Maxima once ruled a vast intergalactic empire centered on her homeworld of Almerac. For thousands of years, her ancestors had intermarried with races from other worlds, breeding for strength, for speed, and for power. Representing the apex of Almeracian eugenics, Maxima resolved to continue in the same tradition of her people. To that end, she became obsessed with expanding her galactic reach and, most importantly, securing a suitable mate to father an heir to her glorious realm. When Sazu, her personal handmaiden, intercepted a subspace transmission detailing the astonishing feats of Superman in the gladiatorial games of Mongul's Warworld, Maxima was sure she had found her man. Without further delay, she set out to make the Man of Steel her husband. But despite Maxima's beauty and power, Superman consistently eluded her for various reasons. As a result, Maxima's admiration turned to rage, and she became his enemy.
Maxima was created by writer Roger Stern and artist George Pérez as a powerful female antagonist for Superman, but one who would also harbor a strong romantic interest in him. The character was conceived during the period of the late eighties and early nineties, when comic book specialty stores were dominated by X-Men related titles. Aside from the conspicuous visual similarities to Marvel's Jean Grey, Maxima's creators also borrowed elements from other popular X-book characters such as Magneto, Nightcrawler, and Professor X. Her first appearance was in Action Comics #645, published by DC Comics in September 1989.
Major Story Arcs
First Pursuit of Superman
For further details: The Day of the Krypton Man
Initially, Maxima sent her royal advisor, Sazu, along with a near perfect duplicate of herself to seduce Superman on his adopted home planet of Earth. Despite Sazu's attempts to extinguish the warrior queen's growing fascination with Krypton's last son, Maxima soon traveled to Earth herself. After first engaging Superman in battle to test his mettle, the Almeracian aristocrat managed to obtain some privacy for the two of them by luring her prospective mate beneath the waves at the bottom of Metropolis Harbor. There, Maxima revealed that she could bring new life to Krypton's lost race by giving to Superman what no earth woman could -- children. While the Man of Steel expressed among other things that he had no desire to father despots, it was soon revealed that an ancient artifact called the Eradicator was interfering. Earth's champion had been reformatted in favor of the sentient program's own cold, cerebral, and unemotional matrix. Not knowing where this attitude of dismissal was coming from, Maxima ceased making advances at Superman during this initial encounter, stating: "Sazu was right, you are unworthy of the bloodline, but not because you are overly merciful. Far from it. You have become heartless, passionless. Whatever fire that once lurked within has been eradicated, replaced with a presence of horrible sterility. I'll not find a mate in so cold a knave!" Ultimately, these rocky beginnings set a precedent for the type of rapport that Maxima and Superman would have in future confrontations.
Panic in the Sky
For further details: Panic in the Sky
As time passed, Maxima's fury towards Superman abated when Brainiac gained control over Warworld, and used the engine of destruction to wreak havoc on her home planet of Almerac. To save her people from complete annihilation, the Warrior Queen pretended to ally herself with the powerful telepath, and acted as his chief officer. As the cosmically powered Brainiac proceeded towards Earth to engage Superman and a host of other heroes in battle, Maxima took advantage of the chaos and flipped over to the side of the heroes. As soon as Brainiac's direct connection in the heart of Warworld was severed, Maxima lobotomized him.
Although the Earth was saved at the conclusion of the Panic in the Sky crisis, Almerac was left in ruins. As a result, Maxima made it an even higher priority to find a suitable mate to help her restore her empire. To that end, she decided to remain on Earth. At the time, the Justice League's ranks were suffering the sudden loss of the Silver Sorceress, the mysterious departure of J'onn J'onzz, and the terminated membership of L-Ron. Soon, Maxima found herself helping the remaining League defeat the Weapons Master.
Meanwhile, Maxwell Lord was working furiously behind the scenes to secure the team's funding by dealing with the UN. Immediately following their success in the field, the shrewd businessman took advantage of the small moral victory he sensed within the group and recruited Maxima. Much to Superman's dismay, Maxima's agreement to be with the League was first and foremost a means to keep an eye on her top prospect. She was formally made a member of the team in Justice League of America vol. 2 #63.
