Maximus, an Inhuman, is a villain from Marvel Comics. He was the second son of two of Attilan's top geneticists, Agon, the head of the ruling Council of Geneticists, and Rynda, director of the Prenatal Care Center. Subjected to the DNA-altering Terrigen Mist when he was an infant, Maximus peculiarly showed no outward sign of any mutagenic change. As he matured, he hid his developing psionic powers from the community but was less successful at disguising his antisocial tendencies. When he was about sixteen, his elder brother Black Bolt was released from the protective chamber in which he had been confined since birth due to the destructive nature of his Terrigen mutation. One of Maximus' first ploys was an unsuccessful attempt to force his brother to unleash his highly destructive vocal powers in order to have him reincarcerated. A month later, Black Bolt witnessed Maximus making a treacherous pact with an emissary of the Kree, the alien race responsible for genetically accelerating the Inhumans eons before. In an attempt to stop the fleeing emissary so that he could be questioned by the ruling council, Black Bolt used his forbidden power of the quasi-sonic scream and blasted the alien ship out of the sky. When the ship crashed to earth, it landed on the parliament building, killing several key members of the Genetics Council, including the boys' parents. The reverberations of Black Bolt's voice also affected Maximus, who was standing nearby, addling his sanity and suppressing his nascent mental powers. When Black Bolt assumed the throne shortly thereafter, Maximus vowed to oppose his brother and eventually usurp his rule.
Maximus staged his first successful coup a few years later. By performing an illegal experiment on the Alpha Primitives, the subhuman worker clones that once served the Inhumans, Maximus created the Trikon, three bodiless energy beings of great destructive power. While the Trikon wreaked havoc in Attilan, Maximus was able to drive the Royal Family of the Inhumans out of the city in search of the amnesiac Medusa. In the several year interval before Black Bolt and his cousins located her in America, Maximus ruled Attilan in Black Bolt's stead. Feeling secure in his position, Maximus bade his servant, the Seeker, to locate the Royal Family and bring them back to Attilan. Immediately upon doing so, Black Bolt seized the crown back, to Maximus' dismay. Maximus, hoping to win back the public's affection, activated the Atmo-Gun device he had been working on, a machine he believed would kill the human race and leave all other living beings intact. Maximus miscalculated, however, and the device had no effect. Out of spite, Maximus used the device to erect a "negative zone" (not to be confused with the anti-matter dimension of that name,) a dark force sphere around Attilan, imprisoning the entire race inside. Black Bolt eventually liberated his people by using his quasi-sonic voice to destroy the barrier, at the price of devastating Attilan's ancient architecture.
Maximus then allied himself with six Inhuman criminals, sentenced for their treachery and subversive acts. Freeing Falcona, Aireo, Stallior, Nebulo, Leonus, and Timberius from their place of imprisonment with the Hulk's aid, Maximus then tricked the Hulk into breaching the protective barrier guarding a forbidden chemical substance created by the Inhuman scientist Romnar centuries previous. This substance had certain highly unstable energy absorbing capacities and Maximus intended to use it to usurp the throne again. Black Bolt overpowered him before he could do so.
Maximus succeeded in bringing about his second coup some months later. Drugging the Royal Family with will-deadening "hypno-potions," Maximus wrested the crown from Black Bolt and had the Royal Family imprisoned. Before he could activate his Hypno-Gun, which he believed would make all mankind surrender to his will, the Royal Family escaped and subdued him. Maximus' first coup had lasted several years; his second one several days. Escaping Attilan with his band of renegades in a rocket, Maximus landed in the South American country of Costa Salvador, and attempted to build a will-deadening device similar to his Hypno-Gun. His plans were opposed by the Hulk and the United States Army, however, and he and his allies were forced to flee again.
Returning to Attilan, Maximus was welcomed back by his brother Black Bolt who preferred Maximus to be somewhere he could be watched. Black Bolt detected that Maximus' psionic powers, suppressed since he was an adolescent, were beginning to return. Offering no explanation, Black Bolt had Maximus placed in a suspended animation capsule, inside which he could not use his powers. Black Bolt's cousin Gorgon, however, objected to Black Bolt's inhumane treatment of Maximus and freed him. Maximus immediately used his mental powers to subjugate the minds of the Inhuman populace and to give his brother Black Bolt amnesia. Maximus then restored the dark force barrier around Attilan and began negotiations with the alien Kree to sell certain Inhumans to the Kree to be used as soldiers. Eventually Black Bolt's memory returned, and alongside the Avenger, he returned to Attilan and once again destroyed the barrier. The Avengers drove the Kree agent away before he could accomplish his mission and Black Bolt liberated the enslaved Inhumans. Maximus' third takeover of Attilan lasted several weeks.
