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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Dec 11, 2019

Anthony & Doc travel to the Outback to visit the world of THE MAXX! This 90s comic is so trippy, and its inhabitants so off-the-wall, that it takes the entire episode to break down 4 characters. So grab a lampshade and get inside a cardboard box - listen now!


  • Intro

    • Shoutout to the Wrestle Special – Travis and an assortment of guests talk wrestling and not-wrestling. 

  • Background (06:30)

    • Created by Sam Kieth and Jim Sinclair – debuted in Primer #5 as Max the Hare, but the Maxx as we know him debuted in Darker Image #1 (March 1993)

    • Story told through full use of the medium – flashbacks, changing art style depending on location & POV

    • Julie Winters, a free spirited social worker, is beaten, raped, and left to die by a man she helps – she copes by hiding in her subconscious in a place called the Outback – there, Julie is the Leopard Queen, a powerful goddess

    • A few weeks later, she hits a homeless man (Dave) with her car, and instead of helping him, she leaves him in an alley and covers him with trash – this opens a link to her Outback, and a lampshade passes through the barrier – the lampshade then covers the homeless man, giving him a costume and creating a link between him and Julie

    • Three years later, which is where the series picks up, the man (now known as Maxx) is working as a mostly unsuccessful hero who Julie repeatedly bails out of jail – neither can explain their connection, but they feel strongly towards one another

    • Mr. Gone, a serial killer/rapist, has a telepathic connection to Julie and harasses her repeatedly – Maxx fights him in both the real world and the Outback – he is later beheaded by Julie, but manages to survive through his connection to the Outback

    • Julie, meanwhile, is working with a troubled teenager named Sarah, whose mother is concerned about Sarah and doesn’t want her to grow up like her father – Mr. Gone

    • Julie becomes pregnant, and learns the truth about Mr. Gone – while she was a child, Mr. Gone was known to her as “Uncle Artie”, who told her amazing stories about visiting Australia – these stories manifested as Julie’s Outback – now that Julie knows the truth, she can begin reconciling her past, and her Outback dissipates, leaving Maxx essentially powerless

    • Comic takes a 10 year jump, and now focuses on Sarah, who has her own Maxx (Norbert), as she begins to reconcile with her repentant father – she has to battle a murderous escapee from her own Outback (Iago, a banana slug), and needs the help of Julie and Dave

  • Issues (22:56)

    • Maxx – uncertainty of who he is and his connection to Julie

    • Julie – lifestyle indicates some repression and/or PTSD from the sexual assault – treats Maxx well out of guilt (29:36)

    • Mr. Gone – sexually abused as a child, he turns that abuse onto numerous people, and then feels guilt over it, but is unable to kill himself as a result of the Outback’s power – gaslights Sarah over what happened? (37:19)

    • Sarah – struggling with reconciling with her father, unsure of what happened 10 years ago (45:07)

  • Break (56:55)

  • Treatment (58:45)

    • In-universe

    • Out of universe (63:09)

  • Ending (75:00)


Apple Podcasts: here
Google Play: here
Stitcher: here
TuneIn: here
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