Maximus was born to two geneticists Agon and Rynda. Exposed to Terrigen Mist when he was an infant he didn't show any change in his powers. However, when he grew, his powers developed, but he also developed an anti-social behavior.
Maximus first appeared in Fantastic Four #47 and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
When he was 16, his brother Black Bolt was released from his protective chamber in which he had been kept in due to his destructive voice. When Black Bolt was released, Maximus attempted to make Black Bolt use his voice, but was unsuccessful. Some time later, Black Bolt witnessed Maximus making a pact with the Kree, who were responsible for altering the Inhuman's DNA. He tried to stop the Kree who was escaping. Black Bolt used his sonic scream and the ship crashed, and killed several members of the Genetics Council. The voice also affected Maximus' sanity and suppressing his powers. When Black Bolt took to the throne, Maximus vowed to throw him off the crown.
Maximus' first plan was experimenting on the Alpha Primitives. Maximus then created the Trikon, three destructive energy beings. While the Inhumans were distracted with Attilan, Maximus was able to drive the Royal Family out of the city in search for Medusa while she was on a mission to study human society. Maximus ruled Attilan for the while the Royal Family was gone. Maximus was confident in his ruling, so he called the Royal Family back, but Black Bolt immediately stole back the crown. Maximus was angered, and activated his Atmo-Gun, a machine that would kill all living things other than the Inhumans. However, the machine had no effect and in anger, used the machine to create a "negative zone" which imprisoned the Inhumans. Black Bolt used his voice to destroy the barrier.
Maximus involved himself with Inhuman criminals, and tricked the Hulk in to breaking into a chemical substance compound. This substance had highly unstable absorbing capacities but Black Bolt had thwarted him before he could do so.
Maximus' second exploit was drugging the Royal Family with potions that would hypnotize, he stole the crown once again and imprisoned the Royal Family. Before he could use his Hypno-Gun, which would hypnotize people and make them surrender to him. He was stopped before he could execute the plan. Maximus escaped from Attilan with his criminal friends and attempted to build his Hypno-Gun once again. However, the Hulk opposed, and he was to flee once again.
He returned to Attilan where he was welcomed back, but was put under watch. Black Bolt could detect that Maximus' suppressed powers were returning. Black Bolt had Maximus put into suspended animation where he could not use his powers. Gorgon, Black Bolt's cousin was not happy with his choice, and freed Maximus. Maximus then used his powers to bring control to the Inhumans, left Black Bolt for an amnesiac and began his third mission to take over Attilan. Maximus restored the "negative effect" and began to sell the Inhumans to Kree to let them use as soldiers. Eventually, Black Bolt's memory returned, and alongside the Avengers, they destroyed the barrier. The Avengers drove Kree away and Black Bolt freed the Inhumans.
Maximus escaped his punishment by faking his insanity and began to plan his next takeover. He planned to build the android Omega whose power source was from the build up of guilt of the Inhumans' treatment of the Alpha Primitives. The Fantastic Four helped stop Maximus' plan. Maximus staged his fourth successful plan when the Royal Family left Attilan to attend to some 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 agreed and put himself in captivity. Maximus then contacted Kree once again allowing Kree to take the Inhumans with extraordinary capabilities and leaving the rest to rule. Triton and Karnak managed to free most of Maximus' hostages and outwit Shatterstar. Black Bolt was unaware of the victory, using his voice. Black Bolt then imprisoned Maximus.
Maximus was in his prison when Black Bolt comes to see him. He yells at Black Bolt will he ever tell people how he killed their parents from his voice and loose everything. He also tells his brother that he has a flaw. Maximus escapes from his prison and goes down to the underground with the Alpha Primitives. He then leads them to attack the Kree. They are then captured, and Maximus begs for his life to Ronan.
Maximus allied himself with the Enclave, a band of human scientists who managed to capture Medusa. They wanted to conquer Attilan and when the Enclave threatened to execute Medusa, Maximus turned on them because of his love for Medusa. Maximus was manning a weapon when it overloaded, leaving Maximus in a coma. Black Bolt had Maximus in a coffin and was Attilan was transported to the moon. On the moon, Maximus made contact with an alien-like crystal and his powers were revitalized. When Black Bolt came to pay his respects, Maximus used his powers to put his mind into Black Bolt's body. Maximus ruled Attilan in disguise. He contacted the Enclave once again and helped them implement launchers which would destroy Earth. With the help of the Avengers, Maximus' switch was discovered and the plans were stopped. Maximus returned to his own body and is still planning against Attilan.
Major Story Arcs
Inhumans Volume 2
His next plot carried out from his prison cell involved the Inhuman Woz , and almost resulted in Attilan being conquered by Earth forces. It was foiled by Black Bolt and Medusa, who arranged for Attilan to be teleported away before its destruction.
Following Quicksilver’s betrayal of the Inhumans and stealing the Terrigen Mists, the Inhumans declare war on Earth when they hold the mists in a secure location and refuse to return them. During these events, Maximus remains in his cell constantly talking to himself, but fully aware of the situation. He is visited by Black Bolt, which Maximus takes as a sign that he is lost and doesn’t know how to approach this rising conflict against Earth, which Maximus attempts to use to stir Black Bolt to free him. However, nothing comes of it.
It isn’t until a group of marines powered by the mists is sent to Attilan to attack the Inhumans that Medusa and Luna visit Maximus. It is Medusa’s desire to free Maximus, using Luna to cure him of his madness as a trial, which if it works, would be used to cure Medusa’s son, Ahura, as well. Maximus is indeed freed and reveals to Luna that he manipulated the Inhumans, except for Black Bolt since he had resisted.
