3 Minute Max Volume 1: Activate! (Detonation Films)

3 Minute Max Volume 1Father and son duo Bob and Max Forward look to follow in the footsteps of the Romitas or the Kuberts by keeping their comic creation 3 Minute Max in the family. However their action-packed series about a special forces operative who can stop his heart for 3 minutes and so is sent on dangerous undercover missions that can only last 180 seconds, is anything but family-friendly as we look at this violent action packed new series.

3 Minute Max Volume 1Publisher: Detonation Films
Writer: Bob Forward
Artist: Max Forward
Price: £3.99 from ComiXology

[yasr_overall_rating size=”large”]

3 Minute Max tells the story of Max Reaper, a former special forces soldier with the unusual ability of being able to stop his own heart for three minutes before starting it up again. When a robbery gone wrong see Max’s life saved by a kind stranger, he finds himself recruited to a unique team by the stranger’s father which deals in Teleportation. It seems that their ‘Strike Gate’ cannot transport the living, only the dead. Therefore, with his unique talent allowing him to be sent anywhere, Max undertakes missions to save the day, as long as they take no more than three minutes to complete. However, Max soon realises that as he stops his heart for longer and longer periods, then he begins to see much more terrible and unusual things.

Bob Forward has written a really fun, action packed story which is filled with a lot of both humour and heart. The main draw if of course Max, who feels well detailed and instantly relatable from start to finish, making him a good audience substitute with which to enter this unusual sci-fi world. Forward’s other character depictions are a little hit and miss depending on the character, with the scientists especially feeling a little over the top. That said though, a big hit is the main villain Fynch who comes across as a true anti-thesis of the protagonist and whose future arc, based on the ending here, may be interesting to see. Meanwhile, Forward does a great job making lots with little in his writing of Sophie, the stranger whose presence, while only being short, nonetheless has a big impact on the rest of the book as well on the reader. That said, besides the characters, the plot is tight, with lots of geek inspired references and a few laugh out loud moments, including them forgetting about Max’s metal fillings during one of his early missions!

Of course, strong writing is nothing without the art to back it up and Bob’s son Max Forward provides skilled panels full of incredibly fantastic and unusually soft styled art to relay his Dad’s words. In places the art looks very similar to recent favourite Salvagers but also imbues the essence of a more Clayton Crain-esque style during the more horrific moments such as when Max begins to hallucinate.

The colours are also top notch, with gorgeous and vibrant colours helping to maintain the atmosphere of the moment in each panel without causing the story to go too dark. Of course not everything is perfect, as early issue two seems to drop in quality briefly, but it is of little concern, especially with terrific panels such as a hospital scene in the first issue where the reflection of Max in a bed can be scene imposed faintly over another character. For that shot looking so great alone, any faults can really be forgiven.

pd_review4“Starting with a truly lovely foreword and moving upwards from there, 3 Minute Max is actionipacked story successfully formed through a father and son’s shared passion. While it is by no means perfect, this is a book is seriously engrossing and great from the moment the first panel has been read. Give this book the three minutes in the title and there’s no doubt you’ll be giving it a lot more of your time.”