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|Parent company||Marvel Comics|
|Country of origin||U.S.A|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Key people||Joe Quesada
Max (sometimes stylized as MAX Comics) is an imprint of Marvel Comics that specializes in R-rated comic book content. It was launched in 2001 after Marvel broke with the Comics Code Authority and established its own rating system.
The Max imprint is not Marvel's first effort in featuring explicit content in their titles. The company's Epic Comics imprint in the 1980s and early 1990s often featured stronger content than their mainstream imprint. However, the Max imprint is the first time Marvel has specifically produced comics with uncensored content.
The first series to be published under the Max imprint was Alias, written by Brian Michael Bendis. Several limited series were then created specially for the Max imprint, such as Apache Skies and Haunt of Horror, but the majority of its publications were based around existing Marvel characters, such as Howard the Duck and Devil-Slayer.
One Marvel character who was revived by Max was Rawhide Kid who in 2002 became the first openly gay comic book character to star in his own magazine. The first edition of the Rawhide Kid’s gay saga was called Slap Leather. According to a CNN.com article, “The new series pairs the original artist, John Severin, now 86, with Ron Zimmerman, a television writer. Making the Rawhide Kid gay was Zimmerman’s idea." The character’s sexuality is conveyed indirectly, through euphemisms and puns, and the comic’s style is campy. Conservative groups protested the gay take on the character, which they claimed would corrupt children, and the covers carried an "Adults only" label.
Former Marvel president and chairman Stan Lee openly criticized the Max imprint. Referring to an incident of strangulation with intestines the 2001 Fury miniseries, based on the character Nick Fury, who he co-created, Lee said, "I don't know why they're doing that. I don't think that I would do those kinds of stories."
- Alias (2001)
- Apache Skies (2002)
- Black Widow: Pale Little Spider (2002)
- Blade (2002)
- Born (limited series, 2003)
- Cage (2002)
- Deadpool Max (2010)
- Dead of Night Featuring:
- The Destroyer (5-issue limited series, 2009)
- Doctor Spectrum
- Dominic Fortune (2009)
- The Eternal
- Foolkiller (limited series, 2007)
- Foolkiller: White Angels (limited series, 2008)
- Fury (2001)
- Fury Volume 2, also known as Fury: My War Gone By (2012)
- Haunt of Horror:
- Hellstorm: Son of Satan (2006)
- The Hood (2002)
- Howard the Duck (limited series, 2002)
- Fantomex (2013)
- The Punisher
- Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather (2003)
- Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu
- Strange Tales MAX (limited series, 2009)
- Starr the Slayer (2009)
- Supreme Power (moved to the normal Marvel Comics imprint in 2006 under the name of its predecessor Squadron Supreme)
- Supreme Power: Hyperion
- Supreme Power: Nighthawk
- Terror Inc. (2007, limited series)
- Terror, Inc.: Apocalypse Soon (2009)
- Thor: Vikings (2003, limited series)
- War is Hell: The First Flight of The Phantom Eagle (2008)
- U.S. War Machine and U.S. War Machine 2.0
- Wisdom (2007)
- Wolverine MAX (2012)
- X-Men: Phoenix - Legacy of Fire (issues 2 and 3 of a 3 issue mini-series, 2003)
- Zombie (limited series, 2006) and Zombie: Simon Garth (2007)
- Vertigo (DC Comics), DC Comics' mature-readers imprint.
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- Singh, Arune (June 2, 2006). "Marvel Fanboys: Mike Raichit Talks 'Zombie'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-03-11.