Author: Dan Houser / Sam Lake | Illustrator: Fernando Blanco | Page Count: 39
"My name’s Max… Max Payne."
"Jesus. You poor bastard. Your parents must have really hated you."
If playing through Max Payne 3 (2012) wasn't enough punishment for your senses, there’s a prequel comic book for you to enjoy that delves deeper into the barfly's troubled past. It aims to help you better understand why he’s such a miserable asshole by giving reasons for his descent into alcoholism and drug use.
It takes place over a number of years, and shows how different events took their toll on the anti-hero, from his academy days up to the era the game is set.
If you’ve played the game you’ll already have seen and participated in some of the events depicted. Logic says that being an active participant in a story should be a more engaging experience but not in this case. The comic is much more enjoyable. It uses the same kind of noir dialogue as the game but it works better as the written word than it did as the spoken word. The inner monologue and fatalistic running commentary that Max provides about his own condition lost a lot of believability when spoken aloud.
Fernando Blanco’s art is the best part. It uses a muted colour palate reflective of Max’s outlook on life, and offers up some really interesting panel layouts. It helps raise the quality of what would otherwise be a standard noir comic.
Max Payne 3: The Complete Series is available as a FREE download from the Rockstar website or, if you’re more inclined, you can purchase an actual print edition for your shelf that has some bonus content.
The book collects together all 3 issues of the Max Payne comic.
2½ bottles of Kong out of 5