I get the Maxx. He sees a world around himself that may or may not be real. Most of the time, this leaves him disoriented and confused. Yet he pushes forward heroically. I’m diagnosed as Schizoaffective. (Truth be told, I probably fall under a dozen different categories. I think my shrinks over the years just shrugged, picked the biggie, and went with it.) Essentially, I see and hear things that aren’t there and have bipolar-like mood swings. But unlike the Maxx, I need six different pills a day to feel slightly “heroic” about my condition. Yeah. It’s just lovely. I think that’s why I’ve always identified with this character. Well, enough of the personal stuff. The Maxx is a truly unique character. Fascinating and mysterious. This left the everyday people of the world open to speculation about this strange being with claws and a tooth-filled mask. Never were these theories more described in detail than in this special, “The Maxx” #1/2. Enjoy, Unspokenites!
On the stoop of an old apartment building, three people sit. Two of them are young boys. The last is a nameless bum. One boy begins talking as if he were already in mid-conversation from earlier. He states that he believes that this new super-powered being in the city is in actuality a psychotic monster. The smaller boy disagrees. His mother told him that he was surely a working-class hero that dispenses “maximum justice”. Hence the name, the Maxx. (Ah. I’m reminded of debates such as this with my younger brother when were kids. Only a few ended in the loss of innocent bystander life.)
To this, the older boy replies that this Maxx caused considerable damage to a neighborhood deli by throwing a bus through the large front window. How was that possibly heroic? The younger of the two simply retorts that he was throwing the bus at a mugger. Surely this was more important than a silly deli window. The inevitable reply was yet another hypothesis as to the Maxx’s origins. Maybe he was an alien avenger, or an artificial being with steel bones? (Wow. These kids are really reaching now. Whoever heard of an alien superhero or one experimented on in a lab with metal bones of all things? Cough…..Superman and Wolverine…..clears throat.)
Now, the bum suddenly decides that he might just add to this heated debate. He begins by saying that he believes that the Maxx is really just an average joe. A man with a go-nowhere job and a sparsely furnished, tiny apartment. Maybe this man found a mask one day by happenstance and when he tried it on, it seemed as if lightning struck his brain. He then awoke in a place similar to Australia but also with a feel like it was the dawn of time. Here he was strong. Powerful. He had on a strange costume and had gained claws by thrusting his hands into bubbling volcanic rock. (This is the point where, if these were smart kids, they’d slowly back away, go inside, and rot their brains with online gaming. Oh wait! This was the 90’s! I guess these kids would actually use their imaginations. Sick burn!)
The children disagree with this rather depressing and strange scenario. Surely the hero is rich and posesses an array of expensive gadgets and vehicles. Or perhaps he rises from the grave every night to fight crime from the safety of the sewers and consumes stolen linguine. (Wait. What? This may be the only time I will ever read a comic with the words “stolen linguine” in the dialogue for the rest of my life! I mean, hopefully not.) The bum admits that both of these are interesting ideas. But he thinks the Maxx is just another homeless bum, living in the dumpsters. He can’t hold down a job, has no real friends, and is never sure what’s real or not. He tries to do good, but mostly he just makes situations worse.
But before the boys can put up much more of a verbal defense, they’re interrupted by the approaching neighborhood scourge they’ve dubbed “Crackhead” Jerry. (Sounds like a grossly misunderstood, pillar of the community. Just because the guy has an unfortunate injury to his head. Jeez!) Jerry wanders over to them and comes to a halt. With cigarette hanging lazily out of his mouth, he asks if the children have anything for him. Knowing that Jerry means money, both boys reply that they’re broke. But suddenly, the youngest of them leaps from the step, balls up his small fists, and proclaims that they won’t be bullied any longer! The Maxx wouldn’t tolerate this! Slightly amused, Jerry hints that he may just have a knife. He knows where they sleep. But before he can utter another venomous threat, he sees the large bum rise behind the boys. The man pulls off an oversized glove, revealing a large razor-sharp claw! “Crackhead” Jerry runs off in terror!
The glove is slid back into place before the two celebrating boys turn, ecstatic at their victory. That’s when the mother of the two kids calls to them to come inside. Their dinner is ready and it’s their favorite. (Sloppy joes and peanutbutter shakes! Ewww! I know! Sloppy joes? Yuck!) Begrudgingly, they do as they are told. As they close the door behind them, the “bum” can overhear her telling them that after they eat, it’s straight upstairs to do their homework. They don’t want to end up like that homeless man, do they? The Maxx lowers his head and walks into the night.