With hi-resolution, freshly scanned prints of the original artwork, along with a series of brand new original drawings in the back, The Maxx: Maxximized, Vol. 1 by Sam Kieth is a consummate success. This limited edition collection from the beloved comic series is luminescent, with cool tones that add a crispness and modern edge.
Although more aesthetically pleasing than maybe a burnt orange or a murky green as in the original comics, the new hues also allow for bright reds, golds, and of course, that famed purple to pop and contrast. We see a more realistic Mr. Gone with cream-colored skin and ruddy highlights, which seem to make him appear even creepier than in the original drawings.
The shading and depth are gorgeous, even if just starting with the example of the new and improved cover. The Maxx is monstrous, yet so detailed and life-like that I can almost imagine him in our world.
Speaking of covers: the covers of each issue are delicate, explosive, and intricate. The colors are lively and rabid. I am enamored. I may just have to order each individual cover in poster size to hang alongside my current art collection.
I can’t complete this review without mentioning the story and the volume as a whole. In Kieth’s words, “It’s quirky. Flawed. Psychedelic. And just plain… WEIRD.” In a moment, the story is dark, twisted, and devastating; in the next, it is silly, goofy, and hilarious. The Maxx sticks by his convictions and never stops believing in himself, or in the idea that good can triumph over evil. I’m not sure all of the characters in this story agree with him, but I do know that there is a lovable, accident-prone, underdog hero to root for in The Maxx.