Exclusive: Sam Kieth on his trippy new DC/IDW crossover, Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams

Contributed by
Oct 1, 2018, 9:49 AM EDT

The Maxx is one of those weirdly iconic cult characters that you don't soon forget, even though he was spawned 25 years ago by the Image Comics team of writer/artist Sam Kieth (Sandman, Wolverine), co-writer William Messner-Loebs, and inker Jim Sinclair.

The surreal series revolved around the homeless man known as Dave and his Hulk-like, lampshade-wearing alter ego in the alternative reality realm called The Outback. There the purple crusader tries to thwart the evil plans of the serial murderer Mr. Gone and protect The Leopard Queen, who in real life is his social worker, Julie Winters. The strange comic ran for nearly five years and even inspired a short-lived, bonkers animated show on MTV in 1995.

In an epic pairing of striking superheroes, DC Comics and IDW are teaming up for a new five-issue crossover starring the Dark Knight and The Maxx titled Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams, which will be written and drawn by Sam Kieth, and assisted by the Eisner Award-winning writer John Layman (Detective, Chew).

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The storyline finds a devious new doctor at Arkham Asylum conducting questionable experiments into fractured human psyches. This kicks off a chain reaction of catastrophic proportions when he tinkers with the brain of Arkham's latest patient, The Maxx! Gotham City begins to merge with The Maxx's Outback, a psychedelic mental landscape that blurs the boundaries between real and unreal. Now it's up to the Dark Knight to rescue Gotham and all of crumbling reality. Batman and The Maxx must unite and navigate through some devious corners inside the twisted minds of Batman's most notorious foes.

"The Maxx and Batman are two of my very favorite characters (along with some short guy with claws)," Kieth told SYFY WIRE. "Maxx obviously means a lot to me, but so does Batman... any comics nerd loves that big lug... so writing and drawing them together in this series is a true dream come true for me.”

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Check out SYFY WIRE's exclusive descent inside the pages of Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams in the full art gallery below, including variants by Jim Lee, then tell us if you'll merge with the madness when the premiere issue arrives on October 3.