Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer/Artist: Sam Kieth
Release Date: 27th November 2013
Let me just start off by saying that I never really crossed paths with Maxx during its previous printing at Image during the 90’s. At the time I swayed more towards Liefeld or Macfarlane’s work (how times have changed!) so never really knew what to expect other than a few occasional reads.
What is apparent is that IDW seem to be canny at acquiring various works from beyond their relatively short life in the business. We have seen it with Doctor Who Classics which printed Marvel UK material, Judge Dredd Classics reprinting 2000AD material and will even see it when they reprint Superman strips in December. In a similar mode we have Maxx Maxximised which, as IDW puts, it “now, 20 years later, the striking series is returning to comic shops with fully re-mastered and re-colored printings of the classic stories, and all supervised by Kieth to ensure the highest possible quality. The Maxx: Maxximized will also feature brand-new painted covers by Kieth.”
I’m not sure to what extent this will satiate Maxx fans (or whether it differs at all), but from a somewhat fresh perspective I liked it. Although at times incredibly 90’s in the artwork department, mixing gritty physical details with a cartoon like style. I mean, they just don’t seem to do arm hair like that anymore do they?
The story is at times surreal featuring fights in the physical plain as well as more ethereal places. Tonally the book is incredibly dark in the same style as Spawn but I found it more interesting owing to the fact The Maxx has no memories and is seemingly always trying to judge who or what he is. All he really knows is that he has to fight for good and that he has a connection to a certain girl who thinks he is a stalker. The way it is told is through a very noir-ish inner monologue which at times will make you question The Maxx’s very sanity.
So to summarise, It is dark/gritty/noirish et but there is a real hook in here that makes it stand out from that whole post-Miller 90’s angst comic crowd.