max escaping vecna was every bit as powerful as eleven using her powers. it was such an incredible and beautiful scene
max has had to be strong her whole life; she’s been through so much and that’s what was expected of her. if she’s not strong, who will be? she was so underrated (both in the fandom and in her group) and i’m sure she felt that she could never quite fit into the group because she got there late and didn’t have superpowers. and then she spent the year after the fourth of july dealing with horrific trauma and guilt, and did so alone- her best friend moved away and she felt like the others couldn’t understand- not to mention max blamed herself. and then she finds out vecna cursed her- “of course”. and max uses her final hours to write out letters to the most important people in her life and all but resigns herself to her fate. i’m sure she thought it would be easy- because no one undervalues max as much as she does herself. i’m sure she thought that really, they would be okay without her, because she pushed them away and it’s “just” her- not el, not will.
but her friends rally around her, refusing to give up, and do everything they can to save her- just like they would for el, for will, and the others because they. are. family. and max is irreplaceable. even nancy and robin, who we hardly see interact w her, do everything they can (breaking laws) to get the information to save max. and when vecna does catch up to her and they know from eddie’s story that this might be it for her, they still refuse to give up on max. i’ve never seen steve so panicked, never seen the boys try so hard to get through to someone (and lucas knowing her favorite song shows how much he loves her, how he never really left her)
and max? she was going through even MORE shattering trauma but she was still so brave. she ran, kept fighting and got into vecna’s mind because even at her lowest, max is a fighter. max mayfield has had to depend on herself for so long, and she kept trying until vecna finally got her. you can see in her eyes how alone she feels, how hopeless, how she’s out of options. and as her worst fears come true, max’s friends’ love and devotion breaks through another dimension because they will never give up on her. 15 feet in the air, they call her and tell her they’re there for her.
max’s eyes change the second she sees them breaking through. she truly sees that she isn’t alone- she sees memories of lucas and dustin welcoming her to hawkins, bonding with mike, dancing with lucas, her day at the mall with el, having fun with her all of her best friends and realizes that all along, they have loved her every bit as much as she loves them. max realizes that she is strong, but that when she needs help, her friends will always be there for her. so max chooses to hope, to fight, to live. she escapes vecna’s control, something no one has done before, and runs. she dodges every obstacle, refusing to give up despite all the odds and everything she’s been through to get back to her friends and her life. and as she escapes, you can see vecna realize- this girl is special.
max overcomes her trauma and an otherworldly demon purely through her own strength and the love of her friends family and there is nothing more powerful.
There's a post going around talking about how much people appreciated Blackbeard's leg brace as a mobility aid in a character like him and it got me wondering how many people watching the show are familiar with Mad Max beyond the most recent installment. I know that there is a general awareness that Blackbeard's outfit is an homage to Mad Max but like...is everyone APPRECIATING what a brilliant choice it is on multiple levels???
Mad Max's Road Warrior look is an iconic bit of 80s action movie nostalgia. It comes from the second Mad Max movie and is, in and of itself, a brilliant piece of visual storytelling (a hallmark of Mad Max movies as a whole) because it sums up Max as he is at the end of the first movie: a man in mourning whose physical and mental trauma is made explicitly visual by the knee brace that alludes to the climactic showdown of the first movie.
However, because the broad cultural understanding of any character will always sand off the details of that character, the popular read on Max is that he's a cool action hero. So, Blackbeard's clothes are pretty instantly recognizable and immediately give the viewer, at the very least, an idea that Blackbeard is supposed to be an ass-kicking bad-ass. So far so good - we're tapping into the persona that Ed wants to present as Blackbeard.
What people tend to forget is that Mad Max is pretty explicitly a series of stories about a man who does NOT want the role he's been given in the story. Max is not mad-as-in-angry, he's mad-as-in-crazy (there's a whole other conversation to be had about how those movies handle mental health but that's another kettle of fish). Trauma breaks Max and the rage-fueled revenge bender of the first movie leaves him at his lowest point, providing no catharsis. It actively makes him worse in every way and the movies never suggest otherwise. He doesn't even begin to heal or move past that until arguably the third movie, but more realistically the fourth. Throughout all four movies, Max is defined as a character who is trapped in the role thrust upon him and largely cannot form close connections with the people around him because of that. He is not a person, he is violence personified and he hates it.
