|“||You think Manticore's taking care of you out of the goodness of its heart? They're using you. Get it through your head: you're working for the bad guys.||”|
— Max to Alec
|Last Appearance:||Freak Nation|
|Group:|| Eyes Only Informant Net|
|Occupation:|| bike messenger (Jam Pony)|
|Family:|| Lucy Barrett (adoptive sister)
Joann Barrett (adoptive mother) Sam/X5-453 (twin)
|Friends:||Logan Cale (boyfriend)|
|Portrayed by:|| Jessica Alba (adult)|
Geneva Locke (child)
Max Guevara, designation X5-332960073452, is one of the twelve X5s who successfully escaped from Manticore in Febuary 2009. Years later, she became the leader of a group of transgenics living in the dangerous Terminal City.
Life at ManticoreEdit
Born to a surrogate mother sometime around the turn of the twenty-first century, Max was raised and trained as a soldier from a very young age by military handlers, under the command of Colonel Donald Lydecker, at a facility located in Gillette, Wyoming called Manticore. During this time, Max developed a very close bond with her unit-mates, and was considered to be the baby of their "family".
From the beginning, the X5's training was harsh and rigorous, sometimes downright brutal. In addition, they were subjected to powerful psychological conditioning, as well as cruel medical experiments. As Max would later say, they didn't think to escape because, after all, they didn't know there was anything else to escape to.
Throughout their lives, the X5's were plagued by a design flaw: a neurological disorder that caused random and violent seizures. To temporarily suppress the seizures, they took Tryptophan, a neurotransmitter that replaced the serotonin that their brains were unable to produce. Max witnessed her brother Jack suffer from a seizure during a drill, and she and her other siblings watched as Jack was taken away. Later, she could not sleep and wandered out of their room, only to find Jack being autopsied by a team of doctors while Lydecker supervised them as he sipped calmly from a cup.
During this time, there was one incident that haunted the memories of the young soldiers: a training exercise requiring them to hunt down and kill a prisoner. They accomplished this with such ruthless effectiveness that even Lydecker was alarmed by their exhilaration and savagery. Years later, Max was greatly disturbed by what had happened and tried to forget about it, but never could.
Some time after Jack died, Max began to seize as well. Zack was particularly fond of her, and was terrified that she too would be taken away and would never come back. He declared that they would escape, though Max initially didn't want to leave, not knowing what they would be escaping to.
Eventually, a guard found her seizing, and Zack attacked him, obtaining a weapon. Lydecker was nearby and the gun had skidded in front of Eva. She picked it up as Lydecker appeared, and he shot her, finding her a threat. Max and her "siblings" thought that they truly meant nothing to their CO, that they were just material to him. In February 2009, led by Zack, they broke out of Manticore and fled into the forest. After rendezvousing in a clearing a safe distance from the building, Zack split the group up and sent them in different directions. Max didn't think separating was wise, but complied, and, as Zack stayed behind to hold up their pursuers, climbed the fence and disappeared into the night.
While trying to decide what to do, Max was discovered by Hannah, a Manticore nurse who offered her help. Max, somewhat suspicious, accepted, and stayed at the nurse's cabin for several hours before continuing.
The Pulse and BeyondEdit
After leaving Hannah's cabin, Max stowed aboard a supply truck and got off in Casper, Wyoming, where she met Lucy Barrett, a young girl who was making a snowman outside her aunt's house. After Max tells Lucy that she ran away from a bad place and that people would hurt her if they found her, Lucy lets Max stow away in her mother's SUV when they return home to Los Angeles, California. After arriving, Lucy's mother, Joann, said that Max could stay with them by saying that she was the daughter of Joann's late cousin. During the next three months, Max and Lucy had to put up with Lucy's sexually abusive, alcoholic father, Jack. While Max attended school with Lucy, she suffered from seizures due to her genetic breeding. The school nurse prescribed tryptophan, a dietary supplement, that controlled them. On June 1, 2009, disaster struck on a global scale: terrorists detonated a nuclear weapon in the sky high above the United States, producing a powerful electromagnetic pulse which destroyed virtually every electronic device within thousands of miles, immediately plunging the country into total anarchy. On the same day, after defending herself from Jack, she ran away from the Barrett’s home. Guilt over the tactical decision to refrain from defending and eventually leave Lucy, as her training bade, plagued Max into adulthood.