The marines powered by the mists begin to slowly die because of their expose, one however was turned into a bomb which detonates and destroys much of Attilan, and Maximus uses this destruction to move the people under his rule with the promise of conquering Earth and places Black Bolt in his cell.
Maximus continues to rule the Inhumans during the Skrull’s invasion of Earth, despite Medusa’s and the Royal Family’s growing disgust. Iron Man presents the dead Skrull who was impersonating Black Bolt to Medusa and Crystal to bring it back to the Inhuman council to urge Maximus to take action in searching for Black Bolt. However, Maximus shows no interest in doing so, claiming the Skrulls would not keep an enemy so powerful alive and instead he spreads concern about imposters within the Inhuman ranks.
Later, when the Skrulls make themselves known and attack Maximus is found by Gorgon to be manipulating the Skrull impersonating Ahura into thinking he failed the Skrull Empire. Gorgon escorts Maximus to safety and he is left behind on Attilan with Luna as Medusa takes the rest of the Royal Family and Lockjaw in search of Black Bolt in space.
Upon returning, Black Bolt addresses his people and seemingly reclaims his position as king. He claims Maximus must not be as mad as everyone thought, having preached so long about the horrors in the universe. Maximus is not detained and allowed to remain free.
War of Kings
Black Bolts seeks revenge and is no longer content in allowing the Inhumans sit idly by in the universe any longer. He turns Attilan into a ship and engages a fleet of Skrull ships, and using a device built by Maximus destroys the entire fleet through his amplified voice and continued to move to Kree space, destroying a fleet of Shi’ar ships on the way.
The Inhumans took over the Kree, following Ronan’s submission to Black Bolt and Maximus acts as their weapons specialist, working in the Chamber of Devices. He aids the Kree/Inhumans retaliation against the Shi’ar by building a unit of Chorus Sentries, each outfitted with Black Bolt’s voice to engage the Shi’ar in battle.
Realm of Kings
As the Inhumans have solidified their position as the new rulers of the Kree people, Crystal and Ronan discover the Alpha Primitives begin to act up and Kree scientists are behind their growing madness and aggression. It is revealed Maximus is behind it all, Crystal, Gorgon, and Ronan attempt to confront him and are convinced he has in fact returned to his old ways. It is revealed, however, that he was acting under the orders of Medusa, who declared Maximus under her protection. Her growing coldness is baffling to Gorgon and Crystal as she explains that everything she ordered Maximus to do was intended to solidify the Inhumans position as rulers of the Kree in showing that they were needed when faced with threats.
Powers & Abilities
Maximus has the ability to control the minds of others. Though psionic in nature, Maximus' ability should not be confused with telepathy (the ability to sense and control thought). Maximus imposes his thoughts on others, subverting free will. He is able to use his mind control subtly (planting the seeds of his will in others that allow him to regain control over them after several years of cultivation) or overtly (reducing others to mindless drones completely obedient to Maximus). His mind-control works on a great scale and he is able to manipulate and control many minds at the same time.
Over the years, Maximus has displayed several feats of varying ability; generally his mental strength waxes and wanes in relation to his sanity. He was able to eventually burst through the telepathic inhibitors placed on him by Black Bolt, this happened by subtly placing a telepathic seed inside Medusa and using that to further manipulate her. Further, he can accomplish things such as reducing someone to an infant state and even interfering with the Inhuman transformation by the Terrigen Mists (the Terrigen Mists act on both a psychological and biological level). Luna Maximoff (daughter of Quicksilver and Crystal) appears to be immune to Maximus' power.
However, the most dangerous thing about Maximus is not his ability to control minds, but rather his own scheming mind. He is able to come up with incredible plans and schemes that not even Karnak have been able to spot. Further he possesses superhuman intelligence and has created a vast number of highly advanced weapons and gadgets. Among these things there is a machine that lets them harness Black Bolt's voice into a hard armour and the Null Bomb that that used Black Bolt's voice to activate and damage the time/space continuum.
Earth 295 - Age of Apocalypse
He appears as Death, the most infamous Horseman of Apocalypse, feared to be the most evil of Apocalypse´s soldiers, that it was said that: "most men trembled at the approach of him". He killed his entire Family in order to create a loyal force of Inhumans beings altered by Terrigen Mists. At one point Apocalypse was weakened by the x-men so he took control over Apocalypse´s army. In the blue side of the moon meanwhile Apocalypse cured his wounds, the x-men attacked but they were defeated and captured by the Inhumans. Cyclops, concerned about the betrayal of Death, released Sunfire, who was imprisoned in the ship, which cause the liberation of Sunfire´s atomic flames that killed Death and destroyed the ship.
Maximus the Mad appears in the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series, voiced by Mark Hamill. He appeared as an enemy of both the Inhumans and the Fantastic Four. He was featured in the Season 2 episode "Beware the Hidden Land".
Maximus appears in the episode "Inhuman Nature," voiced by Nolan North.
Nolan North reprises his role in the episode "Inhumanity."
Maximus appears in the episode "Crystal Blue Persuasion," voiced by Diedrich Bader.
Maximus appears in "Civil War, Part 1: The Fall of Attilan," where his attack on Las Vegas spurs the government to draft an Inhuman registration bill, which kickstarts the show's adaptation of Civil War.
Maximus will appear as the main antagonist of the live-action Inhumans series, portrayed by British actor and former Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon.