The best day of my life.
I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED
Once upon a 20 years ago, we were living in a brighter, happier time; It was a time of neon colors, Air Jordans, Looney Tunes desperately trying unironically to be hip and rad, and fucking amazing bite-size toys being sold to children with naught a care for safety concerns.
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but each of those playsets is only a smidge smaller than the size of an adult hand. You see the fucking detail in that playset? THAT SCORPION IS BARELY AN INCH BIG.
These were the Mighty Max toys, the male counterpart to the pink and girly and AWESOME Polly Pocket line, and they were fucking amazing. You could collect them all and fit every single one into your backpack at once (Except Skull Mountain) and show them off to your friends and be king of the playground. Except me, because I was a 6-year-old girl and none of my female friends liked boy stuff. Also these toys technically belonged to my brother so he probably would have hit me if I took his stuff to school.
Anyway, this was the 90’s, and the 90’s (particularly the early to mid-nineties) were saturated with toys and their accompanying 50-episode commercials, and Mighty Max was no different.
The real selling point was the playsets (and thus, the locations) themselves, and this was something the show played up immensely.
Mighty Max, the character, had a magical ten-thousand year old baseball cap (just roll with it) that could transport him anywhere in the world via a vast network of one-way portals stretching across the globe and even into space. So one day, he’d be fighting the big bad Skullmaster in
and then he might go to Scotland to help some werewolves
Then a week later he’ll be in the Aleutian islands in Alaska at a weather station doing a giant love letter to cinematic classic The Thing
Then heck, why not stop by Akihabara to deal with a rogue programer and his out of control video game?
Or even get down with his groovy side and chill out in the Astral plane to face off agaHOLY FUCKING HELL WHAT IS THIS THING
Anyway, the point is, the toys (and by extension, the show) were SUPER creative with their settings and didn’t shy away from trying to introduce kids to new cultures and mythology (though sometimes the show would get it wrong, it was the 90’s and research wasn’t as easy as Google back then; THERE WAS STILL A DEFINITE EFFORT). There were episodes that took place in Haiti, Peru, Egypt, India, Tibet, EARTH’S ORBIT, everywhere.
Of course, all of these words and I haven’t even gotten to the best part
the CHARACTERS and the STORY ARC
Let me tell you something, whippersnappers: Back in my day, cartoons were episodic and had status quo… Except when shows like Mighty Max were bold enough to break the mold, and actually dedicate episodes to telling a complete story.
It’s a Chosen One narrative at its core, long before books like Harry Potter popularized the trope among children, but even this early on Mighty Max was already deconstructing the trope before it became a thing.
Right from the start, the show makes it clear that even though Max is “destined” to win, he’s completely emotionally unprepared for what he has to deal with. Even when he finally accepts the responsibility of what he has to do, he learns very quickly that just because he’s destined to stand victorious doesn’t mean that victory won’t come without a price.
And then there’s the rest of the core cast.
I’m not going to waste any more time going into each character’s personality, but the chemistry between Max, Virgil and Norman is one of the greatest parts of this show. They have their differences, but they also have complete faith and trust in one another to have each other’s backs and rarely waste time bickering, even when the stakes are high.
The closest we get is when Virgil the noble chicken ("Fowl, actually!”) gets obsessive about making sure the prophecy is properly fulfilled, and he’s understandably neurotic about it because the last guy who had Max’s job died on Virgil’s watch.
And as long as I’m mentioning Max’s two dads, let’s give a special mention to his AMAZING SINGLE MOTHER WHO IS AN ARCHAEOLOGIST
WHO KNOWS HER SON IS A SUPERHERO AND PARTICIPATES ON HIS ADVENTURES SOMETIMES
And I just.
I love this show so much, you guys.
Please do yourselves a favor and watch Mighty Max.
PS: If you want to just skip to the core story arc episodes, those are:
- A Bellwether In One’s Cap
- Let Sleeping Dragons Lie (optional)
- Bring Me The Head of Mighty Max
- The Magnificent Seven
- Pandora’s Box
- Blood of the Dragon
- Along Came Arachnoid (optional, not really part of the story arc, but provides some setup for later events)
- Souls of Talon (optional; again, provides some setup for the finale)
- Max vs Max
- I, Warmonger
- Armageddon Closer / Armageddon Outta Here
If this excellent post doesn’t already entice you to check the show out, I’ll offer this clip of Tim Curry teaching you a thousand subtle shades of pain and a hundred ways to die.
I think you’re absolutely right on both points.
I always think it’s the funniest thing when fans get angry at male characters being portrayed as emotional/prone to crying in fandom, regardless of whether or not they are either of those things in canon. I could understand the sentiment if it were about female characters, because it’s wrapped up in complex gender politics and history, but I’m kind of at a loss at what there is to be offended by fic or art portraying an openly weeping male character.
I guess maybe fans who look up to/identify with those characters may feel disempowered by that portrayal? I feel the opposite; it’s really kind of a huge comfort, even a source of empowerment, to see those “weaknesses” I share be reflected in characters I can look up to or identify with.
Incidentally, I think this is a large part of why the 2002 Spider-Man movie really impacted and connected with me as a kid; I’d never seen this sort of hero before who was openly “weak” and vulnerable (in a way that wasn’t played for laughs), and didn’t demonstrate the traditional masculine strength and badass that most big action heroes to come out of western media showed. I know the loss of his snark from the comics and emphasis on his weaknesses was a huge source of complaints for fans of the comics, but, honestly, I’d rather have that be lost than the vulnerability that struck such a chord with me as a kid.
(gif by thepreciousthing)
first encounter vs. final battle
does “pen dont look” or something like that work?
Does it have to be all teeth missing or is one missing tooth enough to warrant a tag
One missing tooth is enough, yeah!
I’ve got a few items on my blacklist, but there’s one in particular I’d really, really appreciate if you could all tag:
That’s fear of losing teeth. This applies to things like teeth-pulling, people getting their teeth knocked out, pictures of people who had all their teeth now visibly missing them, as well as any discussion of these topics. It may sound like much, but it freaks me out a lot. On that note, if I’m planning on getting into some form of media featuring one of these things, I’d greatly appreciate being warned ahead of time!
The word is a mouthful, I know, and I definitely don’t expect anyone to remember that exact word and spelling offhandedly. Have it saved in a document or a draft or something for reference so you can just copy and paste it when tagging.
"Show, don’t tell" is not the be all and end all rule of writing. Just as many readers prefer their writing to have extra meat to chew on its words and meaning, other readers struggle with reading comprehension that makes this particular angle of writing difficult, if not impossible for them to fully enjoy. A simple, cut-and-dry piece is just as capable of leaving readers cold as it is making an impact on them.
You can’t please everyone, and the one of the most popular pieces of writing advice is not immune to this.