Eventually, Ultraa, Maxima's betrothed from childhood, followed her to Earth after hearing that Maxima was seeking to mate with one called 'Superman'. As a clear sign that she still had feelings for the Man of Steel, she rejected the Almeracian warlord on the grounds that since coming to Earth, she had become familiar with mercy and unselfishness.
Maxima came to an understanding over Superman's dismissal of her, but she was still determined to find a worthy mate to father her children. She entered a romance with Captain Atom and followed him into battle as part of the Extreme Justice team ( Extreme Justice #0). While on the team her relationship with Captain Atom deteriorated, so she became romantically involved with another teammate, Amazing Man. Neither of these relationships, nor her subsequent pursuit of Aquaman, ever worked out for various reasons.
Superman Revenge Squad
Unfortunately, the series of failed relationships and Maxima's own superiority complex caused lingering resentment over her rejection by the man she had always wanted most, Superman, to flare up with a vengeance. She returned to villainy and entered a partnership with the so-called Superman Revenge Squad, a group of supervillains who all harbored extreme grudges against the Man of Steel and were determined destroy him. Ultimately the Revenge Squad was unsuccessful, and Maxima's involvement with it became a black mark on her career, which had otherwise been on an impressive path to redemption.
Our Worlds at War
Fickle though she was, Maxima never once backed down from a fight, even at the very end. During the Our Worlds at War story arc in 2001, the seemingly unstoppable world-destroying being known as Imperiex attacked and leveled Almerac. Maxima apparently gave her own life in Man of Steel #117 so that Earth, her adopted home, would not suffer the same terrible fate. Her remains were never found, but she has not been seen since.
Beyond The Reach Of Time
For further details: Armageddon 2001
On three separate occasions during the Armageddon 2001 crossover series, Superman was shown a sequence of future timelines by the time traveller, Waverider. During the story arc, Superman demonstrated the ability to recall his own experiences from the future when he snapped back to the present. This unknown recall ability caused each timeline to close in favor of the next in the series as Superman made different choices going forward. Specifically, Superman`s memories of the future told in Superman Annual No. 3, and Action Comics Annual No. 3 caused a reshuffling of predestined events, creating a new timeline that favored Maxima`s dream of marrying Superman. Waverider was uneasy with the fact that Superman could retain at least a vague memory of future experiences. As such, he looked into the Man of Steel's potential future one last time in Adventures of Superman Annual No. 3 to determine once and for all if he was destined to become the mysterious villain known as Monarch, who had murdered all of DC's heroes in Waverider's future.
In this future, Superman was shown to have married Lois Lane. Soon, Lois became pregnant, but because her human body was unable to withstand the unborn infant's super-powered kicks from inside her womb, she died while carrying their first child. Devastated and blaming himself for the tragedy, Superman left Earth and was prepared to simply waste away and die in outer space when he was attacked by one of Almerac's powerful enemies. Maxima intervened and saved Superman's life, but revealed that she was unwillingly engaged to be married to the ruthless Krenon cyborg De'Cine as part of a treaty to secure peace with the Krenon Empire. Sensing Superman's emotional vulnerability, Maxima took a different approach with the Man of Steel this time, doing her best to be kind and understanding towards him, and in the process the two actually fell in love. After Superman helped Maxima eliminate De'Cine, the two decided to leave Earth forever in order to protect it from Krenon reprisal. As they departed together, Maxima remarked to Superman what fine children they would have.
Maxima is set to make her debut into the DCnU in Supergirl #36. Being redesigned by the series penciller Emanuela Lupacchino. She will be attending the Crucible Academy where students survival is not guaranteed.
- Height: 6' 2"
- Weight: 140 lbs (64 kg)
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Red
- Citizenship: Almeracian
- Place of Birth: Almerac
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupations: Queen of the Almeracian Empire, Adventurer, former member of the Justice League of America, former member of Extreme Justice
- Known Relatives: Kristoph [cousin; deceased]
Most of Maxima's personal data was published in Who's Who in the DC Universe No. 2. While she is listed as 6' 2" in height, she was often depicted as having Amazonian physical proportions next to other characters. For example, in Justice League America No. 61, Blue Beetle (5' 11") was only chest-high compared to her, and she condescendingly referred to him as "tiny one." Superman (6' 3") was the only Justice Leaguer from that era who came close to her height, but even then she appeared to be nearly a full head taller than him.
