‘Max Payne 3: The Complete Series’ - Hardcover Review (Flight of the Valkyr)

I am not entirely sure how I feel about this comic. The three issues of this microseries focus on one afternoon in a Hoboken bar where retired cop Max Payne has been nursing an addiction to painkillers and scotch. The plot dances around the violent events of this one afternoon, but they don’t fully resolve in the comic. This is because Rockstar created the comic to familiarize younger players with the character Max Payne before the release of the video game Max Payne 3.

Max Payne is a fascinating character, and I enjoyed learning more about him. When I first met him in the first, and excellent, Max Payne game, he was a broken cop who had been backed into a corner by his entire life. The game was a gritty action-noir that changed the way I thought about story in a game and raised the bar for action. The story didn’t end well for Max in either game. The comic picks up some of the pieces in his life and almost revels in how broken the man is.

This leads me to the biggest criticism I have for the comic. Because it is exploring the background and leaving the foreground for the video game, there isn’t much room to tell a complete story. What remains is a series of flashbacks and a character study of a man wrecked by booze and pills. This is well done, but the fact remains that the target audience is just about to play Max Payne 3.

All told, I liked this comic. Max Payne is an old favorite of mine, and this is a nice little exploration of the depths of a broken man. Nothing much happens in the comic, and it does rely on the game to finish the story. Ultimately, this is a good comic if you are a fan of Max Payne. If you haven’t ever heard of him and like action-packed video games with broken anti-heroes, check out the comic and then pick up the game. If not, this might be the comic for you.


Three and a Half Broken New York Cops out of Five

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python

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