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The Maxx, Vol. 1

(The Maxx #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,415 ratings  ·  95 reviews
An extremely imaginative and profound series, THE MAXX tells the tale of a fractured woman whose repressed emotions and memories prevent her from living a normal life and the hulking purple super-hero who tries to save her. A master of denial, Julie Winters created a magical dream world where she unknowingly escapes to when reality is too much. But when the two planes of e ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Wildstorm (first published 1995)
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,415 ratings  ·  95 reviews


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Dan Schwent
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Maxx is a homeless man who wears a purple superhero outfit and lives off the kindless of Julie Winters, a freelance social worker. But he's also king of the wildplaces, a super-strong barbarian who fights monsters in a world resembling the Australian Outback while protecting the Leopard Queen, who bears a striking resemblance to Julie Winters. Which of those identities is true? What is the deeper connection between Julie and The Maxx? And how does Mr. Gone, dark sorcerer and serial rapist, f ...more
Stephen
Dramatis Psychoticus Personae:

1. The MAXX: A delusional homeless man who believes that he is a superhero.

2. Julie Winters: A “freelance” social worker with deep emotional scars and repressed memories of a brutal assault.

3. Mr. Gone: A serial rapist and sadistic murderer with supernatural attributes and ties to Maxx and Julie.

4. Isz: Camouflage wearing, people-eating oompa loompas from a bizzaro version of the Australian Outback.

This is not your typical comic book.

For a series that came out bac
...more
Danger
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is my first exposure to The Maxx, having missed both the MTV cartoon and the original print run, but I picked this up at the behest of a friend who was talking about how it was one of his favorite comic books.

I certainly enjoyed this first collection. It started out a little shaky for me, considering I didn’t know the premise at all. And things don’t quite “wrap up” neatly at the end of this volume, as this serves as really just the introduction to the characters who populate this world. An
...more
Burt
I can't remember when I first read this, but I watched the show on MTV when I was in high school. The effect was instantaneous on me - I was fascinated by the idea of dualism presented in the show. Some time later I picked up the book and read through it, pleasantly surprised to find that it's almost panel for panel the same as the TV show, meaning both are pretty close to each other to a point. Naturally, MTV capped the series to give it an ending (sort of).

The Maxx is centered around, well...
...more
Xand50
Jul 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I'm kind of puzzled as to why this graphic novel receives such consistent rave reviews. It seems like the author could never decide whether this story was supposed to be realistic, cartoon-y, super hero-y, or just plain weird.

I can't help but feel that a lot of the interest in this comic is based on how cool the premise sounds. The premise on paper sounds great. Cerebral, weird story lines filled with symbolism can be amazing. The problem with The Maxx is that it fails to do anything productive
...more
Lonnie
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sam Kieth's The Maxx is one of my favorite comic books of all times. Written with such clarity and ambition, The Maxx is a thoroughly realized allegory of how we, as humans, create our own reality, and how that reality simultaneously limits us and allows us to transcend the damage of the past. I read this about fifteen years ago, and I just started rereading it. I've been shocked by how well it has stood up over the years.
Christoph
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
„There are many interesting species of Predator and Prey sheltered within the broad grassy spaces and massed granite tarns of the Outback.
One of these, is the Gbh‘tyt, or Outback Slug. It can leap nearly a quarter mile straight into the air, but it ... has never mastered the ability ... to land. It has no Predators. It is just stupid.
On the other hand, the Great Northern Crabbit can jump and land .. but it has a natural enemy, the Isz.
The Isz can jump and land, and has no Predators ... unless ..
...more
Mjhancock
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I've been meaning to read The Maxx for ages. And I wasn't disappointed. I'll attempt a plot description, though it's is pretty loose. The Maxx is a superhero going through a mental breakdown, and may in fact be a hallucination himself; Julie is his complementary figure, and struggling through her own issues of what's real. Also there is Mr. Gone and the Iszes, twisted monsters that seem bent on inflicting the truth and reveling in power. It's all very trippy, and it's not really the point. What ...more
Alazzar
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had the first issue of The Maxx in my comic collection as a kid, though I don't remember anything about it aside from the cover art. (Back then, I was prone to buying #1 issues "just because.") But in my old age I've become more interested in the actual stories in comic books, so when I saw something online that mentioned The Maxx I decided I should check it out.

Based on the first six issues, I kind of love it.