Powers and Abilities
As an Almeracian of Royal descent, Maxima's immense powers stem from having been the product of gene therapy and generations of selective breeding.
Being able to lift well over 100 tons under normal conditions, Maxima possesses a level of superhuman strength that puts her in Wonder Woman's and Superman's class. In addition, her psionic abilities allow her to augment her physical prowess beyond those in her tier. During Doomsday's first battle with the Justice League, other than Superman, Maxima was the only other League member able to trade blows with him.
Based on her first account to Superman, Maxima comes from a hearty star-spanning people who wage war tirelessly. Her own family spent thousands of years conquering, and assimilating only the strongest survivors from carefully selected worlds with rich genetic stock. Accordingly, Maxima continued the same progression of striving without exhaustion through sheer force of will and psychic discipline. Her stamina has been credited specifically as being the attribute that allowed her to gain victory over Hank King in a telepathic duel.
Maxima's first appearances demonstrated a degree of speed in combat that went well into the hypersonic. In Action Comics No. 651, Superman observed Maxima using her telekinesis to pilot Sazu back to her orbiting spaceship at escape velocity while rocketing there herself. Superman flew in to intercept, but instead of getting Maxima to break from her straight escape trajectory, the fiery monarch engaged Earth's Mightiest Hero head on in a game of chicken. As the two were about to pass one another, she reached out, grabbed his arm, and performed a judo throw on the Man of Steel. On another occasion, while observing Jay Garrick fight at super speed in Justice League America No. 78, Maxima remarked that he was fighting at a level of skill and intensity that would make a warrior of Almerac proud. Finally, Maxima and Superman traded blows for the last time out in space during the Our Worlds At War event. The lead-up to this last encounter is noteworthy since earlier, Superman and Kyle Rayner were doing a quick circuit of the solar system. Before their warm-up was interrupted by Maxima, Superman made mention of the sun being unblocked by Earth's atmosphere while doing loop-de-loops around the young Green Lantern.
Maxima has been seemingly conservative with the use of this powerful skill in combat. By contrast, the Warrior Queen has shown no qualms teleporting those she has deemed beneath her. That being said, she has demonstrated the capacity to forego her bloodlust, and use her teleportation strategically when more is on the line. When she first appeared on Earth in the flesh, she employed this ability in more of a theatrical way as a means to instill fear in her servant, Sazu.
In Action Comics No. 645, when Maxima could not find Earth's Champion at the Daily Planet, she quickly teleported herself, Sazu, and Malcolm to Metropolis City Hall, and held Mayor Berkowitz hostage with the goal of coaxing Superman out of hiding. During the "Panic In the Sky!" story arc, while governing her passions closely by maintaining the ruse of an Alliance with Brainiac, she used this ability to retreat when Matrix Supergirl, and Draaga ceased being mind-slaves in the middle of a heated battle.
She has shown the ability to teleport herself or others in and out of a battle over interstellar distances. In Justice League America No. 66, while she was attempting to win Superman's heart as a Justice League member, Maxima complied with Earth's judicial process by teleporting Sazu back to Metropolis. Maxima mentioned that Sazu was teleported to Earth from a prison on a distant planet. This feat is especially noteworthy since in earlier appearances, both Maxima and Sazu have stated that Earth is a backwater world far from established star routes. Moreover, in Superman Man of Steel No. 115, Adam Strange used his Zeta-Beam technology to teleport Superman and himself from Earth's solar system to Almeracian space. The Savior of Rann mentioned a distance traveled of 100 trillion light years.
Maxima can generate defensive force-field bubbles to shield herself, and or others. This skill allows her to travel unaffected by the intense pressures of the ocean's depths, or the vaccuum of outer space. She can also use this skill for offense by trapping an opponent and constricting the space inside the shield, crushing them, or letting the air run out.
In Aquaman No. 41, Power Girl attempted an underwater ambush on Maxima's shield as the King of Atlantis was being psionically assaulted inside. Maxima's shield didn't drop, but Kara's surprise attack winded the Almeracian warrior briefly. Although Aquaman took the opportunity to mention that Maxima's force bubble wouldn't be able to hold up to the pounding of Power Girl's punches, Maxima's shield was more solid for Kara's second punch.