The Mad Max movies have always been, at their core, about masculinity and its relationship to violence and heroism. Part of the reason Max is read so incorrectly in pop culture is that the movies do have a lot of blood and violence and Max dishes out his fair share. These are the parts that stick in the mind long after the movie is over. The problem is that every other moment in the movies makes it clear that doing these things is harmful to Max. After the first movie he goes out of his way to avoid violent confrontation. In fact, he even actively avoids helping people who are presented as "good" because he knows that the weight of their problems will fall solely on him, without regard for what it does to him.
Ed's entire arc in OFMD is about his relationship to his own masculinity and his relationship to violence, the latter being something that is explicitly performative for him. He embodies a persona of toxic hyper-masculinity but claims that he's never killed anyone since killing his father. He's willing to utilize violence but it's clear that he doesn't enjoy it the way people's mythologized conception of Blackbeard would make it seem like he should. He sheds some blood, lets other people do the killing and no one notices the slight of hand involved there - the fuckery, if you will - because he's so good at presenting himself as the kind of man they want him to be.
Not for nothing, Mad Max is also a series of movies that is very interested in gender, sexuality, and queerness. Not necessarily always in a positive way, but certainly it is a central theme through all of the movies, because sexuality is inextricably tied up in white, Western views of masculinity. I've long felt - and I think the text does support this, albeit perhaps more through accident than intention - that one way to read the original Mad Max is as a movie about a man struggling to accept that he may not be straight. I personally read Max as bisexual but that's a whole other post to make.
All this to say: I don't think Blackbeard's Mad Max look is just a funny gag and the visible mobility aid is just one part of a broader context that it's working in. It's an incredibly astute allusion to another piece of media that has grappled with the central themes of Ed's character and provides us with a ready-made visual to signal exactly what we need to know about Ed as a person.
Hi! Could I request a Max Mayfield x Fem!Reader fluff fic?
There aren’t enough of them out there- 😭
MIDNIGHT LOVE. + MAX MAYFIELD
m.list / nav. / tip.
summary. you silently prayed that Max would forget what happened and never bring it up again, but a month passed and neither of you brought it up. you felt strange feelings for Max but tried to suppress them.
author's note. my first time writing for Max kinda nervous, Sandy Sink is the love of my life rn.
[ ❥ ] pairing. max mayfield x reader
[ ❥ ] word count. 2k
[ ❥ ] genre. fluff
[ ❥ ] warnings. fem reader, pinning, coming out, kinda show canon, girls kissing, not proof read.
It was the middle of the school day, transition time as all the students staggered and shuffled to their next classes before the ring of the bell.
You were making a pit stop, clutching the curve of your binder as you spun in your locker number, yanking the door open with an exhale, leaving your nose as you reached for your textbooks.
A thud made you flinch as your math textbook tumbled from your hands and onto the floor next to your feet.
Max was the cause of the startling noise as she groaned, her fist slamming against the locker next to yours. Once she had noticed the state of your book, she reached down to pick it up for you with no hesitation.
"Shit sorry," she muttered as she snatched the book from the ground and passed it into your arms alongside the others, and you accepted the apology with a slight unbothered smile.
You instantly notice how tired Max looks; her skin paled with eyebags, dark as her normal resting face was contorted into more of a natural-looking scowl.
You could take many wild guesses to piece together whatever the issues were that had the girl so emotionally drained. "What's wrong, Red, and I swear if you say, Lucas–"
"–Lucas broke up with me." She grumbled with annoyance in her tone, clanking her shoulders against the locker for balance as she hung her head low towards you.
You weren't an avid Lucas and Max follower, but you could tell something was different in the exchange.
It was normal for Max to tell you how many times she would argue about the littlest of things with Lucas and how she would always "break up" with him.
The pause in the relationship took a lot of glaring at each other in the hallways for a week before Max would take him back.
