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|“||Iggy. This is not a democracy. It's a Maxocracy. You know we have to go after Angel. You can't be thinking that we would just let them take her. The six of us look out for each other—no matter what. None of us is ever going to live in a cage again, not while I'm alive.||”|
–Max, The Angel Experiment
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|Maximum "Max" Ride|
|Leader of the Flock|
|The One And Only Maximum Ride|
|Family|| Dr. Valencia Martinez (mother) (deceased) |
Jeb Batchelder (father) (deceased)
Ari Batchelder (half-brother) (deceased)
Ella Martinez (half-sister) (deceased)
The Flock (adopted family)
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
|Hair Color||Blond, later brown with blond streaks|
|Height||5' 8", 5' 9" in Nevermore|
|Weapons||Enhanced Strength, Flight, Accelerated Healing|
|Home||Wherever The Flock Is|
|Appearances|| The Angel Experiment |
School's Out - Forever
Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
The Final Warning
Maximum Ride Forever
Before The Angel Experiment
Maximum Ride was created at an Itexicon facility called the School. Growing up, she had no name and was treated very poorly by the School's staff, even being abused. She spent the majority of her time either performing in painful, grueling experiments or confined to a dog crate. She was permitted to interact with the other children that would later form her flock, as well as Ari Batchelder, Jeb Batchelder's son.
Around the time that Max turned ten years old, her standard of living changed. Jeb helped the entire flock escape and took them to an isolated house in the mountains where they could be free to fly, learn, and interact with new parts of the world. On her eleventh birthday (an arbitrary date of her own choosing), she selected the full name Maximum Ride.
Jeb vanished two years after the escape from the School. As a result, Max was declared flock leader, due to her age and close relationship with Jeb.
The Angel Experiment
In the beginning of the story, she is seen running away from a group of Erasers who are trying to take her back to the School. As she is running, she sees a dim light, and, believing it to be a clearing, bursts through the trees, but instead finds a cliff. Making the decision to jump, she leaps off the cliff and snaps out her wings, veering to the west after an Eraser attempts to shoot her.
Max then bolts upright in bed, gasping for breath and with a hand over her heart, and checks her nightgown to make sure there are no laser dots and/or bullet holes. After realizing that it was all just a dream, she limply falls back on the bed, saying how she hates the dream and how she always wakes up feeling on the verge of death. She then forces herself out of her bed (despite the chilly weather) and heads down the halls to the kitchen. After a brief explanation of the design of their house and a fragment of their backstory, she looks around the kitchen for food. This is when the Gasman is first introduced.
Max tells him good morning, and he responds by asking what's for breakfast. Not knowing the answer, she says that it'll be a surprise. Iggy soon comes in and slumps onto the couch, and Max tells him to wake up. After he refuses, she says that it's fine and he will just miss breakfast. As she is searching the fridge, something causes the hair on the back of her neck to stand on end: Fang. Max then spins around and asks him to quit it; when Fang responds sarcastically, she rolls her eyes and says he knows what she means. After this, she surveys the kitchen, then tells Fang to set the table. She then goes to wake up the rest of the Flock. Max goes to their room and pushes the door open to find Nudge tangled up in the bed sheets. She gently shakes her shoulder, telling Nudge to get up. As Nudge fully awakens, Max pulls back Angel's curtains only to find that she is already awake and dressed. Angel then asks her to do her buttons. As Max does so, she thinks about how much she loves her. Angel, reading Max's mind, remarks how she won't tell anyone, then hugs Max and plants a kiss on her cheek.
At breakfast, Gazzy passes gas—an action which Max visibly disapproves of. Afterwards, the entire Flock goes outside to pick strawberries at Angel's request and Max offers to make strawberry shortcakes. Iggy interjects by saying that he'll make it instead, upsetting Max, who then whirls around and has her voice thrown by Gazzy. Max confronts him, though shortly after, Erasers arrive.
At the beginning of the fight, Max launches herself at an Eraser and roundhouse kicks it in the chest. After landing another blow, however, is punched in the face and her head snaps around. Scrambling to her feet, she sees that Gazzy is unconscious and tries to leap to him, but three more Erasers attack her, one of which punches her in the stomach. She gets up and witnesses Erasers fling Nudge against a tree, then she runs up to one of them and cups her hands around its ears.