In Superman No. 159, Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner and Superman were investigating the disappearance of Pluto when Maxima showed up with what appeared to be an army of Almeracians. Contrary to what Superman thought was an invasion of his solar system, Maxima was in fact leading a mass exodus away from her devastated home world. By creating a psionic highway, the Empress of Almerac provided intergalactic transport for the remnants of her people to rendezvous with Grayven.
Maxima has exhibited immense telekinetic control over metals at the molecular level. She can cause metal to melt with a thought, or rearrange the molecules of scraps into anything she chooses, such as weapons or armor. In Justice League America No. 63, Maxima used her psionic power over metal to breach the hull of a wrecked interstellar craft that was submerged at the bottom of Manhattan's East River.
Three more examples of her ferrokinesis are in the following three books. Extreme Justice No. 6, Maxima used this ability to isolate herself atop a massive metal tower. When Captain Atom ascended the tower to try and reason with her, Maxima restrained him with metal tendrils that she animated in a liquid-like fashion out of the structure around her. In Justice League America No. 73, Dr. Destiny was responsible for making several Justice League members act very much out of character. The rogue heroes were capturing, torturing, and maiming super-villains. When one of the prison ships that they were using to capture super-villains attacked Maxima, she focused her ferrokinesis into a beam, and disassembled the ship into its separate components without incinerating the men inside. Later, in the same story-arc told in Justice League America No. 75 , Maxima directed this ability on the Red Tornado, easily pulling him apart.
In addition to metals, Maxima has demonstrated the ability to alter other inorganic matter with a thought. The full extent of Maxima's skill in this area is unknown. In Action Comics #645, Maxima's entourage coordinated a rendezvous with a fashion designer. Ultimately, none of Maxima's attendants expected to pay for anything, so the designer and her company of models were rudely escorted out of the meeting room. Soon afterward, while barefoot, and wearing a small bathrobe, she transmuted what little she had on into one of the ensembles she had just seen: a power suit jacket, blouse, black skirt, high heels, and a gold chain choker. She also did this in Justice League America No. 66, when at the request of Superman to be more conservatively dressed, Maxima transmuted the typical light armor that she usually wore into a green suit jacket and skirt.
When firing her molecular telekinesis out of her eyes, Maxima has shown the ability to control the level of physical damage she causes to an attacker. She can focus her optic beams to deliver immense concussive force, or emulate searing heat vision. Among others, Maxima has shown that she can stagger Captain Marvel, Power Girl, and even Superman on several occasions with her eye-beams. At times, her eye-beams have been dubbed 'Psi-bolts' by her opponents despite the evidence of receiving physical damage only.
The powerful Almeracian Mind Bolt, Psi-bolt, or Psychic Blast is a favorite of those in the Royal House. This skill is typically depicted as emanating from an Almeracian's forehead. Unlike the optical force beams, the Mind Bolt targets an opponent's mind directly by delivering pain, unconsciousness, brain damage, or even death. Regardless of all his physical strength and Mother Box enhanced defenses, Orion was quickly rendered paralyzed when Maxima turned this deadly power on him during the ' Panic In The Sky' event in Superman No. 65. At the conclusion of the same story arc in Superman No. 66, Maxima was in the process of killing Brainiac using this ability, but Superman intervened just before it was too late. Brainiac was left in a lobotomized state.
Maxima can communicate with other intelligent beings telepathically. She has used this skill as a probe to 'hear' a target's thoughts, and pinpoint their location. On several occasions, she has used this ability to find Superman in Metropolis; nearly exposing his secret identity in one case. In Superman Man Of Tomorrow No. 10, Maxima discovered that Superman had been split into two beings. To verify that what she was seeing wasn't a trick, Maxima employed a mental probe. She uncovered that both Superman Red, and Superman Blue had virtually identical minds and the same surface memories.
