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The Supervillain Reader$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826466

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826466.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021



Gloriously Flawed Saviors

(p.372) Afterword
The Supervillain Reader

Randy Duncan

University Press of Mississippi

The Maxx, like so many other productions of the 1990s, is currently enjoying a resurgence and return to cultural relevance in a remastered IDW edition (with new colors by Ronda Pattison) in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its first printing with Image Comics.The Maxx remains equal parts provocative, disturbing, and inscrutable because of Sam Kieth’s confrontation of the psychological landscape and conditions of the superhero genre itself: the inherent schizophrenia of the masked split identity, the interdependent triangulation of hero/villain/victim, and the necessity of victimhood as a precondition of heroism and rescue. In tandem with this, Kieth’s aesthetics – particularly his use of panels, insets, colors, and gutters – almost weaponizes the technical aspects of sequential art in order to impose the scattered, unreliable, and atemporal experience of trauma itself on the reader.

Keywords:   Trauma, Image Comics, Sam Kieth, Victim, nineties

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