Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Maxx: Maxximized Volume 3 Review (Sam Kieth, William Messner-Loebs)


The simple summary of this book is that Julie decides to leave The Maxx behind to sort her life out and he’s not chuffed about it! Wow, that sounds… boring. 

There’s some weird stuff about the Outback, which is imaginary or something, Mr Gone, who’s dead but isn’t, some kid with his arm stuck in a wall that’s also a portal, and a flashback issue to Julie’s childhood. But mostly it’s a very muddled and meandering book with little substance for all its self-conscious “artiness”. 

I liked The Maxx initially because it’s a peculiar take on the usual superhero story. It’s a bit whacky with lots of cartoony animals like the Isz showing up (eyeless gremlins) and there’s some question over what The Maxx is anyway - is he some crazy homeless friend of Julie’s? Her spirit animal? Just a lost kid dreaming it all up? But a lot of those interesting questions get pushed to the side in this third volume of the re-mastered series to be replaced with… 

... a whole lotta nothing instead! There are entire issues here where I couldn’t tell you what the point was, like the kid with the arm stuck in the wall - why was that relevant? And what is Mr Gone’s deal anyway - so many pages with this guy sitting against a wall talking gibberish! A random kid who wants to be a supervillain for some reason? The Maxx sulks the whole time while Julie dithers about, as is her wont, until she packs her bags and goes. 

So. What.

Sam Kieth’s art is fine but his and William Messner-Loeb’s script is tedious to say the least. I’m struggling to understand why I should care about anything that happened in this book. The Maxx is an interesting character but without a story to match, it’s the dullest comic to read. Kieth and Messner-Loeb being weird for the sake of it is much too trying to enjoy. This third volume is the worst one yet in a series that continues to decline in quality.

The Maxx: Maxximized Volume 3

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