While trying to help a homeless man, Julie was beaten, raped and left for dead. The incident caused Julie to subconsciously create a realm within her mind called The Outback; a savage land filled with giants, gods and all manner of strange creatures.
Julie Winters was created by Sam Kieth.
In the outback Julie becomes The Leopard Queen and is in complete control, with no need to fear anyone. In the real world she continues her life as a freelance social worker. On her way to work one stormy night, Julie accidently hit a man with her car. In shock and traumatized by past incidents, rather than helping, Julie dragged him into an alley and hid his body under a pile of garbage and debris. This act caused her psche to create a schism in reality, with a portal to Julie's spirit realm opening up in the alley.
As Julie's "spirit animal" from her outback attempted to cross over into the physical world to help her, it merged with the man in the alley. A lampshade over his head became a mask, and the man emerged as Maxx. Maxx was completely unaware of his life before Julie, and had no memory of the incident that had occurred in the alley. Maxx believed himself to be a superhero of sorts and felt compelled to seek out Julie and protect her. Julie, of course, failed to recognize the giant, purple masked man as the individual she had run over that rainy night, and also felt drawn to help him in her capacity as a social worker; bailing him out of jail on numerous occassions and often giving him a place to stay for the night.
Major Story Arcs
At the same time, a psychotic serial rapist calling himself Mr Gone appeared in the city. Julie began receiving phone calls from Gone, with him bragging about his deeds and informing Julie that he was coming for her. Julie dismissed the calls as a prank or the delusions of a mentally ill client (an occupational hazard for someone in her position), and initially failed to take him seriously. Gone, an accomplished sorcerer with extraordinary powers, was well aware of Julie's outback and Maxx's place in that realm, and clashed with The Maxx. Mr. Gone narrowly escaped his encounter with Maxx and, aided by his Isz lackeys, kidnapped Julie from her apartment.
Mr. Gone took Julie to his lair, an abandoned rubber factory, and bound her to the wall. Julie regained consciousness and found herself dressed in revealing lingerie, with Gone gloating over her. Julie maintained her composure and kept Gone talking while she formulated a plan of escape. Julie found the jagged tooth of one of Gone's Isz laying on the floor beside her. She kept Gone distracted and began to saw through the leather straps that bound her. Mr. Gone attempted to inform Julie about her spiritual outback, the reasons for it's existence, and the true nature of the Maxx. Julie mentally snapped before Gone could reveal the entire truth, broke free, and used the jagged tooth to brutally sever Gone's head from his body.
After that incident Julie attempted to return to a normal life. She took a day vacation to the lake with Glorie, a long-time friend and the mother of Sarah; a young teenage girl Julie had been attempting to council in dealing with the grief of her father's suicide when Sarah was just a small child. It began to rain and Julie and Glorie sought refuge in Glorie's car. The vehicle would not start and the called a tow truck. Unfortunately, the truck was driven by a novice driver who backed up to the car with the tow bar too high and the winch went through the car's windshield. Julie was knocked unconscious and had a vivid vision of what she recognized to be the Outback realm that Maxx had described to her. After that Julie discovered that her dreams and those of Maxx had begun to merge, with both experiencing adventures in the outback spirit realm.
After one such shared experience, Julie returned to her apartment and noticed a foul smell. After searching her home, Julie found an odd package in the closet. The package had originally been discovered by Sarah and had spoken to her, claiming to be a bag of talking clay that could reveal the answers to all of her life's questions if she would just leave it in Julie's home. Sarah complied and, when Julie finally discovered the package it was revealed to be the rotting, severed head of Mr. Gone. Gone attempted to get to Julie once again, but Maxx saved her. At the last moment a white Isz under Gone's psychic control burst into Julie's apartment and escaped with Gone's head.
Julie decided that she had too many emotional issues of her own to be dealt with, and attempted to cut her ties with the Maxx. She told him goodbye and went on a cross country journey of self-discovery. Julie, under a great deal of mental duress from the recent issues with Gone and the past experiences she had blocked from her memory, created for herself the persona of "Jill". "Jill" traveled across the country, hooking up with random men for sexual escapades, invariably stealing their cars in the night, and driving off to the next town to continue the cycle again.
After almost a year Julie decided to return home to face her problems instead of running from them. A heavy session with her therapist was followed by a return to her old apartment building. There she found Maxx and Sarah, whom Maxx had latched onto in Julie's absence and who had discovered that Gone was actually the father she believed to be dead. Julie was shocked to find them together (falsely believing they had just had an intimate encounter), and they in turn were just as shocked to see her appearing very pregnant.
Maxx felt betrayed by Julie and Julie was angered by Maxx passing judgement on her after her journey. They eventually reconciled. Sarah, having come into possession of a series of cassette tapes made for her by her father that revealed the truth about Julie and Maxx, attempted to help them set things right in this world and the spirit realm. By Sarah's suggestion Maxx, or "Dave" as Sarah had began to call him, merged his consciousness with Julie's outback realm and together they traveled to the place where everything began for them. After a journey that took place in both the outback and the physical world simultaneously, Julie and Maxx were able to learn the truth about what had happened, who and what Maxx and Dave really were, and Julie was finally able to begin to come to grips with everything that had taken place leading up to that time.
Julie and Dave were both finally able to go back to a more normal existence and go their separate ways. Julie gave birth to a son she named Mark and would, along with Dave, return to Sara's (as she had changed the spelling of her name) life ten years later to help her face her father Mr. Gone and to come to grips with the realities of her life.