School's Out - Forever
At the novel's beginning, she and the rest of the Flock are flying to Washington, D.C. when they are nearly ambushed by flying Erasers. When this happens, Fang is injured badly and a passing runner calls and ambulance. Fang is taken to the hospital, his wings are discovered, and the rest of the Flock gets questioned by the FBI. They are taken to live in 'safety' with a middle-aged FBI agent, Anne. They get sent to a real school. Max catches Fang kissing another girl in the hallway, and gets very upset. Max then gets asked out by a boy named Sam, and she accepts the offer. However, their date is ruined when Ari and some other Erasers are outside the diner they are eating at. Max goes out to take care of it, telling Sam she's going to the bathroom. Later, Sam takes Max home, and she ends up kissing him, making Fang, who's watching from above out his window, very upset. This makes Max furious with him, because she said nothing when she was upset about him kissing a girl in the hall.
Max admits to loving Fang, and knows that he is her "soulmate." Angel tells Max things like "Fang loves you," "Maybe you should give him more than a break...Fang could totally be your boyfriend. You guys could get married." Fang and Max had a "make-out session" in the desert, and he asks her out. She says she loves kissing him and could spend all of her time doing it, plus she "highly recommends it".
Max is voted out of the Flock for being too involved with Fang instead of protecting them. At the end of this book, Fang leaves her, saying that it's not good for the Flock for them to be together. He also says that if they're both still alive in 20 years, he will meet her where they flew with the hawks, leaving Max heartbroken and upset. She goes into a kind of depression and stays in her bed and refuses to eat, so the rest of the Flock is forced to call Dr. Valencia Martinez and fly Max and the rest of the Flock over to Arizona.
Max meets up with Fang again to help him and his gang destroy the "Doomsday Group". Fang finds out that Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen and Jeb want Max and Dylan to breed. Fang gets upset as he thinks that Dylan is his "replacement." Angel replies by telling him that he could stay with the Flock and have a say or leave and have none. Max gets also upset when she sees Maya (Max's clone) is back and with Fang. Max gets jealous and she and Fang argue about it. Max argues again with Fang, asking him,"How could you ever stop loving me?" When a bomb blew up and she thought Angel was dead, Fang let Max cry on his shoulder. Fang then leaves again to stop the Doomsday Group, leaving Max confused and upset once again.
Max and Dylan are dating. She is jealous of the popular girls he spends time with at school. Dylan builds a treehouse for her and they have a date, but it burns down. After Fang returns, he and Max reconcile and Dylan becomes jealous and goes on a rampage. After that, Max no longer wants to see Dylan. Dr. Martinez picks up the Flock and takes them to Paradise.
By the end of this book, both Max and Fang have expressed their full feelings of mutual romantic love to each other.
Maximum Ride Forever
The Flock is shown running for their lives from an active volcano spewing glowing ash and gigantic lava boulders. Max goes back for their supplies, which are all they have. After Dylan's apparent death, they fly to Australia, but Max insists on returning to continue searching for her mother and sister, who were still in the underground caves. This is part of the cause of the Flock splitting up. Max returns to the island with Nudge and Total, but after learning from the Aquatics that her family is dead, continues on alone. In America, she encounters other birdkids and Harry becomes her companion. They are eventually reunited with Angel and Dylan, and continue on to Russia, where they have their final battle against the Remedy. Max reveals that she's pregnant.
In the epilogue, the Flock has moved to Peru, where Max and Fang are raising their daughter Phoenix.
- Main article: Fang (character)
Several times throughout the series, Max shows signs of attraction towards Fang, though she denies it. In The Angel Experiment, Max kisses Fang on a beach near New York City after Fang has been injured in a fight with Ari. She does this very suddenly and cannot come up with an explanation for her actions, saying it happened "just like that". Max does not realize her feelings for Fang until she abruptly kisses him. In School's Out - Forever, Max looks in the mirror and sees her reflection as an Eraser. Fang sits with her and consoles her in her bedroom. Before retreating back to his own room, Fang kisses Max on the forehead. Max shows intense jealousy when she sees Fang kissing a red-haired girl named Lissa (whom Max refers to as "the Red-Haired Wonder"). Later, she goes out with a boy named Sam, making Fang jealous. In Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, Angel mentions before a football game starts that "...Fang still loves you...". Fang kisses Max in a cave again, and she says her mind "shorts out" while Fang is kissing her, but then tells Fang she's "not sure" and flies off, confused. Also in the same book, Max is given Valium to prepare her for surgery, and while under its influence she tells Fang that she "loves him this much" and holds out her arms to demonstrate. Fang later teases her about this, causing her to get immensely angry. In The Final Warning, Fang kisses Max another time, and this time Max says she "loves it... loves him." When she finally clears her head, however, she flies away again. However, later in the book, Max shows more jealousy when Fang gets close to a young scientist, Dr. Brigid Dwyer (Dr. Amazing, Dr. Stupendous, etc.). In Max, the two are seen together numerous times, and having a first official date, as Max puts it. When Max must leave the submarine, she and Fang share a kiss in front of the flock, to which Nudge says "ZOMG..."
