In recent years, IDW Publishing has collected all of Sam Kieth and William Messner-Loebs' original The Maxx series from the 1990s in a series of The Maxx: Maxximized reprint volumes. Just earlier this week, IDW hinted at The Maxx returning for a new series.
Now, IDW and DC Comics have announced Sam Kieth will work on a new miniseries teaming up Kieth's creator-owned character with The Dark Knight for Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with Sam Kieth,” IDW editor Scott Dunbier told Paste Magazine. “He puts his heart and soul into his art, and gives you something truly unique in the process. We can’t wait for people to see this!”
The Maxx, of course, launched in 1993, in the very early days of Image Comics. Writer William Messner-Loebs joined Kieth in telling the story of a homeless man named Dave who existed as a giant heroic rabbit protecting a young social worker in the dreamlike "Outback," where she appeared as a Jungle Queen.
The series ran for 35 issues over five years. It even received its own cartoon series on MTV that adapted the comic book storyline. After ending the series in 1998, Kieth has mostly left the character behind, so this is a major turn of events for fans of the character.
Kieth, who was famously part of the original creative team on Sandman with Neil Gaiman, drew Batman covers as far back as 1991. In the last few decades, Kieth has worked on a number of Batman-related projects that he both wrote and illustrated. This is likely why Kieth described the project as, "a family reunion with my favorite brother and our really cool cousin. You never want it to end…or at least I hope you won’t!”
Below is the official description of the five-issue miniseries:
When a devious new doctor at Arkham Asylum conducts unconventional forays into the human psyche, he kicks off a disastrous chain reaction by experimenting on Arkham’s newest patient: The Maxx! The city of Gotham soon begins to merge with the Outback, The Maxx’s psychedelic mental landscape. It’s up to Batman to save Gotham and all of reality… but only by joining The Maxx on a trip into the darkest depths imaginable: the twisted minds of Batman’s greatest enemies!
Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams, with alternate covers by Jim Lee, launches in September from IDW Publishing and DC Comics.