Marvel Comics is growing up. Under the name MAX, the new line will feature stories aimed at an adult audience. Hoping to expand its audience, these stories will feature both new and old Marvel characters, but in the equivalent of an R-rated movie. The comics feature a parental advisory label on the front cover to really notify the reader what he is about to get into.
'Alias,' written by Brian Michael Bendis and penciled by Michael Hollingsworth, was the debut of the new adult line and is also MAX's first on-going series. The crime noir book features Jessica Jones, an ex-superhero who could never find her niche turned private investigator. Jones is an original character, but the supporting cast is made up of other Marvel superheroes. The book features nudity as well as profanity. Hollingsworth's art is dark and gritty which matches Bendis' tone and fast paced dialogue.
'Fury' and 'U.S. War Machine' are the next two installments of the MAX line coming out Sept. 12. 'Fury' is a six issue mini-series written by Garth Ennis and penciled by Darrick Robertson. The story features Marvel icon Nick Fury coming to terms with a post-Cold War United States. Ennis's tone is very similar to his work on 'Preacher' and 'Punisher' with high action and violent plots intermixed with crazy and disturbing comedic antics of minor characters.
'U.S. War Machine' is both written and digitally rendered by Chuck Austen. This book is a weekly black-and-white twelve-issue series. 'U.S. War Machine' is a highly violent espionage tale starring the classic high-tech Marvel characters Iron Man, and, of course, War Machine. The story cuts right to the chase with little dialogue and fast-paced action.
More titles will eventually be added to the MAX line, but for now these three will serve as the test subjects.