- Main article: Dylan
In FANG, another boy is introduced into the Flock: Dylan. Max finds herself staring at him, her heart beat quickening when he comes in, etc. When she first meets him, she thinks that he could be in a magazine with the hottest guys under 25 years old (and Fang would totally also qualify to be in it). However, she completely denies any affections for him and continues to love Fang.
In ANGEL, Dylan gets closer to Max (mostly because Fang is gone) and she gets confused about her feelings for him. At the beginning, he teases her and makes her angry, but then kisses her. Max and Dylan fly off to find out more about the Gen77 enhanced kids, and they slept in a cave alone where Dylan puts his arm around her. While fighting with Fang, she begins to have feelings for Dylan when he kisses her again after singing and handing her a rose. Angel then tells her that she could be with "one of them, or the other, or neither." Dylan kisses Max again in Paris when Max flew off to think about her feelings for Fang and Dylan. Max found Dylan's kisses "comfortable." Later, Max slightly forgives Fang and ends up crying on his shoulder making her very confused about her relationship with Dylan.
- Main article: Sam (School's Out - Forever)
In School's Out - Forever, Max meets a boy named Sam while temporarily attending a school in Virginia, meeting Max at school in the computer lab. She finds him "cute" and agrees to go on a date with him, even going as far as kissing him despite it being their first (and only) date. Fang later shows his jealousy at this, which may have possibly been the main reason she agreed to date Sam. When Sam offers the Flock a way out, Max ignores him, saying she "can't trust anyone." There is speculation on whether Sam was aligned with the whitecoats; however, it is highly unlikely. Max also wondered if he was an Eraser when he offered go help the Flock.
|“||"So there you have it, the extent of my charms: brown hair and eyes like unbarfed chocolate. I'm a lucky girl."||”|
–Max on her looks, MAX
Max is 5' 8" (5' 9" in Nevermore) and has a wingspan that starts at thirteen feet—but eventually becomes fifteen feet—across. She has brown eyes and blond/brown hair with sun streaks. It is unclear what color her hair is, however, many think it changes with the seasons. The color of her wings are a variety of colors, described by herself as very beautiful and looking similar or the wings of a hawk. Her primary feathers are streaked with black and white, the secondaries are streaked white and brown, and on the undersides of her wings, the covert feathers are a soft ivory color. Over the tops and down the backs of her wings, she has shiny, strong brown feathers fading perfectly into the primaries.
Max is tough, sarcastic, and hates "girliness". In MAX, she turns down many opportunities in a meeting (in which she wears clothes that "aren't blood splattered," — "Which is the best you can get out of me") to become famous such as becoming models, actors, etc. She is independent, strong, and fierce, but has never known a true mother or father figure, aside from Jeb Batchelder and Dr. Martinez (who she later has mixed feelings about). Max acts as a motherly figure to the Flock, such as nurturing them and looking out for them, except she tends to get an awkward feeling about considering Fang as a sibling or son since he kissed her. Max is often annoyed by herself for things like worrying about her appearance, etc. She once recalls in MAX how "last year, I would chop off my hair with a knife when it got in my eyes." Max also has a strong relationship with Angel, whom she says is like a daughter to her because she's practically been raising her since she was a baby. Max has a soft spot for all the kids in the flock and puppy eyes.
She wants to be loved, even though she often denies it. Throughout the books, she falls in love with Fang. In FANG, she and Fang are often seen leaving the Flock to kiss and share romantic moments.
Max and the rest of the Flock, like birds, have a built-in sense of direction and raptor vision.