In Justice League No. 68, an ancient alien called Chaq encountered the JLA and revealed that he had purchased Earth and its entire solar system several hundred thousand years ago. According to Maxima, picking a fight with Chaq over the property deed would awaken powerful intergalactic governing bodies capable of subjugating Earth. Knowing who they were up against, Maxima enticed Chaq by offering to pay 800 trillion sentees (the well known currency of over 200 worlds) for the rights to the deed. While she was negotiating with the ancient alien, Maxima communicated instructions telepathically to Guy Gardner. Completely unaware that Guy's yellow power ring was being used to help pull off a scam, Chaq left Earth and gave up the deed after finding what looked like a deposit of 800 trillion sentees in his cargo hold.
For those times when Maxima may encounter an undisciplined mind that lacks coherent thought, she has demonstrated the ability to overcome this obstacle by using particularly strong telepathic skill in the area of 'hearing' emotions. During the ' Death of Superman' story arc, she was able to track Doomsday without the benefit of a previous encounter. Maxima described Doomsday's mind as harboring nothing more than hate, death and bloodlust personified.
Aside from its uses in tracking opponents, this ability has also allowed her to better understand the hidden motives of those around her. Having been bred as a warrior, Maxima's ability to sense emotions has helped her to more fully assess when to use tact and when to use force. In Justice League America No. 102, Maxima sensed a greater darkness behind Obsidian's pessimistic mood. Two issues later, Obsidian tried to commit suicide.
Maxima has the ability to subject others to her mind control abilities. In several appearances, she has shown the capacity to bend masses of people to her will. In Action Comics No. 730, while a member of the Superman Revenge Squad, Maxima was battling the Man of Steel in a scrapyard. She threw a car at a loaded ferry crossing Metropolis Harbor, causing the ship to sink. After Superman rescued the ship's full compliment of passengers, their eyes went blank. The crowd began attacking the Man of Steel by way of Maxima's mind control. In Justice League Quarterly No. 17, she altered a crack dealing pimp's mind by removing his capacity for violence, and erasing his ability to lie. In Justice League America Annual No. 6, the magical being Eclipso was about to initiate a plan that would allow him to possess all of the members of the JLA by first capturing J'onn J'onzz. However, the opportunity to first possess Maxima presented itself as Starman, who was eclipsed at the time, sensed the Warrior Queen's rage and approached her with a cursed gem. As soon as Maxima was possessed, Eclipso exclaimed,
"I feared the martian's absence would stall my plans...but the powers of this body are incredible! The powers of this mind...intoxicating!"
Sure enough, the Almeracian's mind control powers proved powerful enough to enslave Wonder Woman.
The Empress of Almerac has the ability to paralyze an opponent with her gaze. Against enemies with greater willpower, this skill has shown to be particularly effective as a lead in to another attack. In Action Comics No. 645, her duplicate used this skill on Lois Lane, and the staff at the Daily Planet, leaving them all standing around like zombies. Later that morning, Clark arrived and got Lois to snap out of her trance by shaking her and shouting. During Maxima's first face to face encounter with Superman, she used this skill to freeze the Man of Steel, leaving him more susceptible to her illusion casting. Despite her rather unfocused and irrational behavior in Aquaman No. 41, during a melee with Doctor Polaris, she lured him into her stare. Dolphin took advantage, and delivered an uppercut to his jaw while he was still disoriented.
Maxima has shown the ability to project powerful illusions into the minds of others. In Action Comics No. 651, Maxima cast the illusion into Superman's mind that he was a warlord on the Almeracian Queen's home world. The overriding presence of the Eradicator in Superman's mind at the time exposed the false reality for what it was. In Superman Man of Tomorrow No. 10, Maxima used her illusions against Dana Dearden, an obsessed Superman fan called Obsession. In the illusion, Superman had separated into four differently colored supermen. As the Empress of Almerac wanted Superman for herself, she showed each of the supermen disintegrating into powder. The ruse helped implant the suggestion into Obsession's mind that her love would bring Superman to an early end, and so she fled.
Maxima's constitution combined with her mental control is such that she can suspend her own vital functions temporarily. Despite being in a state of suspended animation, she has demonstrated the ability to be completely aware of potential danger around her. Near the end of her first encounter with the Man of Steel in Action Comics No. 651, Maxima halted her breathing and heartbeat to appear dead. Superman could not detect a pulse with his super-senses. When Maxima sensed that he was close enough, she woke up quickly and paralyzed him.
