By Brandy Dykhuizen and Arpad Okay. Our Week In Review collects our thoughts on the comics that demand attention. Do you have a deep-rooted desire to know what we think about all your favorite books? Well. This is where you need to be.
The Fix #2
Written by Nick Spencer.
Art by Steve Lieber; colors by Ryan Hill.
Letters by Nic Shaw.
BD: Mac and Roy return to unleash their demented genius on the unsuspecting LAPD with the fast and spurious gusto of their first caper. Roy remains the brains of the operation, so far able to cobble together enough deranged plans to keep them just out of reach of Josh’s wrath and an internal affairs investigation. He takes pleasure in tap dancing along the perimeter of peril, and even more satisfaction in making sure Mac is consistently dealt the short end of the stick. Roy may treat his partner to an LA field day along Hollywood Blvd and Griffith Park, (even buying him an In-N-Out burger along the way), but at the end of the day he’s still gonna shoot him in the hand.
We get the impression that his arrogant, intentional sloppiness will catch up to him at some point, but until then his blue eyes and cocky smile charm the heck out of whomever scrambles around to clean up after him, generously keeping Roy off of Josh’s radar. Josh may seem like he has enough to occupy his time, replacing banjo players for his Joy Division-covering over-30s bluegrass group, but a criminal mastermind trying that hard to blend in with the insufferable kombucha-brewing LA hipster set will surely tire of shenanigans shortly.
The Fix is every bit as enjoyable the second time around, chock full of visual asides and facial expressions worth a thousand mai-tais. Spencer & Lieber must have plenty more in store for us, and they have to be pretty damned excited to get it on the page — considering how crammed full of nuts this issue can be at times (especially the perfectly executed but awkwardly segued page devoted to Josh). However, the monkeyshines and clever turns more than make up for the smaller inconsistencies, making The Fix a dark comedy still very much worthy of our attention.
7.5 out of 10
House of Penance #2
Dark Horse Comics/$3.99
Written by Peter Tomasi.
Art by Ian Bertram; colors by Dave Stewart.
Lettered by Nate Piekos.
AOK: House of Penance is a slow burn horror show. We have a protagonist in the widow Winchester, a madwoman plagued by visions of darkness, surrounded by killers, a person who shares her bed with ghosts. We have the love interest, Warren Peck, wild hunter, stabbed in the gut, working himself to death on the Winchester property. And the antagonist: the house. Everywhere you turn, lying in every corner, are thick red ropes. Fat worms that come up through the floorboards. These bloated chains of guts slide up and over the shoulders of murderers as they recall their misdeeds. They lose their shape and flood the furnace with blood. Where the first issue employed crazy eyes to unsettle the reader, the second is overflowing with viscerous Red Vines.
The reader has stepped into the shoes of House of Penance’s residents and, through their eyes, we can see the deeper evil permeating their home. Perhaps.
All that blood is the result of when two planets collide: Winchester and Peck’s orbits pull them ever closer into each other. Has their submersion into madness put them in touch with the beyond? Or are they just nuts? The “horror” here is comics doing what comics do best. The reader sees the lunatic and their point of view simultaneously, the two are incapable of being separated. House of Penance started out like The Wild Bunch, all gristle and eyeball sweat. Now it stands flooded with gore, open elevators at the Overlook Hotel. Last time I cried Norma Desmond but now I’m feeling the widow Winchester’s potential to go full Annie Wilkes. The only sure bet in the House of Penance is things will inevitably grow darker. As they must.
7 out of 10
From earlier this week —
Agree? Disagree? What books are YOU reading this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.