Max learned how to fight and defend herself from Jeb Batchelder. She fights in a mixed martial arts style (once calling it Max Kwon Do). It helps that she and the Flock are much stronger than regular humans, so she can easily defeat most (non-mutant) grown men.
She almost meets her match in a fight against Omega, a boy created by the Director, the woman she once thought was her evil mother, but eventually defeats him too with advice from Jeb. She tends to use roundhouse kicks quite often, which can be seen as her signature fighting move. She considers the Flock very tough and once told people that Angel, despite being only six, has "been in more fights to death than any one of you."
Like the rest of the Flock, Max has unique abilities other than flying. She has the Voice (Later in Nevermore, the Voice is revealed to be Angel) in her head that tries to guide her, though she often does not listen to it. (Before the Voice had appeared, she would have excruciating headaches every now and then; this is because it had been trying to make room in her head.) At one point Max believes the Voice to be that of Jeb Batchelder, a white coat at the School, but in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, he denies this, telling her that although he can imitate the Voice, he is not it. (It should be noted that both Angel and Ari have mentioned a Voice as well.)
Max also has the ability to fly extremely fast, her top speed at roughly 240–250 miles per hour (verified by the Director through a microchip in her arm), or over 350 miles per hour in a fast dive.
In The Angel Experiment, Max discovers she has what appears to be a tracer microchip embedded in her arm when Dr. Martinez, a woman who helps Max and is later revealed to be her mother, gives Max an x-ray for the purpose of discovering the extent of her injury, having been shot in the shoulder/wing. Max believes the chip gives off a signal that tells the scientists at the School where she is, though this is not proven.
In School's Out - Forever, Max, in a fit of anger, grabs a broken seashell and tries to cut the chip out of her arm, though she does not succeed.
Later, in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Max goes back to Dr. Martinez and asks her to remove the chip. Although Dr. Martinez is successful in taking the chip out, Max temporarily loses the use of her left hand due to nerve damage done during the surgery. The use of her hand is later restored, thanks to the School. She also believes that the chip might have been the cause of the Voice, but that notion was proved wrong when it started talking again after Max's surgery.
In MAX, as hinted by Angel many time throughout the book, Max develops gills when she is about to die in the water (her oxygen tank was ripped off by a giant squid).
As shown in School's Out - Forever, she is able to temporarily shut down her organs, thus effectively playing dead, although this may have been possible only because she was detained in an isolation tank at the time. (Once she escapes from the isolation tank, she also believes that she can smell the Flock, but these powers aren't mentioned in other books.)
It is revealed in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports that her bones are lightweight and have tiny pores in them that allow her and the Flock to float in water.
- Max is one of the two members of the Flock who has found her parents. The second is Iggy, who found his parents, but left them because they wanted to make money out of him.
- Max is known to the Flock as a terrible cook. Despite this, though, she cooks with Dr. Martinez in MAX and the food is good.
- She may think milk is gross. In The Final Warning, Max says "Gross, no" when milk is offered to her, but this is likely because at the time, she was watching Fang interact with Dr. Brigid Dwyer.
- She doesn't like cold weather; as quoted from her in The Final Warning: "I really, really hate cold weather. I hate bundling up. I'm more of a beach-and-sun kind of girl."
- In The Final Warning, Max admitted to the reader that sometimes the leader stuff was "a huge pain in the butt".
- She loves chocolate chip cookies.
- Max and the rest of the Flock are noted to be claustrophobic, a fear that came from being locked up in dog crates while at the School. Another fear of the entire Flock is the inability to escape if Erasers, Flyboys or anything of that nature were to arrive. Max also has a fear of snakes, which are the "worst fear" shown at the end of the second book.
- When Fang was injured in School's Out - Forever, and the Flock was questioned by the FBI, Max was the only one who used her actual name (although she didn't ever use her full name, Maximum).
- She is the only member of the original Flock not to have a "G" in her name.
- Max acquired a bank card with her name on it in The Angel Experiment; however, it is only mentioned in that book.
- In School's Out--Forever, it was mentioned that she had a favorite singer named Liam Rooney.
- According to the flock, she has a bad habit of going "charging off". In MAX, Total jokes that that Max's middle name is "Charging Off", making her "Maximum 'Charging Off' Ride".
- She is featured on the cover of the first and seventh volumes of the Maximum Ride manga series by NaRae Lee.