In Extreme Justice No. 18, Maxima took the point by assembling her finest psychic disciples to engage Brainwave II in combat on the astral plane. While the Queen of Almerac was employing a coordinated assault with her forces, Henry King Jr. relied more on raw power and intimidation by raising twisted manifestations of himself called 'Ego Warriors'. This feat is especially notable since in the real world, although Maxima's and Brainwave's physical bodies were in Florida, the physical bodies of Maxima's psychic warriors were nowhere to be seen. Moreover, while still living out her sentence of exile from Almerac, Maxima had none of her entourage with her on Earth for this occasion.
As the battle progressed, the tide was turning against Maxima's forces, and in the end, the Warrior Queen was the last Almeracian standing. Brainwave appeared to be feeding off of a supernatural power source; a familiar whose face was that of the original deceased Brainwave. Eventually, Maxima deduced that the familiar was in fact a manifestation of Henry's strong feelings of guilt associated with receiving his father's mentalist powers added to his own; powers that had once been used for evil. In order to have more witnesses to the truth that she had discovered, Maxima brought Zan, Jayna, and Blue Beetle into the astral plane. Finally, Maxima confronted Brainwave with the truth of the source of his madness, and the overriding presence of Henry's father vanished.
Thanks to her Almeracian physiology, Maxima is nearly impervious to injury. Her level of resistance to physical harm approaches that of a Kryptonian. In addition, as Maxima is able to boost her constitution and physical strength attributes by channeling her psionic powers internally, her resistance to physical harm also increases. During the Death of Superman story arc, besides the Man of Steel himself, Maxima was the only Justice League member durable enough to fight Doomsday evenly. In Superman No. 159, the Man of Steel used his X-Ray vision on Maxima to find weaknesses he could exploit with pressure point attacks. Although he connected with a two finger jab to her midsection, the Warrior Queen quickly shook off the attack and kept fighting.
Whether inside her vast intergalactic empire, or abroad, Maxima's high profile status can be both a blessing and a curse. As such, the Empress of Almerac has shown a preference for using simulacra that are virtually identical to her. Each simulacrum possesses powers similar to her, and are able to act in situations when she cannot be present. However, these proxies appear to be less invulnerable, and according to Superman, more restrained than the original Maxima. At the end of Action Comics No. 645, it is revealed that the Maxima on Earth at the time was indeed a simulacrum. This duplicate was atomized by Sazu's optical force beams. In Extreme Justice No. 10, Maxima was a approached by Captain Atom to organize a wedding shower for his then fiancee, Plastique. At the party, Maxima heard Carol Ferris scream in an adjacent room, so she burst through the door. No sooner had she entered the room than she was ambushed by Star Sapphire. In the next issue, Extreme Justice No. 11, Maxima appeared cut in two pieces on the floor. Her torso and lower body were left smouldering where Star Sapphire had sliced her with a sword. During a break in the fight that ensued, Plastique was able to examine the dead body. The corpse was already starting to lose cohesion. Soon, the real Maxima appeared on the scene to the surprise of everyone at the bridal shower. What appeared to be a lifeless flesh and blood Almeracian on the floor was in fact a mere vessel for Maxima's psychic consciousness.
By applying her telekinesis as a means for propulsion, Maxima is able to "fly". She has shown the ability to maneuver herself, other beings, or objects through the air at escape velocity. Having served on several incarnations of the Justice League, she was often counted on to provide flight for those teammates who were not gifted with the ability to fly. During the 'Our Worlds at War' event, Maxima also demonstrated that she was able to fly through space as her psionic highway carried the remnants of her people over interstellar distances below her.
In Justice League America No. 65, despite having been drained from a previous encounter with Starbreaker, Maxima closed numerous fissures on her home world by re-shifting continental plates together telekinetically.
When Brainiac had seized control of Warworld, and used the planet to boost his telepathic abilities to cosmic levels, Maxima was still able to plot behind his back and resist becoming one of his mind-slaves.
Maxima has displayed the ability to place her own psychic consciousness into her simulacrums. The full extent of her skill in this area is unknown.
