola crime-lord Josh. It's set firmly in a real world Los Angeles devoid of superheroes and this first issue shows that the creators don't need capes and cowls to make their jokes work.
The Fix drowns the readers with cringe-inducing humour in almost every panel but sneaks in a bit of political satire with its core premise, too. It also subverts some of the tropes you'd expect to see in a cops-gone-bad story like this. Yes, there's an Internal Affairs officer breathing down the necks of two main characters. But there's no tense cat-and-mouse here; she already knows what the partners are up to...
Because she's up to it too.
Lieber has always wielded a moody realism in his linework, which makes the humour in these scenes pop even more. Spencer's biting portrayal of celebrity culture, Hollywood egomaniacs and too-precious suburban neoliberals cuts deep while you're laughing. The Fix #1 is one of the strongest series debuts in a long while. I can't wait for all the awful things I'm going to laugh at as it goes on.