Other than use of that one curse word we all love and a single panel of sex, there's not much more "MAX" about this Wolverine story than most others. However it is nice to know that in "Wolverine MAX" #1, the creative team of Jason Starr, Roland Boschi and Connor Willumsen won't have to hold back when the time comes. Until such time, they dole out a solid issue with plenty of gritty Wolverine-apt scenes.
Jason Starr's story begins with Logan in the water after a plane crash apparently suffering from amnesia -- an overused trope if ever there was one. Starr doesn't harp on the memory loss and after a brutal scene in which Logan loses his legs in a shark attack, the plot rockets forward to his rescue and quick recovery, dancing back in time twice to show glimpses of who he might really be. The plot isn't anything we haven't seen before, but one twist in the present day plot -- the idea that while Logan is still searching for himself there is another version of him out there and walking around -- has enough of a pull to get me in for at least a second issue based on that mystery alone.
The art is very smartly divided up between Roland Boschi on the main story and Connor Willumsen on flashback sequences. Both are well suited to their tasks as Boschi provides a cleaner and more typical comic book style that's easy to follow and nicely consistent in character depiction. Some of Boschi's execution feels a bit rushed, but he's got to handle everything from plane wrecks and shark attacks to hospital scenes and police ambushes, and he does good work with almost all of it. Willumsen is perfectly suited for the gritty Wolverine flashbacks that jump from a conversation with an ages old foe, to single panels that effortlessly tell of a rich (and violent) history. Willumsen's work leaps off the page with its loose raucous energy and the emotion (and motion) on the page is nearly palpable. I'd be excited to see what a Willumsen only "Wolverine MAX" would look like quite frankly, but if we're going to have two artists, this is a perfect division of tasks.
Not every piece of "Wolverine MAX" #1 works as well as the rest, but some aspects work well enough that the net result overall is a solid comic book. I'm in for a second issue, it's always fun to see what Logan can do in the hands of energized creators.