Costumes and Equipment
Aside from the gowns, and casual attire she wears that are generally immodest by Superman's standards, Maxima has had four main costume variations:
Maxima's original costume designed by George Pérez was mostly green and gold. This look is the one most associated with her, and has been said to convey an exotic beauty. During the Maximum Orbit story arc, the Queen of Kreno requested that Maxima wear this costume specifically. The fiery tempered monarch was to be put on display in her familiar ceremonial Almeracian garb in a live intergalactic broadcast of a staged marriage to De'Cine.
In Justice League America No. 71, many were still trying to cope with the loss of Superman after his climactic battle with Doomsday. Wishing to separate herself from those she felt were wallowing in misery, Maxima created a new costume as a cathartic exercise, hoping to leave her sense of loss in the past. Having also expressed a desire to honor Superman's heroism and sacrifice, this look also appears to take Kal's suggestions to heart as it is much more conservative.
From this point forward, her appearances on various incarnations of the Justice League had her sporting this new addition to her wardrobe. Although this costume was new for Maxima, the violet/yellow color scheme and design matched the retro costume worn by Ultraa. In Justice League Quarterly No. 13, the connection was taken to its natural conclusion as Ultraa, retaining his look from the Silver Age, was retconned into an Almeracian warlord.
While a member of Captain Atom's strike team that had splintered away from the JLA, in Extreme Justice No. 6, Maxima unveiled another new look reminiscent of the one she first wore in Action Comics. Although this costume seemed to bring her back to more of a traditional feel with the familiar red and gold, she chose not to wear any green. Despite the absence of an explanation for this change, circumstances suggested that this was an outward sign of where her heart was leading her at the time.
After not making further headway in her pursuit of Captain Atom, Maxima became interested in the green clad Amazing Man. Also of note, her whole appearance during this period reflected a lot of the trends that were going on in the mid nineties with the bigger shoulder pads and armor.
Although Maxima considered many of Earth's heroes on the JLA to be her family, eventually, the alien monarch grew tired of the internal politics within each group. Ultimately, she decided to go solo once again. Her later appearances had her back in her familiar green, gold and red.
This version of her costume was very close to the original, but retained the newer light armor feel and doubled up shoulder pads. Her gloves and boots were much more souped up. Her cape was a much more solid yellow.
Despite having shown the ability to cross interstellar distances without the need of a spacecraft, the extremely high-profile Empress had access to her own private Imperial Starship. As a result of having very few living servitors she could fully trust, Maxima found a semblance of comfort commanding her spacecraft and the electronic underlings aboard.
As seen in Action Comics No. 651, when she was in orbit over an intended destination, Maxima had the option of using her ship's systems to prepare her for somewhat of a theatrical planetfall. The sleek teardrop-shaped craft was equipped with technology capable of transmitting its passengers by placing them inside energy capsules. Once a capsule fell to its destination, it erupted in a brilliant flash, but without a sound.
DC Animated Universe
Maxima appeared in an episode entitled Warrior Queen in Superman: The Animated Series, voiced by Sharon Lawrence. She took the Man of Steel up to her planet Almerac, where, as she prepared to marry him, Superman informed Maxima that a mate wasn't something to take, but a person to be won over and loved. The Almeracean Empress was not impressed and literally dragged Superman to her planet, only to find herself deposed. Superman helped Maxima regain her throne, and in gratitude she allowed him to return home. Before she could feel any real lingering disappointment at the departure of the Man of Steel, Lobo showed up and seemed to fill the void adequately.
Several changes were made to the animated incarnation of Maxima. Her costume retained a similar color scheme to the comics, but the armored design was more reminiscent of Jack Kirby's work. In terms of the full gamut of powers she displayed in the comics, only her strength, invulnerability, and ferrokinesis remained intact. This Maxima was not a psionic-based character, and her teleportational ability was now achieved only through the use of a high-tech bracelet.
In 2008, Maxima appeared as the villain of a Season 8 episode of Smallville entitled Instinct. She was played by actress Charlotte Sullivan. After receiving a Kryptonian beacon signal originating from Tess Mercer's testing of the Crystal of Knowledge, Maxima teleported to Earth from her home planet of Almerac. Upon her arrival in Metropolis, she assumed that the first man she saw, an unfortunate stockbroker, was the owner of the beacon. She learned otherwise when they locked lips and the man died, his human physiology unable to survive contact with her superhuman endorphins. Maxima now realized that only a Kryptonian would be able to survive her kiss.