The Maxx is a weird book. It's dark and it's different, and it doesn't dumb things d
...more
Magila
This rating is based partly off of the overall fantasticism of this, and partly off nostalgia. You can feel so much teenage angst bottled up into this collection of Maxx comics from the 1990's. There is this quasi-psychological bend to the story line as well that makes it enjoyable - as you rail against the existentialism of our day (and stuff).

As you will note, and the author does in the first installment of the graphic novels, the art is fairly crude. You almost feel brought in to a friend's b
...more
Tyler Dykema
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really awesome, really underrated comics. I grew up reading these, thanks to having cool parents. I loved the characters and the art back then, and it holds up today.

The creativity here is off the charts and is a must check out for any comic reader. It's got a great blend of dark humor, goofball humor, over the top action, and a touch of love but without being corny. All this takes place on the streets of a grimy, crime-riddled city and an imaginary tribal land. All characters are likable inclu
...more
William Thomas
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't care about the Maxx when it first hit the stands with the inception of Image comics, and as it turns out, I still don't care about it. Fractured story-telling that has absolutely no connectivity or understanding of itself. If the creator doesn't know what the hell the story is and makes it up as he goes along, how is the reader supposed to follow it? There is absolutely no indication that Sam Kieth has any understanding of his own characters. He just knows what he wants to put on the pa ...more
Artifice Magazine
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tadd
you either do or do not understand how amazing this book is. i don't see what i could possibly add here.
Chris
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an odd one. I only slightly remember The Maxx from the '90s and I'm not sure where from. I think there was an MTV cartoon, maybe. Maxx is a homeless bum in some sort of mask that thinks he's a superhero, which makes it sound like he's not but he totally is. He's this big hulking beast of a guy with giant claw/spikes on his hands that never stands up straight and fights bad...things. There are creatures that appear to humans as whatever they are dressed as, old ladies, police, etc, but a ...more
Huss
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
so far this is the best comic i have ever read. but sadly it is not something i love. it is interesting.art is good! this might be a great comic, but i honestly dont care about or know what qualify is. all i know it is not something i consider good for my self. it is not satisfying. it is just ok comic.
Michael
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: loeg-archives
The Maxx is a decidedly surreal, emotionally challenging, utterly bizarre series. You open that first book, and you see a big purple guy with a giant claw on each hand battling for his life. You think you're in for a thrilling super-hero adventure. There are even some good jokes thrown in to keep the mood jovial. Then, you're in a story about abused people, mostly women, coming to terms with themselves, their attackers, and their loved ones.

The Maxx has two very clear arcs - the first three book
...more
Ryan
Mar 31, 2008 added it
This wasn't my first read through The Maxx; I read a lot of the issues when they were individually released in the mid-90s, and I had fond memories of the book from what I could remember.[return]It's a superhero book, but superheroes from a completely novel perspective. Kind of like if Camille Paglia, an Australian aborigine, Carl Jung, and Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes) got together to create a superhero. The story follows Julie Winters, a 'freelance social worker' who looks afte ...more
Swankivy
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this because it's incredibly weird, but "weird" doesn't do it for me as much as it used to. I like weird AND connectedness to the characters, and I couldn't really feel what anyone was about. I liked the concept, kind of, but I'm not big on stories that don't try very hard to make sure you form any investment in characters AND there just seem to be odd battles popping up everywhere. I did like the occasional pocket of relatability--a guy who feels nothing ever happens to him and ...more
Rodney Wilder
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Sam Kieth creates such a twisted, darkened vision of the world we live in, yet it is wholly accurate. Injecting The Maxx with equal degrees of realism and fantasy, the story comes to life magnificently. The fragmented, fragile states of the characters is mirrored in the fluctuating artistic mediums used throughout the comics, to create an entirely magical hallucinatory trip for the reader.

As far as storyline, Kieth tugs at heartstrings, bringing the reader to a place not dissimilar to that of Ju
...more
Nocheevo
Aug 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I remember being suckered into the cartoon in the early 90s (Thanks non commercial TV) and the image of the MAXX always stuck with me.

Essentially its a riff on the standard 'tortured' costumed hero tale with more psychological analysis laid on. All the characters' issues are explored in the real world and the headspace that is the imagined "Outback". The outback is handled very well. Everyone as some imagined view of a real location populated by half truths.

