The logo for the MAX imprint
|Parent company||Marvel Comics|
|Country of origin||U.S.A.|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Key people||Joe Quesada
|Publication types||comic books|
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 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)
- 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 (2012)
- Haunt of Horror:
- Hellstorm: Son of Satan (2006)
- The Hood (2002)
- Howard the Duck (limited series, 2002)
- Max Payne 3 (2013)
- Fantomex (2013)
- The Punisher: Born (limited series, 2003)
- 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)
- Moore, Matt. "Marvel Promotes Axel Alonso to Editor-in-Chief", ABC News, January 4, 2011
- Jonah Weiland (July 5, 2001). "Marvel's New Ratings System... Explained!". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "2000s". Marvel Chronicle: A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 307. ISBN 978-0756641238.
- Comic Book First: Gay Gunslinger, CBS News, 2002-12-11, retrieved 2009-03-21
- "Marvel Comics to unveil gay gunslinger", CNN, 2002-12-09, retrieved 2009-03-21
- Palmer, Joe (2006-10-16), Gay Comics 101, AfterElton.com, retrieved 2009-03-21
- James Adams, "Code Red in the New Comicdom", The Globe and Mail, May 2, 2002, p. R9
- "Deadpool Max (2010-2011) at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
- Aguirre-Sacasa talks "Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing", Comic Book Resources, February 13, 2008
- Richards, Dave WW Philly: Devil-Slayer Returns in "Dead of Night", Comic Book Resources, May 31, 2008
- Warren Simons & Brian Keene On Max's Devil-Slayer, Newsarama, June 3, 2008
- Swierczynski on “Werewolf By Night", Comic Book Resources, December 19, 2008
- NYCC: Kirkman Talks "Destroyer MAX", Comic Book Resources, April 19, 2008
- NYCC '08: Robert Kirkman on Destroyer MAX, Newsarama, April 19, 2008
- Ekstrom, Steve (July 13, 2009). "Return to Fortune: Chaykin on Dominic Fortune MAX". Newsarama. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
- MAX'ing Out The Future: Azel Alonso Talks Marvel MAX , Newsarama, July 11, 2007
- Gregg Hurwitz Talks Foolkiller, Newsarama, July 13, 2007
- Haunt of Horror: Edgar Allan Poe at the Comic Book DB
- Corben and Lovecraft at Marvel in June, Newsarama, March 20, 2008
- Shout at the Devil: Irvine talks "Son of Satan", Comic Book Resources, June 2, 2006
- WW Philadelphia - Axel Alonso on The Return of Hellstrom, Newsarama, June 2, 2006
- Heroes Con '09: Marvel's Starr the Slayer Returns, Newsarama, June 19, 2009
- HeroesCon: Way & Corben Talk “Starr the Slayer", Comic Book Resources, June 20, 2009
- Nick Lowe on Marvel Max's War is Hell series, Newsarama, January 7, 2008
- Laura Hudson, Ennis Moves from Punisher to Phantom Eagle, Publishers Weekly, February 19, 2008.
- Singh, Arune (June 2, 2006). "Marvel Fanboys: Mike Raichit Talks 'Zombie'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-03-11.