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|“||It's not your fault. I'm genetically enhanced. And, you know, ruthless. Plus, of course, meaner than a rabid wolverine. Are you okay?||”|
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|Maximum "Max" 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 or brown|
|Weapons||Enhanced Strength and Speed, Flight, Accelerated Healing|
|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 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, Jeb rescued her along with Iggy, Fang, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel. He 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. Max was declared Flock leader, due to her age and close relationship with Jeb.
The Angel Experiment
Max's normal life with the Flock is interrupted when Erasers attack and kidnap Angel. Max leads the Flock to rescue Angel from the School, learning along the way that Jeb is alive, and meeting a kindly veterinarian named Dr. Martinez. Gathering clues from their adventure, the Flock travels to New York, where Max begins experiencing painful headaches and visions, along with a Voice telling her to save the world. In a final confrontation, she kills Jeb's son Ari, the leader of the Erasers, but Jeb shouts after her that she has killed her own brother.
School's Out - Forever
With Fang injured, the Flock winds up at a hospital being questioned by the FBI. An agent named Anne Walker takes them in and they experience a normal life and normal school. Max continues to be suspicious, as well as uneasy at being replaced by Anne as a mother figure for the Flock. However, it turns out to be a trap by the School. Max is briefly replaced by her clone, Max II.
Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
Max leads other mutants in taking down Itex and stopping the Director from executing half of all life on Earth. She repairs her relationship with her half-brother Ari, but he dies soon afterwards.
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.
Max falls into a severe depression after Fang's departure. She meets up with Fang again to help him and his gang destroy the "Doomsday Group". Fang is upset by seeing Dylan as his "replacement" in the Flock, while Max is disturbed and jealous to see Fang with her clone Maya. Their groups briefly work together to stop a bomb and search for a missing Angel, but Max is confused and upset when they split up once again.
Max and Dylan are dating, but when she and Fang reconcile, Dylan goes on a jealous rampage. After that, Max no longer wants to see Dylan. She and the rest of the Flock travel to Paradise, only for the world to be struck by numerous catastrophes known as the Apocalypse. As they start over amidst the ruins, Max and Fang express their full feelings of mutual romantic love to each other.
Maximum Ride Forever
The Flock is shown struggling to survive on a volcanic island after the end of civilization. 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 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 and Max reveals that she's pregnant with Fang's child.
In the epilogue, the Flock has moved to Peru, where Max and Fang are raising their daughter Phoenix.
Max is tough, sarcastic, independent and fierce. She acts as a motherly figure to most of the Flock. This connection is particularly strong with Angel, whom Max mostly raised.
She dislikes "girliness" and dressing up, and becomes annoyed with herself for worrying about her appearance.
|“||The nurse looked at me, my blond hair and fair skin, and I could tell she was mentally comparing me with Fang - who had black hair, dark eyes, olive skin.||”|
–School's Out - Forever
|“||"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
|“||It was mostly brown but had streaks of dark red and even a little blond.||”|
–Max describing her hair in FANG
Max has a tall and thin build, standing 5'8" in The Angel Experiment and MAX. She has a wingspan that starts at thirteen feet, later up to fifteen feet. Her wings are hawklike, described in The Final Warning as light brown, ivory on the undersides, with black and white primaries. She has brown eyes. Her hair has varied over the books. The color is not mentioned in The Angel Experiment, but in School's Out - Forever and Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, it is repeatedly called blonde and even sun-streaked. However, starting in The Final Warning, her hair color is brown, but is still occasionally mentioned as containing sun streaks.
Max and the rest of the Flock, like birds, have a built-in sense of direction and raptor vision.
Along with the rest of the Flock, 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). This, in combination with the Flock's enhanced strength, allows Max to easily defeat most (non-mutant) grown men. She often uses roundhouse kicks, which can be seen as her signature fighting move.
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 Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, she has Dr. Martinez remove it, although this leaves her arm briefly paralyzed. Max believed 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, Max develops gills when she is about to drown. 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.
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.)
- Main article: Fang (character)
Fang helps Max lead the Flock, and is in many ways the one she is closest to. Their relationship slowly develops into a crush and then into romance. They have their first kiss in The Angel Experiment, after Fang is injured. In School's Out - Forever, Max confides frequently in Fang, and feels jealousy when she sees him kiss a red-haired girl named Lissa. In Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, Max tells him while under the influence of Valium that she loves him. Their relationship continues to evolve, with their official first date in MAX, but goes through a rough spot until their reunion in Nevermore. In Maximum Ride Forever, Max gives birth to Phoenix, her daughter with Fang.
- Main article: Dylan
Dylan was designed as Max's perfect mate. Max first meets him in FANG and feels attracted to him, although she is dating Fang at the time. They grow closer in ANGEL after her breakup, with their relationship developing into more of a romance, but Max continues to feel torn between the two boys.
- Main article: Sam (School's Out - Forever)
In School's Out - Forever, Max goes on one date with a boy named Sam while temporarily attending a school in Virginia. This may have been to make Fang jealous. However, Max's paranoia made her suspicious of Sam.
- Max is one of the two members of the Flock who has met her parents. The second is Iggy, who found his parents, but left them because they wanted to make money from 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 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."
- She loves chocolate chip cookies.
- Max and the rest of the Flock are 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 "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.