What struck me was how well the threat
...more
Joshua
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Man is this one off the wall weird. The Maxx is a homeless guy who thinks hes a superhero ... and he has dream/hallucinations (hes mentally unstable) about being the king of his wild realm "australia". The Maxx and his friend Julie (a "free lance" social worker and leopard queen in The Maxx's alternate reality) are fighting off the evil Mr. Gone, a serial rapist and murderer that has some sort of ties to Julie and The Maxx (he knows about their weird alternate realities) The main characters all ...more
Anastasia
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best
I love The Maxx. The plot is interesting in itself; you don't have to love comics to read this book. The basic plot is of a homeless man who thinks he's a superhero, and his freelance social worker/love interest Julie. There are outbacks that Maxx goes back and forth into. Later we find out all sorts of things revolving around the characters and what they're meant to be doing.

I really like when stories are set in the gritty underbelly of cities. This is a perfect story if you're into stuff like
...more
Gary Lee
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: intelligent comics readers
A great, strange, fairly original comic from the heyday of Image Comics.

While the other Image artists were creating cheesy titles and setting their standard of Enormous Muscles, Gigantic Breasts, and Ridiculously Oversized Firepower, Sam Keith (and Bill Messner-Loebs) was producing a solid sleeper dealing more with the human psyche than overcharged superheroes.


I never cared much for this one during its original print run -- I was probably 12 or 13, so some (or all) of the complex plot points wer
...more
Kevin
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first few books of the series (written with collaboration) are pretty awesome - quirky, touching, imaginative. The artwork at times can seem a little unskilled (proportions are off, etc.), and Kieth admits this in a new forward to the series. I first got into this story via MTV's Oddities series, which is a great adaptation, and I turned to the books to find out what happened next. After Kieth's collaborators dropped off, the writing took a bit of a dive. It becomes too self-indulgent and le ...more
David
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Little did I know that my innocent trip to the Capital Area District Library with the kids and wife would yield such dastardly results. A graphic novel of the Maxx series that I had only ever seen on MTV! Not only that, but it's the first of a series! My glee may have fueled part of my rating, but I am an admitted Maxx fan. The story was spot on, the font used for Mr. Gone was just right, and the artwork was delicious. I'll be looking for the next one when we head back to the library.
Rebecca Nesler
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: comics
Amazingly deep, sentimental, and witty. This series deals with real life issues in a super-reality where a
leopard queen/social worker and super hero/delusional hobo fight funny little animals and a serial rapist. It's incredibly deep, beautifully illustrated, and amazingly a huge pick-me-up.
I've never seen such sensitive topics (like rape) dealt with so tastefully and humorously at the same time.
Shane
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
So most of all I love the art. Of course since I grew up in the 80's-90's there's also some nostalgia there. I like the plot but after the first 3 issues it seemed to kind of wander. I didn't really enjoy the appearance of Savage Dragon or the shark villain guy, they were sort of jarring. But really this comic is amazingly original, and did I mention I love the art? This makes me very curious what else Sam Kieth worked on after the Maxx.
Jace101
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite worlds to visit.

Julie, and the Maxx, Mr Gone and the Outback. All of them layered into a deep delving of the psychology of themselves, how they're broken and why. With each layer pulled away comes an ocean more.

The reason I think I love this series so much is because it touches the back of our minds that we rarely visit, the dark places. And it's not there to judge, it's just there to visit.

And Sam Kieth's artwork is simply beautiful.
Tyler
Mar 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, own
As I've said of Kieth before, he has the most amazing paneling I've ever seen. This story is a little out there - the main character is a homeless monster-type thing (though nobody seems very bothered by this) and he is some kind of Australian superhero that goes back and forth between the Outback and NYC. The art is incredible, the story is an interestingly strange adventure.
Tripmastermonkey
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
i don't have this actual book- i do have, however, every single issue of this comic that was released. i obsessed over this comic. it was at this point of my life when i was getting sick of super-hero comics, but MAXX came along and had elements of that, but it was primarily a story told through dreams, looking at feminism and psychology, and with beautiful pictures...
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Kieth first came to prominence in 1984 as the inker of Matt Wagner's Mage, his brushwork adding fluidity and texture to the broad strokes of Wagner's early work at Comico Comics. In 1989, he drew the first five issues of writer Neil Gaiman's celebrated series The Sandman, but felt his style was unsuited to the book (specifically saying that he "felt like Jimi Hendrix in The Beatles") and left, han ...more

Other books in the series

The Maxx (6 books)
  • The Maxx, Vol. 2
  • The Maxx, Vol. 3
  • The Maxx, Vol. 4
  • The Maxx, Vol. 5
  • The Maxx, Vol. 6