#319 “The Maxx”

Even amidst the anything-goes craziness of the early Image years, Sam Kieth’s The Maxx was an outlier. While it included some superhero tropes, it wasn’t really a superhero book, nor was it like much of anything else on the market, then or now. While it definitely has its weaknesses, Kumar and Dana confirm this week that it was absolutely mind-blowing…and emotionally affecting.

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Resident of Japan since 1989, creator of "The Crazing Spider-Hag"

4 thoughts on “#319 “The Maxx””

  1. This is one of the most influential books to me. I even have a letter in one of the letter pages!

    I believe Maxx actually always was a rabbit. You need to get I Before E (a collection of Kieth’s early work) & read an early interview to know, but one of his goals was to combine all of his early stories into one book. You see the early Isz & then there’s a rabbit assassin story called “Maxx The Hare” from like ten years before the Maxx series started being published. Also of course worth mentioning is stuff like My Inner Bimbo & Four Women & Ojo are continuations of the book.

  2. Thanks for all the clarifications, Silberspy! It was a very hard boom to wrap my head around fully. Also, I have read Four Women but none of the others. Could be a whole other episode…

  3. This is pretty neat – like the way you discuss the entire series and don’t try to pad the fact that there’s a lot of confusing stuff that happens off panel. The reason for this is basically two-fold from my understanding. Originally they were writing issues with the Maxx MTV television show in mind – following along with a story that had to be tied down enough to keep the execs happy. Issue 16 is the last issue scripted with that show in mind as it was canceled after the writing had been completed but before artwork was finalized. This resulted in Kieth deciding he wanted to simply do whatever he wanted with the series now free from these “limitations”. That’s why they take a few issues to wrap up what they’ve been following and then catapult you 10 years into the future with Sarah (whose Outback you’ve seen slowly introduced into the framework of Julie’s shattering Pangea Outback). From this point on Kieth is obviously shooting off the hip. There might have been some quick brainstorm sessions but I get the feeling Alan Moore suggested some stuff (he helped write issue 21) and that greatly shaped the strange, and sometimes unclear, path that The Maxx took from then on.
    I would however like to point out that your assertion Maxx may not have been intended to be a bunny from the beginning is false. The first stories that predate “The Maxx” are of a character actually named “Max The Hare”. While the resemblance of these characters in each other is somewhat arguable Kieth has often stated in interviews that he was attempting to continue “all” of the stories he had written in the past and combine them into one book. Take that with the fact that Mr. Gone refers to Maxx as “br’er lapin” an obvious combination of Br’er (or brother) Lapin (rabbit) – Brother Rabbit anyone? Also of note, Max Hare is the name of the rabbit from Disney’s the Tortoise and Hare, another pretty obvious nod to the idea that from the very onset this bizarre and seemingly random idea was part of the game plan from the get-go.

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