You weren't in the main circle yourself, having your own group of friends. The day you met Max, you two just sort of clicked. It was like you were her safe haven away from the chaos that came with being friends with the boys.
She got away whenever she just needed to clear her head and be around actual normal people her age.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Max." Her defeated look was enough for you to shift your books under your right armpit, pulling her in for a hug or at least an embrace as Max just sort of melted into your touch.
Since that day, the bond that you had with Max seemed to get stronger. She was going out of her way to spend more of her free time with you, even outside of school. Max appeared to have replaced her usual friend group with your presence.
You weren't complaining much about it yourself, adoring the new friendship. You were helping her become a distraction from all the chaos happening in her life.
You were the perfect distraction for the spiral of emotions she was going through.
Between watching her own brother die and defeating Mindflayer, she needed something stable in her life and that stability came in the form of you.
You didn't take notice of how much more touchy she was getting, thinking she was just getting more comfortable with you. You didn't think much of the times she would bump into your shoulder or just out of nowhere hold your hand.
Then, of course, you thought your relationship was nothing but best friends just being best friends. That was until last night, of course.
It was normal for Max to sneak her way through your window and slip into your bed; for you two to sleep together, cuddling into your bed sheets as she would quietly weep into your embrace, having just woken from a nightmare in her own room.
You thought the night would end with both of you falling asleep in each other's arms and waking up early enough for Max to sneak back home before her mother would notice her absent child.
But last night was different. As Max climbed under the covers with you, she was more silent than normal, letting you speak for a while, only answering with small gestures or one-worded replies.
Until she just sort of stares at you. Before you could ask what was wrong, she pecked your lips.
The kiss left you both confused as Max pulled away, almost terrified as she lay down, settling into your blankets, giving you space to spend the night in uncomfortable silence.
You spent the next day at school, not seeing much of Max, carrying out your normal day-to-day routine. you had before meeting Max.
You had to admit, it was a little lonely as the last bell dismissing the school day rung Max cloth-lined you just as you were about to step foot out of your classroom.
"Do you want to hang out later?" Her tone was flat, almost as if she was ignoring what had happened yesterday.
Your fingers tighten around the binder in your hands as your brows raise in confusion.
Your mouth opening to speak only to be cut off by a line of passing students attempting to step around you, Max gently yanking you closer to her.
When you had finally found your words, stepping a step back, "Are you…sure?" you asked as you tilted your head, trying to figure out what was happening inside of Max’s mind.
"Yeah, why else would I be asking?" copying the tilt as she forced a small smile on her face.
"Okay yeah, we can hang out at my place if you want or if you have somewhere in mind?" You gave her a smile in return as she went back to her neutral expression, her lashes fluttering almost as if she was nervous.
"Your place, and then maybe the arcade, like we did last weekend. I'll even buy you a slushie." Her parting words as she strode down the hallways putting her headphones back over her ears as you watched her leave.
Your eyes glanced at the roof of the school as you silently prayed that Max had magically lost memory and would never bring up what happened ever again before going home.
And that she did, a month passing from the kiss and neither of you bringing it up.
As if anything was getting closer despite that huge bump in the road, you played pretend like you hadn't thought about the kiss at all, like you weren't secretly expecting another one from Max.
When she slipped under the covers and cuddled into your side, a strange feeling festered inside of you, as if a switch had been flipped in your head the night before.
You knew the feelings you had were "different" so you tried your best to suppress them, there's no way you had feelings for Max you were just confused and that it was all a misunderstanding just because she had kissed you and you thought Max was at fault the same way.
You had nothing much to do that day, deciding to get some fresh air for the first time in your life as you used your free period to wander outside and into the schoolyard.
Eventually ending up at the gym field, and the sun suddenly becomes unbearable as you hide under the shade of the bleachers.
Your fingers dragging along the cool metal as you strode down the path stumbling across a conversion between Max and Dustin, an odd pair you caught in the side of your eye.
You knew eavesdropping wasn't good but you were just so curious seeing the two friends chat.
"Why are you talking to me about this? I thought you hated me." You listened to Dustin practically squeak, though it was in a sad attempt of a whisper, his tone was forceful.
