When someone so great once was, then someone so great will always be.
~ Maxwell Kane
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Maxwell Kane (aka Max or Kicker) is the main protagonist and narrator in the book, Freak the Mighty and Max the Mighty, and the film The Mighty, where he was portrayed by Elden Henson.


Kevin "Freak" Dillon is a 13-year-old boy who suffers Mucopolysaccharidosis IV, or Morquio syndrome. He is extremely intelligent and prone to flights of fancy, but is physically crippled and is forced to walk with crutches and a brace.

Max is an over-sized, yet, good-natured teenage boy suffering from dyslexia who lives with his grandparents. He has flunked the seventh grade twice and is tormented by Tony "Blade" Fowler, a teenage gang leader. When Kevin is assigned as Max's reading tutor, they form a bond of friendship over the similar circumstances they share, such as both being outcasts and their fathers abandoning them (Kevin's dad heard the word "Birth Defect", he disappeared).

Kevin and Max go to a local festival to watch fireworks for Fourth of July and get attacked by Blade and his gang. The two escape into a nearby lake with Kevin riding on Max's shoulders. Kevin then witnesses that same gang of teens putting someone's purse in a sewer later. Kevin goes and bangs on Max's window to get the purse.

They retrieve the purse, but, are once again confronted by Blade and his gang the Doghouse Boys. They attempt to attack Kevin, but Max stops them. Max then becomes angry; he picks up a manhole cover and throws at the gang, who run away, fearing for their lives. Both Max and Kevin see the purse belongs to a woman named Loretta Lee. Kevin and Max return the purse to Loretta and find out that she is married to Iggy Lee, a former gang leader.

Loretta recognizes Max from when he was a child and, after some questioning, she and Iggy learn that Max is the son of the infamous murderer Kenny "Killer" Kane, who brutally murdered Max's mother by starngling her to death when Max was around 4 years old (That is the reason why Max lives with Grim and Gram), and a old friend of Iggy's from prison. Afterward, the two boys help each other out with Kevin acting as Max's brain, and Max acting as Kevin's legs by carrying him around everywhere on his shoulders. One day, Kevin showed Max where he'd be rehabilitated at a research center. Kevin said he'd be the first one and that he'd be just like a robot.

On Christmas Eve, Max is kidnapped by his father (James Gandolfini), who has recently been released from prison on parole. Max is taken to Loretta's home by Kane, who tries to strangle Loretta after she attempts to help Max escape. This leads to Max remembering when Kane murdered Max's mother, which was one of the reasons why Kane went to prison in the first place.

Kevin, having tracked Max and Killer Kane to Iggy and Loretta's, breaks in with a squirt gun The Fair Gwen (Kevin's mom) got him for Christmas and tells Killer Kane that he has sulfuric acid in it. Kevin shoots Killer Kane with the squirt gun and Kane thinks his eyes are burning despite the actually harmless compounds that are in the vial (soap, vinegar, and chili powder).

An angered Killer Kane attempts to attack Kevin. Max reacts and attacks his own father in order to prevent him from harming Kevin. Police come and arrest Kane, who was never given a parole again and was sentenced to prison for life. Max and Kevin go home and celebrate Christmas. After exchanging gifts, Kevin gives Max an empty book and tells Max to write in it.

The next morning, Kevin dies in his sleep, due to cardiac troubles. Max, not bearing to leave his friend, chases after the ambulance. Recalling an earlier conversation with Kevin on how he would get a new body from a research center, Max heads there immediately, only to discover that Kevin had lied and the research center is in fact a commercial laundromat. Max breaks down among the workers. For the next few weeks, he continues going to school, but spends his spare time locked in his basement, even missing Kevin's funeral and Kevin's mother moving away. However, after running into Loretta (now wearing a neck brace, due to Killer Kane hurting her neck pretty bad while strangling her) at a bus stop, she reminds him that "[doing] nothing's a drag", he decides he has to go on, and even works up the courage to answer a question his teacher presents to the class.

Inspired by their bond, Max remembers Kevin and all the adventures they had and he decides to write it all in the empty book Kevin had given him. Max eventually gets writers block on the last page so he puts an illustration of King Arthur's grave, which reads, "Here Lies King Arthur, Once and Future King", to symbolize his belief that he will see Kevin again. Max takes the old ornithopter (his mechanical air plane) that belonged to Kevin and he winds it up, making it fly. Max narrates the final sentence, "And by the time we get here, which I guess should be the end, you're gonna know the story of Freak the Mighty, who slayed dragons, saved maidens, and walked high above the world."


  • "It sometimes seems like the whole world has just seen me on 'America's Most Wanted.'"
  • "Why am I always the one who ends up knee deep in crap?"
  • "It was Freak who told me about King Arthur. How he got this round table, and how he got the bravest knights, and the whole world to sit at that table. You will be brothers, said King Arthur. And you will fight for all those who ask for help. You will be gentle to the weak, but terrible to the wicked. It was Freak who told me about King Arthur. It was Freak who told me everything."
  • "It was like at that moment, he became my brain, and I became his feet."
  • "I look in the mirror and I see his face! I hear my voice and I hear his!"
  • "From that day, Freak never asked me nothin' about my father, and I never asked him nothin' about his, 'cause that's not who we were."
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