Issue 65 - The Maxx

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By Capes on the Couch LLC and Capes on the Couch: Where Comics Get Counseling. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Anthony & Doc travel to the Outback to visit the world of THE MAXX! This 90s comic is so trippy, and its inhabitants so off-the-wall, that it takes the entire episode to break down 4 characters. So grab a lampshade and get inside a cardboard box - listen now!

SHOW NOTES:

  • Intro

    • Shoutout to the Wrestle Special – Travis and an assortment of guests talk wrestling and not-wrestling.

  • Background (06:30)

    • Created by Sam Kieth and Jim Sinclair – debuted in Primer #5 as Max the Hare, but the Maxx as we know him debuted in Darker Image #1 (March 1993)

    • Story told through full use of the medium – flashbacks, changing art style depending on location & POV

    • Julie Winters, a free spirited social worker, is beaten, raped, and left to die by a man she helps – she copes by hiding in her subconscious in a place called the Outback – there, Julie is the Leopard Queen, a powerful goddess

    • A few weeks later, she hits a homeless man (Dave) with her car, and instead of helping him, she leaves him in an alley and covers him with trash – this opens a link to her Outback, and a lampshade passes through the barrier – the lampshade then covers the homeless man, giving him a costume and creating a link between him and Julie

    • Three years later, which is where the series picks up, the man (now known as Maxx) is working as a mostly unsuccessful hero who Julie repeatedly bails out of jail – neither can explain their connection, but they feel strongly towards one another

    • Mr. Gone, a serial killer/rapist, has a telepathic connection to Julie and harasses her repeatedly – Maxx fights him in both the real world and the Outback – he is later beheaded by Julie, but manages to survive through his connection to the Outback

    • Julie, meanwhile, is working with a troubled teenager named Sarah, whose mother is concerned about Sarah and doesn’t want her to grow up like her father – Mr. Gone

    • Julie becomes pregnant, and learns the truth about Mr. Gone – while she was a child, Mr. Gone was known to her as “Uncle Artie”, who told her amazing stories about visiting Australia – these stories manifested as Julie’s Outback – now that Julie knows the truth, she can begin reconciling her past, and her Outback dissipates, leaving Maxx essentially powerless

    • Comic takes a 10 year jump, and now focuses on Sarah, who has her own Maxx (Norbert), as she begins to reconcile with her repentant father – she has to battle a murderous escapee from her own Outback (Iago, a banana slug), and needs the help of Julie and Dave

  • Issues (22:56)

    • Maxx – uncertainty of who he is and his connection to Julie

    • Julie – lifestyle indicates some repression and/or PTSD from the sexual assault – treats Maxx well out of guilt (29:36)

    • Mr. Gone – sexually abused as a child, he turns that abuse onto numerous people, and then feels guilt over it, but is unable to kill himself as a result of the Outback’s power – gaslights Sarah over what happened? (37:19)

    • Sarah – struggling with reconciling with her father, unsure of what happened 10 years ago (45:07)

  • Break (56:55)

  • Treatment (58:45)

    • In-universe

    • Out of universe (63:09)

  • Ending (75:00)

References:

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86 episodes