I recently read this article on six characters the author thinks should get the MAX treatment.

I won’t give away all his picks, but I will say I disagree with all of them. Most MAX books have sucked, frankly, and the odds of them getting it right with the characters Mr. Arrant picks are slim to none. (Although a MAX Reed Richards book could be very, very interesting—maybe I do agree with that one.) As for Moon Knight, also one of his selections, we kind of already got that with Huston and Finch’s dark, ultraviolent run on the character. He’s not a bad pick, but he’s not an inspired one.

MAX books are at their best when they defy expectation by taking a character out of context and completely reimagining the existing mythology (e.g., Aaron and Dillon’s Punisher, Alias, Supreme Power), putting the character into a new situation fraught with realistic, dark conflict (Ennis’ Punisher and his recent Fury title), or by exaggerating the character way beyond what can be done in a Marvel U book (Deadpool MAX). MAX is a also a great tool to showcase fresh, underground, or up-and-coming talent (Kirkman’s Destroyer, Strange Tales MAX), much like Marvel’s old Epic Magazine or Marvel Fanfare book. MAX books are at their worst—or at least their most pointless–when all they do is try to increase the amount of violence, sex or cursing (Black Widow, Blade, Foolkiller, Wolverine) without adding any spin or new ideas.

I’ll tell you my picks, and why I’m right, if you just click the little button below…

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