Issue one of Rockstar and Marvel's Max Payne 3 digital comic series is now available (opens in new tab) for read-looking. The first issue, titled "After the Fall," sets up Max's troubled past (which mostly involves him burying everyone he ever cared about), and briefly hints at the events that lead him to Max Payne 3's new setting. He's got a lot to drink about after Max Payne 2, and eventually gets himself in trouble in a New Jersey bar, which presumably kicks off his flight to Brazil. Oh Max, you're incorrigible.
The three-issue series was written by a couple of guys who know Max pretty well: Rockstar VP Dan Houser and the series' original writer, Sam Lake. Artists Fernando Blanco and Matt Wilson are skilled draftsmen of gloom, and it is all very gloomy. I always figured Max to be a good cop who was kicked down a rabbit hole of melodrama during the events of the first game, but the comic sets up a guy who's been beaten down since he was born.
So it's bleak -- even for Max Payne -- but it's still entertaining noir drama, and the tone hasn't changed so much that I don't hear actor James McCaffrey's voice in my head when I read it. Houser's eagerness to play with the series' darkness isn't surprising, but if Max Payne 2 is "The Fall of Max Payne," perhaps Max Payne 3 will turn out to be his rise? He and The Dark Knight should share tips.
You can find the comic at Rockstar's official Max Payne 3 site . Issue two is coming "soon," and the game is out on PC on May 29.