Smax

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This article is about the comic book character. For the expansion pack to "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri", see Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire.
Smax
Smax1.jpg
Smax. Art by Gene Ha
Publication information
Publisher America's Best Comics
First appearance Top 10 #1 (2000)
Created by Alan Moore
In-story information
Alter ego Jeff Smax (born Jaafs Macksun)
Team affiliations Top 10
Abilities Near invulnerability
Super strength
Concussive blast from torso

Smax is a fictional character from the comic book series Top 10 written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Gene Ha, and published by the America's Best Comics imprint of DC Comics / Wildstorm. A Top-10 spin-off mini-series also called Smax focused on the character and provided him with more of a backstory. In advertisements and interviews leading up to the release of the first issue, the series was referred to as Smax the Adventurer.

Character history[edit]

Jeff Smax (born Jaafs Macksun), is a gigantic, blue-skinned, white-haired, super-powered, demi-ogre policeman who lives and works at Precinct 10, in a city populated by "science-heroes". Smax originally hailed from a land based on fantasy myth and fairy tale legends, but had left after a horrifying failure during his career as a dragon slayer.

Smax is both incredibly strong, and invulnerable to most forms of harm, including radiation. Smax is often fairly gruff and guarded amongst his peers, mostly due to the frequent loss of loved ones he has experienced in life (most notably his dear friend and late partner, Stochastic Fats). Though at first very hesitant to become friendly with his new partner, Robyn Slinger, he eventually begins to bond with her, even feeling a great need to protect her when she is attacked by Commissioner Ultima and buried under precinct station rubble. The pair are not romantically involved, however, as Smax has an intimate relationship with his twin sister, Rexa. This is not an unusual situation in Smax's home dimension, which has far different laws of physics and science. Rexa, eventually comes to live with Smax and the details of their unique relationship is only known to Robyn, who keeps it secret.

Smax is fairly resourceful in the line of duty, but he has a quick temper and is not intellectually inclined, often not thinking things through. Smax has experience using weaponry, including his Singing Sword, but he most often prefers using his fist, or his Strong Light energy (which emanates from his solar plexus).

Smax receives the Maiden's Mark.

Mini-series plot[edit]

The story deals with Smax and Toybox returning, via magical teleportation, to Jeff's magically enchanted homeworld. Smax, now a city dweller, seems embarrassed by his unsophisticated, sword-and-sorcery roots. They attend Smax's uncle's funeral where Jeff introduces Robyn as his wife, though no such relationship exists. At this point Jeff's sister Rexa Macksun is introduced, dressed in the typical garb of a female fantasy barbarian such as Red Sonja and just as tall and physically impressive as her brother with the same blue skin and white hair.

It is revealed Jeff has been away from home for some time, having originally left his world fleeing personal and literal demons. Once a great dragon slayer, a job needed to pay the bills for his adopted dwarven family, Smax fails to stop an extremely powerful, shape-shifting dragon named Morning Bright from destroying a little girl. She was burned to ashes in front of him, forever leaving a white burnmark of a hand on his chest.

Trade paperback

Further story developments reveal a sexual tension between Smax and his sister. The two were born of an unwilling union between a monster and a human warrior woman with magical strength. Despite this, the pressure of twins kills her during childbirth. Her durability is passed on to her children. Their monstrous father would abuse them both and molest the sister, who would also find love and solace in her brother's arms. Smax would eventually kill his father so they could escape together. Though in their medieval homeworld their relationship wasn't particularly frowned upon, Smax developed conflicted feelings about the propriety of their love.

For various reasons, Smax, Rexa, Robyn and other diversity-mandated heroes venture out to destroy Morning Bright. Smax's heroic efforts cause the mark on his chest to be removed.

The series manages to touch on a number of dark topics, including alcoholism, prostitution, child murder and incest (Jeff and Rexa). The cartoony drawing style and "fractured fairy tale" content drew comparisons to Bill Willingham's Fables comic series[citation needed], as well as Terry Pratchett Discworld novels[citation needed]. There are parodies of several franchises, such as Harry Potter, The Matrix and Pokémon[citation needed]

Publishing history[edit]

w - writer(s) | p - penciller(s) | i - inker(s) | c - colorist(s)

  • Smax #1 - "Isn't it Good to be Lost in the Wood..." (20 August 2003)

w: Alan Moore p: Zander Cannon i: Zander Cannon c: Ben Dimagmaliw

  • Smax #2 - "...And Isn't it Bad, So Quiet There, in the Wood?" (17 September 2003)

w: Alan Moore p: Zander Cannon i: Andrew Currie c: Ben Dimagmaliw

  • Smax #3 - "The Grasshopper Green Burying-Band" (15 October 2003)

w: Alan Moore p: Zander Cannon i: Andrew Currie c: Ben Dimagmaliw

  • Smax #4 - "Trip, Trip, to a Dream Dragon..." (2 January 2004)

w: Alan Moore p: Zander Cannon i: Andrew Currie c: Wildstorm FX

  • Smax #5 - "Please Leave Us Here, Close Our Eyes..." (24 March 2004)

w: Alan Moore p: Zander Cannon i: Andrew Currie, Richard Friend c: Wildstorm FX

All of the issue titles are lines from the Syd Barrett song "Octopus".

The series was collected into a hardcover edition (ISBN 1-4012-0325-6) in 2004 and in paperback (ISBN 1-4012-0290-X) on November 2, 2005.

See also[edit]