With his mental powers traumatically submerged, Maximus escaped strict punishment for his treachery by feigning insanity. He then began work on his next project to usurp the throne, the construction of the android Omega, whose power source was supposedly the collective guilt evinced by the Inhuman populace over their treatment of the subhuman Alpha Primitives. The Fantastic Four helped the Royal Family thwart the construct, and the damage it caused was slight. Maximus staged his fourth successful coup a short time later when the Royal Family had briefly left Attilan on business. Taking Crystal and her husband Quicksilver captive, Maximus forced Black Bolt to give him the crown in order to spare their lives. Black Bolt did so, and allowed himself to be placed in captivity. Maximus had reestablished contact with the Kree and had negotiated a deal where the Kree would take all of the Inhumans with extraordinary abilities, leaving him the other half of the population to rule. Triton and Karnak managed to rescue most of Maximus' captives and outwit the Kree agent Shatterstar. Unaware of the victory, Black Bolt let loose with his quasi-sonic scream in agony, once again leveling the city. Angered by what had happened, Black Bolt struck Maximus for the first time and had him imprisoned.
Maximus then allied himself with the Enclave, a band of human scientists who managed to capture Medusa. The Enclave wanted to conquer Attilan and dispatched an aerial strike force. When the Enclave threatened to execute Medusa, however, Maximus turned on them out of unrequited passion for his brother's betrothed. A weapon Maximus was manning overloaded, leaving Maximus in a death-like coma. Black Bolt had his brother's body placed in a special crypt, and when Attilan was transported from the earth to the moon, Maximus accompanied it. On the moon, Maximus' mind made contact with an alien power crystal located there, and it reawakened his dormant mental powers. When Black Bolt next came to pay his respects to his brother, Maximus was able to use his power to affect a transfer of consciousness between them. For several months Maximus ruled Attilan in Black Bolt's body as Black Bolt lay imprisoned in a tube. Reestablishing contact with the Enclave, Maximus helped them implement meteoroid launchers with which they intended to bombard Earth. With the aid of the Avengers, Maximus' switch was discovered, and the Enclave's schemes were foiled. Maximus was forced to return to his rightful body and was once again placed in solitary confinement.
During Secret Invasion, Maximus killed the Skrull posing as Ahura. He then aided the Inhumans in fighting the Skrulls. In their subsequent takeover of the Kree empire, Maximus' inventions (previously locked away in the Chamber of Devices) were instrumental in the Inhumans' victory. During this period, though still insane, Maximus appeared to be more stable, especially when he was able to devote his energy and attention to his inventions, chief among them trying to adapt the Terrigen Mist to affect the Kree and encourage their evolution, though he was forced to focus on the war effort as the fight against Vulcan grew more difficult. After Black Bolt's death and Medusa's ascension to the throne (now ruling both the Shi'ar and Kree empires), Maximus appeared to have turned against the Inhumans again, when it was discovered that he had created cybernetic beings disguised as Kree which had attacked Crystal and Ronan. However, when Crystal, Ronan, and Gorgon gathered a group to go after Maximus, he refused to fight them with his full abilities and it was revealed that he was acting on Medusa's orders, creating threats against the Kree that the Inhumans could then defeat so they would appear both powerful and dedicated to the protection of their subjects.
Before Thanos' invasion on Earth, Maximus helped Black Bolt build a secret bomb which contained the Terrigen Mists. Once detonated, the bomb spread the Terrigen Mists upon the entire face of Earth, awakening the latent powers of millions of Inhuman descendants.
When Black Bolt was kidnapped by Thanos' Black Order, Maximus helped the Illuminati find him. Black Bolt was found in Wakanda, where Thanos' lieutenant Supergiant was planning to mind-control him into activating the Illuminati's hidden arsenal of anti-matter bombs. Once the Illuminati were defeated by a mind-controlled Black Bolt, Maximus appeared and taunted Supergiant, who was looking for the trigger of the bombs Maximus had found. Maximus triggered the bombs, but used Lockjaw to transport them along with Supergiant to a distant abandoned planet.
Black Bolt was liberated, and left the scene along with Maximus and Lockjaw. In the Himalayas, Black Bolt hid the Terrigen Codex, and made Maximus understand his survival and that of his brother were to be kept a secret. Maximus also discovered that Black Bolt was going to activate the Terrigen Bomb anyways for a new age for the Inhumans to begin.
Fantastic Four Animated Series
Maximus appeared in the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series voiced by Mark Hamill. Maximus was always jealous of Black Bolt. When his brother left the Great Refuge to search for his wife Medusa, Maximus took power ruling over the city. He made leaving the Refuge an act of treason in order to keep his brother and sister-in-law out forever. The Fantastic Four followed Medusa back to the city and they fought him. Maximus tried to use the Terrigen Mists to kill the humans, but they were too similar to the Inhumans to have much of an effect. As a last ditch effort, Maximus created the Negative Barrier to trap all those within the Refuge in and keep all others out. The Fantastic Four escaped but the Inhumans were trapped.
Over time the Inhumans became more desperate as food, water, and air began to run low. Maximus went crazy, seeming to revert to a child-like state of mind though he did keep on inventing various devices. Black Bolt then used his voice to destroy the barrier, which destroyed the Refuge as well. The Inhumans went on to find a new home.
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
Maximus appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Inhuman Nature", voiced by Nolan North. He secretly builds a weapon that would wipe out all human life, though it would be ineffective against the Inhumans. Only Crystal is aware of this weapon. For the majority of the episode he has the other Inhumans battle the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. He is eventually exposed and defeated, though he reactivates the barrier that shields their city from the rest of the world, but it is destroyed by Black Bolt.