She eventually joined up with Moody and the Chinese Clan, a group of thieves taking refuge in the remains of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. In 2019, Max left Los Angeles to search for one of her Manticore siblings in Seattle, Washington. While stopping in Eureka, California, Max met “Original Cindy” McEachin and the two of them traveled to Seattle together.
In Seattle, Max worked as a bike messenger for a delivery service called Jam Pony. She became friends with several other messengers, mainly Cynthia "Original Cindy" McEachin, Herbal Thought, and Calvin "Sketchy" Theodore. For years, Max had wanted to find her missing brothers and sisters from Manticore, and so hired a private investigator in Seattle to help track them down. In order to fund the expensive search, Max supplemented her income with a secret life as a cat burglar, using her deliveries as opportunities to scout new targets.
During one of these burglaries, Max met Logan Cale, the underground cyber-journalist known as Eyes Only. Cale noticed his visitor's unusual abilities and, after investigating further, discovered her identity as an X5. He proposed a deal: he would help Max track down her siblings, and she would help him bring down criminals. Max at first refused, unwilling to expose herself to notice by Manticore, but eventually agreed after taking pity on one of the people Logan was helping.
Not long after this, Logan located the nurse from Manticore, named Hannah, who had helped Max years ago. Max went to see her and ended up saving her from Lydecker, who had discovered Hannah's connection to Max. Max also learned from Hannah about her surrogate mother, whom she had wondered about for years.
Throughout this time, Logan had also been following leads on Zack, who was living in Seattle temporarily. Max was then finally reunited with her long-lost brother, only to discover that he wasn't what she had expected. He still considered himself a soldier, and to maintain secrecy he refused to tell Max where the other X5's were.
Over the course of several months, Max and Zack would find themselves working together to help the others. Once, they were left no choice but to turn in their sister, Brin, to Manticore lest she die from a deadly syndrome that plagued many transgenics.
But Lydecker was not their only enemy. Several foreign countries were attempting to get a hold of Manticore technology, among them South Africa. Hoping to capture Max, a team of South African super-soldiers, called the Red Series, was sent to Seattle. Although Max was able to escape from them initially, she learned the hard way that they were stronger and tougher than even X5's, and alone, she could not hope to withstand them. Eventually, she managed to kill one of them and, after learning more about them from Logan's friend Sebastian, enhanced herself with one of the Red Series' neural implants, and fought them equally. Although she managed to kill them, she nearly died as well from the strain the implant caused on her nervous system. Thankfully, Logan and Original Cindy were able to deactivate the implant in time, and with his last breath, one of the Red Series killed his handler after learning that he had lied to them, and that they never had any chance of surviving either.
At one point, Lydecker enlisted the help of the Seattle Police Department to capture Max, claiming that she was wanted for murder. When she was taken into custody by the police, Zack turned himself in to save Max, and was taken back to Manticore.
Later, in order to try to get information from Zack, Manticore let him escape and link up with Max, hoping that he would tell her where the other X5's were, and, in turn, unwittingly tell Lydecker as well, as he was eavesdropping with a transmitter implanted in Zack's head. Zack did, indeed, tell Max where several other escapees were, however, they then realized they had been set up and were able to warn the others via an Eyes Only broadcast, giving them time to evade the subsequent search.
Some time later, Max encountered an X5, named Jace, who had not escaped when the others did and was in Seattle on a mission to assassinate a former employee of Manticore, Dr. Adriana Vertes. Max stopped Jace from killing Vertes (even though she despised anyone who had worked for Manticore), however, the situation became more complicated when it was learned that Jace was pregnant. Max eventually convinced her to stop serving Manticore and, despite Vertes' betrayal of them to Lydecker, the two evaded their pursuers and Max helped Jace escape to Mexico.
