Max Payne Comics On The Way From Rockstar And Marvel

Here at Panels & Pixels we're so used to passing along information about comic books turned into videogames, it's a welcome change of pace when a big videogame franchise tries going in the other direction. So is the case with Rockstar's next big title, "Max Payne 3." According to a recent press release, the game studio has teamed up with Marvel to issue a three-part comic series.

Almost nine years have passed since "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" jumped – in slow motion, guns blazing, of course – onto store shelves. Bringing the series back, rekindling interest from fans of the first two games and connecting the dots for "Payne" initiates, is no small order. The comic series looks to explain the story from all those years ago, while tying up any loose ends since the conclusion of "Max Payne 2."

According to Rockstar, the books will "delve into Max's troubled past - exploring the events that occurred in and around both 'Max Payne' and 'Max Payne 2,' leading up to 'Max Payne 3' while also shedding new light on Max's early years."

If you're unfamiliar with the games, let me give you a quick rundown: Max is a cop with a penchant for side-jumping out behind walls in slow-motion, blowing away thugs with dual-wielded pistols. A lot of people died, including someone important to Max, which kind of screws him up. The plot of "Max Payne 3" finds the protagonist fat and drunk in Brazil, protecting some wealthy family. Yeah, it's a feel-good kind of tale.

The comics are penned by Rockstar's Dan Houser ("Grand Theft Auto") and Remedy Entertainment's Sam Lake ("Max Payne, "Alan Wake"). Cover art is handled by Marvel cover artist Greg Horn, with pencils and ink by Fernando Blanco ("Marvel Zombies").

The first issue, "After The Fall," will be free – my favorite price – through Rockstar's Newswire, the "Max Payne 3" site, and other digital providers in coming weeks. The books are also receiving a limited print run.

What do you think about the "Max Payne" tie-in comics? Are you a fan of the videogames? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!