Searching for the source of the beacon, Maxima was led to Luthor Mansion in Smallville. While Tess Mercer was inside the mansion admiring a dress she had just received from Oliver Queen, Maxima entered with a display of her super-speed. When Maxima began asking questions about the owner of the crystal, Tess feigned ignorance. Knowing that Maxima may hold some secrets to the crystal, Tess suggested that she might be able to help Maxima if she knew more about the owner. Maxima informed Tess that the owner was Kryptonian, and her perfect mate. She also conveyed her disappointment of finding a planet full of human men instead of Kryptonians.
Maxima soon sensed that Tess Mercer was hiding something, and came to the conclusion that Tess might be trying to keep the Kryptonian for herself. She threw the CEO across the room, stole her dress, and took a note addressed to Tess with instructions to meet at the Ace of Clubs. With Tess lying unconscious on the floor, Maxima went to the club in her place. She met Jimmy Olsen there and applied her endorphin kiss on him. Just as she was coming to the realization that Jimmy wasn't the Kryptonian she had been searching for, Maxima noticed Clark Kent super-speed past her to save Jimmy and take him to the hospital. Clark's display of super-speed tipped the Queen of Almerac off that Clark was in fact Kryptonian.
Maxima then tracked Clark down to the Daily Planet and kissed him. The two began to embrace and grope each other in the elevator. When the elevator descended to the lobby, the doors opened and revealed Lois Lane. There was an awkward pause, and a highly upset Lois then turned away. Maxima felt the tension between Clark and Lois and realized that the two may be lovers.
Enraged that another woman stood in the way of her goal, Maxima waited until Lois was alone in her car so that she could kill her without Clark noticing. She flipped Lois's car in the air, and after watching it land upside-down with Lois inside, Maxima confronted her. Maxima explained that she could sense a deep connection between Lois and Clark and that he wouldn't have been able to resist her had Lois not arrived and spoiled the moment.
As Lois did her best to try and convince Maxima otherwise, Tess Mercer's security team arrived. Maxima easily killed all of them before turning her attention back to Lois. While Maxima was winding up to kill Lois, Clark saved Lois's life and super-sped away. Once again, Maxima and Clark were alone together. The Almeracean Queen took the opportunity to tell Clark that she had heard of the brave and gallant men of Krypton when she was a little girl. Believing that only a Kryptonian man was worthy to stand at her side, she also mentioned that she had prayed for survivors after hearing of Krypton's destruction. Despite these advances, Clark managed to trigger Maxima's teleportation bracelet, sending her back to Almerac against her will.
Comments from creators about Maxima
Jerry Ordway on Maxima's transition from 'Panic In The Sky' to the Justice League
Buoyed by their success against Brainiac, Superman would be predisposed to leading another super-team – namely the Justice League, which my buddy Dan Jurgens was planning to take over. There was one problem though – Dan wanted to use Maxima as a member of the new League, and I’d kind of planned to have her take over the helm of the now leaderless Warworld. Who else could I use, in order to free up Maxie for Dan? A quick call to the-New Gods editor Jonathan Peterson and we were given the okay to install Orion of the New Gods as ruler of Warworld! See how the cross-continuity works? You think coordinating is easy?
Dan Jurgens on whether it was always planned for Maxima to join the Justice League when she did her face turn in 'Panic In The Sky'
It was more of an afterthought in that when she was first introduced, I thought she was a really interesting - potentially interesting sort of character. So, as we were doing the story I wanted to put her on the other side of things with the idea that I'd use her again at some point, but I don't think I had really thought so far as, you know, putting her in the Justice League. But again...she had attitude, and in the DCU, there weren't a lot of characters with attitude at that time. I just found her interesting. I think a lot of what we were doing is slowly building up a cadre of characters in the superman books that were worthwhile to use and worth having around.
Charlotte Sullivan on playing Maxima in Smallville
My opening line as Maxima makes me laugh and go red - it was, ‘I came when I saw your KRYPTONIAN beacon.’ I just thought I had to play it out funny. Of course, I was bashful. There was a certain element of shyness that crept up inside of me with having to say those things, wearing that costume, and knowing that it would be seen by millions of people.