Artwork by Sam Keith
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Additional inks and finishes by Jim Sinclair
Letters by Mike Heisler, Dennis Heisler, and Shawn Lee
Edits by Scott Dunbier
I’ve said this before, I love The Maxx. Many people do, something that actually comes up in the fourth story of this 100-page special. This release has a few purposes. First off, it is part of the celebration of IDW’s 20th anniversary. Second, it’s an excuse to advertise the Batman/Maxx crossover mini-series, Arkham Dreams, as well as The Maxx: Maxximized collected editions. Lastly, it serves as an introduction to a character that enthralled readers, but that, until recently, has been largely dormant for decades.
With this book, we get Issues #1, 21, 23, and a story from Hero Comics 2014. The Maxx has a very serialized storyline, which made this collection a bit frustrating to read for me. I haven’t read most of the later parts of Maxx’s story, but I still know enough to know there’s a lot missing, and it makes an already hard to follow story even harder to get into. I honestly don’t know if this would entice me to want more or not.
Issue #1 of the Maxx isn’t an origin story, or even a proper introduction to The Maxx as a character. What it is, is more of an introduction to the world(s) Maxx inhabits. Issue #21 starts moving into a very different arc of The Maxx story compared to early issues, and Issue #23 is just a bit odd.
The five-page “interlude” from Hero Comics 2014 serves as one of the better intros to Maxx I can think of, and I actually would have liked to see it open this issue, and maybe a foreword-type introduction between it and Issue #1. But that’s not what we have and wishes are not, in fact, fishes. It also makes some great points about why Keith has never brought out new Maxx stories.
As with basically anything coming out of the mind of Sam Keith, the story is a bit odd, and the art is unlike anything else you’re likely to find. He’s probably my favorite “non-traditional” artist in all the years I’ve been reading comics. I love that The Maxx is making a resurgence for a new generation.
I’m not going to give this book a numerical rating, the way it’s collected sort of breaks how I “judge” that and doesn’t do it justice. If you’ve read the Maxx, you can likely give this a pass. If you haven’t, it’s an affordable way to check out what it’s all about.
Be sure to checkout IDW Publishing online and go find more Sam Kieth goodness.