This reissue of one of the most interesting yet confusing comics I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading takes me back in time to when I was just discovering what constitutes a good comic. Now this criteria varies for every comic fan out there, but for me, a good comic should consists of a unique artistic style and a creative story line that develops slowly over time. These are things which Maxx has in spades. In preparation for this review, I sat down and read the first 6 issues consecutively, and I have to say, I’m still not sure exactly what is going. One thing’s for sure though, I’m eagerly anticipating the release of issue #7 just to see what is going to happen next.
Sam Kieth’s artist style always caught my attention, I remember when he did a Batman and Maxx crossover story and his interpretation of Batman, while still true to the character, was incredibly eye catching. The same thing happened when I first glanced at The Maxx #1’s cover in my local comic shop. The characters have features that are exaggerated just enough to define Kieth’s style, but not exaggerated to the point where they look cartoonish. And the details in every panel of every page are outstanding, you feel like you are truly present in that moment in time.
As far as Kieth’s writing goes, I personally don’t think you could ask for anything more. The writing, while confusing from issue to issue with only small glimpses to the main questions, always leaves you wanting to grab the next issue post-haste to see where The Maxx will take you next. In this particular issue two things stood out to me. You have the arrival of The Savage Dragon, a character I haven’t personally thought of in many years, as well subject matter that is relevant today. Julie and Sarah’s mother are talking about The Maxx and how he protects Julie; only Sarah’s mother is afraid of him and sees him not as a hero but as a violent monster. She begins to talk about how much violence is in the world they are apart of how it’s everywhere, women being attacked, violence on TV, movies other forms of media and how she’s afraid it is affecting her young daughter. Aren’t these issues that are even more so relevant today what some 10+ years after this story was originally published?
As I stated above, the stories are definitely in a league of their own, leaving you wondering with every page turn just what is really going on and which reality is the real reality, but they undoubtedly keep you the reader wanting more. And Kieth’s artwork captures the stories with his unique unequalled style that keeps you involved in the story even when you are questioning what is really going on. If you aren’t old enough to remember the days when this was first published, you should definitely check these remastered issues out and enjoy the intriguing world of Sam Kieth’s creative mind.
The writer of this piece was: Shane Hoffman (aka “Hoff”)
You can also find Hoff on Twitter.