"I don't hate you. The one person I would normally talk to is literally, the only person who wouldn't really appreciate the topic at hand." Max stated simply.
Her posture slouched as her hands fidgeted with the buttons on her cassette player. You heard Dustin sigh, watching his hands gesture for her to continue speaking.
"It's about [Y/n]," you flinched, "I—she kissed me and I don't know what to do." You felt like you were going to throw up, your heart hammering in the mention of kissing Max, rushing away into the school's bathroom before you could hear anything else, and missing what Max said after, "and I think... I think I like-like her." Max would admit when you were no longer in your range of hearing.
The redhead was watching Dustin react as the screws and bolts inside of his mind went to work, his brows raising as he took a moment to process that Max was basically coming out to him.
"So you like her, like in the way you used to like Lucas?" Dustin asked, wanting to confirm if he was processing everything right.
If it weren't for the slight nod, Dustin also confirmed almost smiling when he noticed the pink tint in his friend's cheeks; he was not used to seeing the girl blush, let alone do anything but scowl.
"Why are you telling me and not her? She kissed you right? " Before the bell could ring, Dustin reached over and placed a supportive hand on her shoulder before standing up from the bleachers and leaving for his next class.
As you slammed the stall doors shut, your breathing picked up as you covered your mouth, your mind taking over Max’s words.
You were confused.
Why did Max blame you for the kiss? It had taken you the entire rest of your class hour to calm yourself down.
You knew skipping class in the bathroom stalls would get you in trouble if you had gotten caught or if the teachers called your parents the moment you got home about your absence, and that they did the moment you stepped foot into your home.
Your parents ground you as you stuttered and stumbled to come up with an excuse other than "sorry mom, I had a panic attack because I kissed a girl and now my entire life feels over. won't happen again."
The rest of your day secluded in your bedroom finishing homework came before you knew it, the hour you were dreading the most as an hour had swept by from your usual bedtime.
Max continued the routine as normal, only you were perched sitting against your headboard, your lamp turned on as you had finally noticed her arrival, setting down the book. You were scanning over the same page over and over on your lap.
"Hey," you whispered, as Max cautiously crawled to sit in front of you. A moment of silence broke between the two of you as you were quickly growing more anxious by the minute. "Just say it, Max," you say, your fingers trembling as you avoid making eye contact.
"What do you mean?" Max’s brows furrowed in confusion as her eyes peered at you.
"I heard what you told Dustin. That I kissed you? Why did you say that?" You finally snapped, your glare finally narrowing down at her as your knuckles clenched the book in your hands hard.
"Wait what—just let me explain," Max asked, her eyes pleading when you sighed.
"Okay," you agreed.
"I'm sorry for kissing you, and I'm not using you to move on from Lucas–this is all just so...confusing, I guess." Max’s hand raised on her temple as she exhaled a small breath, "I mean, I like you, and since the kiss, everything has sort of just changed for me. It's changed how I feel for you and what I want. And I guess hanging out with you made me realize the feelings I would normally have for Lucas…I have for you now." Taking your hands from her as she watched you handle her confession, your face stunned before reacting blushfully.
"Gosh dude, you're a piece of work," You muttered, your hands grasping more of Max’s touch.
"But even though you are, I like you too Max," you admitted, watching as she had struggled to cover her smile before just yanking you into an embrace as you tackled into her chest giggling like it was late at night.
It was the start of the not-so-perfect relationship you two had, but you both didn't want perfect, you just wanted each other, and that was all that mattered.
[ ❥ ] taglist. @sh3lov3dyou @spenglerslime @eichenhouseproperty @lil-tracys @smellylittlesamuel @athenstheidiot @brokeniced @your-mom21 @23victoria @bunnyweasley23 @chaotic-fangirl-blog @wh0reforbucknasty @i-write-stories-not-sins-bitch @1efleur @euph0riafilms @xochitlsgolfcart @iamairfreshener @loveshineslikethesky @willowwonka @spenglerslime @imahoforthings @eichenhouseproperty
tap here to be added to taglist or comment below!