Perhaps the most trying moment for Max came when she discovered that her brother, Ben, was going from city to city murdering people, and was now in Seattle. When Max saw the bodies of his victims, she noted a disturbing similarity between Ben's M.O. and their killing of the prisoner at Manticore years earlier. She tracked Ben down in a nearby church, and found that he was leaving his victims' teeth there as an offering to the "Blue Lady", an incarnation of the Virgin Mary that Ben had worshipped for years. Ben escaped, but Max again located him, atop the Space Needle. There, she caught him and tried to convince him to stop killing, and he eventually agreed to take her to his most recent prisoner so she could release him. By this time, Lydecker, who had been searching for Ben, was closing in on him and Max, although he did not know Max was with Ben. Upon reaching the factory he used as a base, Ben managed to free himself from Max again and pursued his prisoner through the forest. Max followed him, and caught up with him just in time to stop him from killing his target. The two then began to fight, and Ben's victim was able to flee the area. Max eventually broke Ben's leg, rendering him unable to fight, but also unable to escape from Lydecker's troops, who were now scouring the forest. Knowing this, and knowing that if Max tried to carry him to safety, they would both be captured, Ben asked her to kill him. She at first refused, but could not deny the fact that returning to Manticore would be worse than death, and complied by distracting him with the request for one of their old childhood stories, and quickly snapping his neck before he could finish.
Some time afterwards, Max discovered that Tinga, an X5 that she and Zack had helped to escape from Lydecker's forces in Portland, was in trouble because her husband, who didn't know she was transgenic, put the word out that she was missing. Now, he and their young son were in danger from Lydecker, so Max and Tinga joined forces to rescue them. During the operation, they were joined by Zack, who, despite having told Tinga that returning was foolish, had come back to help. During the rescue, as Manticore troops stormed the building, Max made a disturbing discovery: Brin, the X5 they had been forced to turn in months ago, had been brainwashed and was leading the soldiers from Manticore. After a fight with her, Max escaped and headed back to regroup with the others. Unfortunately, it looked as though the rescue might have been in vain; Lydecker had infected Tinga's son with microscopic robots that began to make him sick. In the end, Tinga was forced to surrender herself to save her son. As her husband took his son away to safety, Max vowed that she would free Tinga eventually.
Not long afterwards, Zack, who had been watching Lydecker and Dr. Elizabeth Renfro, located Tinga and told Max. By this time, Max and Logan had fallen in love, and Lydecker was losing his influence in Manticore and its parent organization, the Committee. Max and Zack set out to rescue Tinga, only to discover that she had been killed by Renfro. In addition, Manticore had located Max by tracking the Red Series implant in her brain with the help of the South Africans. Lydecker and his soldiers intercepted the X5's at the silo where they had found Tinga, and Max was captured. Thankfully, Zack had escaped, and Renfro had betrayed Lydecker and tried to have him assassinated, forcing him to go rogue with just two loyal soldiers. After telling Max what had happened, he agreed to help the X5's attack Manticore. Along with Lydecker, Max, Zack and two of their siblings, Syl and Krit, devised a plan to infiltrate Manticore's facility in Gillette and destroy the DNA database. They carried out the operation successfully, however, due to incorrect information regarding the facility's security forces, were attacked as they made their escape by a contingent of X7's. Syl and Krit got away, but Max and Zack were captured. Max, who had been shot in the heart, was in critical condition, and, in order to save her, Zack shot himself in the head so that the doctors at Manticore could transplant his heart. Max survived, but now had to face the harsh reality that she was once again a prisoner of Manticore.
Destruction of ManticoreEdit
Upon recovering from her injuries, Max was subjected to re-indoctrination procedures by Manticore. For weeks, she was tortured and brainwashed as Renfro attempted to wipe out her defiance and independence. Eventually, Max stopped resisting and began acting like a loyal soldier. Renfro knew that she was only playing along, but could do nothing other than reintegrate her with the other X5's.
For the next few weeks, Max quietly endured training, drills, and hatred from the other X5's who considered her a traitor, all the while planning her escape. One night, a male X5 designated X5-494 arrived in her cell and informed her that they had been assigned as breeding partners, as part of Manticore's program to create more soldiers without the DNA profiles that had been stored at the Gillette facility. Max was revolted by the idea and refused to conceive a child with him. At first annoyed, 494 learned to back down and agreed not to tell his superiors. Max eventually named him Alec (as in "smart alec") after he caught her preparing for her escape. Max ropes him into helping her leave Manticore, but later finds out that he'd been ordered to follow her for a Search and Retrieval Operation, with her ((aka not like that'boyfriend' as the target. After learning that Logan had been infected with a virus, Max incapacitated him and sent a broadcast Logan had prepared revealing Manticore's location. When she returned to Manticore, she demanded that Renfro hand over the antigen, and after receiving it, Renfro took a fatal bullet for her, and with her dying breath, told Max to find Sandeman.
- The character 'Max Guevara' was ranked #17 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (1 August 2004 issue).
|See Also: Season One Characters|