The Mighty Max Animated Series aired from 1993 to 1994 with a total of 40 episodes spanning two seasons.

History[edit | edit source]

The series follows Max, an adventurous preteen boy who receives a package in the mail. The package contains a small statue of a fowl, inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. The translation reveals a message which reads: "You have been chosen to be the cap-bearer. Go to the mini-mart and wait for a sign, Mighty Max." Shocked by the message, Max drops the statue, shattering it and revealing a red baseball cap emblazoned with a yellow "M" which he puts on.

Upon arriving at the mini-mart, he is chased by a lava-monster sent by Skullmaster, a megalomaniacal demon who lives within the earth and has the power to create evil minions. As Max races away, the cap activates a vortex which transports him instantly from his current location (which is assumed to be somewhere in the United States), to the Mongolian desert, where Max is met by Virgil, a nearly-omniscient Lemurian, whose appearance is that of an anthropomorphic "fowl" (a running gag in the series is that Max refers to Virgil as a "chicken" to which the Lemurian replies "Fowl, actually."). Virgil explains that Max's reception of the cap was prophesized circa 3,000 BC. Max, Virgil, and Norman, his Viking bodyguard (he is three times larger than Max), travel together around the world, defending Earth against the minions of Skullmaster, who is responsible for the downfall of both the Lemurians and the people of Atlantis. Norman is supposedly immortal and has improvised being various legends, including Sir Lancelot, Thor, Samson, and Hercules, as first talked about in episode 5, "Let Sleeping Dragons Lie!" Norman finds Thor's hammer and helm and uses them throughout the episode. When Max first sees him he asks, "You were Thor!?" and Virgil explains that to maintain the Cosmic Balance they had to call in outside help.

Most plot-driving episodes involve Skullmaster or one of his demons, but in many episodes, Max is required to intervene to stop an independent villain. While all episodes involve travel across Earth, one involves time travel, and the portal can even extend into the astral plane as seen in the episode "Souls of Talon."

While generally lighthearted and comical, the show's violence and descriptions of violent acts were considered graphic by some viewers. Many episodes began with a prologue of a person being killed by the episode's menace, while nothing graphic is shown it was more grown up than most shows aimed at children.

The show's dark series finale featured Max, Norman, and Virgil pitted against Skullmaster and their previously defeated foes. Both Norman and Virgil are killed, leaving Max as the only one to defeat Skullmaster, who is about to gain ultimate power. In the final struggle, Max is unable to defeat Skullmaster, and instead of allowing him to conquer the world uses the cap to send time backwards to the events of the first episode, creating a time paradox. At first, he doesn't remember anything and experiences déjà vu, but after he reads Virgil's modified letter, he recalls everything.

List of episodes[edit | edit source]

  1. A Bellwether in One's Cap
  2. The Brain Suckers Cometh!
  3. Day of the Cyclops
  4. Snakes and Laddies
  5. The Mother of All Adventures
  6. Let Sleeping Dragons Lie!
  7. Norman's Conquest
  8. Rumble in the Jungle
  9. Bring Me the Head of Mighty Max
  10. Less Than 20,000 Squid Heads Under the Sea
  11. Werewolves of Dunneglen
  12. Out in the Cold
  13. The Maxnificent Seven
  14. Pandora's Box, Part 1
  15. Pandora's Box, Part 2
  16. Blood of the Dragon
  17. The Missing Linked
  18. The Year of the Rat
  19. The Cyberskull Virus
  20. Zygote's Rhythm
  21. Along Came Arachnoid
  22. The Axeman Cometh
  23. Beetlemania
  24. Souls of Talon
  25. Tar Wars
  26. Clown Without Pity
  27. Max vs. Max
  28. Cyberskull II: the Next Level
  29. Fuath and Beggora
  30. Dawn of the Conqueror
  31. Scorpio Rising
  32. Zygote Music
  33. Good Golly Ms. Kali
  34. Around the World in Eighty Arms
  35. Fly by Night
  36. The Mommy's Hand
  37. I, Warmonger
  38. Sirius Trouble
  39. Armageddon Closer
  40. Armageddon Outta Here

Educational epilogue[edit | edit source]

In all episodes, there is a short ending scene which preludes the credits. Max is shown at his desk in his room, where he discusses with the audience some aspect of the episode in an educational way (similar to other children's cartoon series, including The Magic School Bus), usually the location where the events took place, etc.

Occasionally, Max is shown in another setting such as a library or museum, or is simply heard recorded on an answering machine (such as "Armageddon Outta Here", the series finale). However, these sequences were not broadcast in some regions, such as Britain.

Generally, the educational messages at the end of each shows were not the "remember to brush your teeth" type used in some action cartoons of the same time. Instead, the message was generally of scientific, historical, or cultural significance (for example, the mythology of another culture, new astronomical theories of that time, or the fact that Native Americans were first believed to be Indians by European explorers).

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