Maxine "Max" Gibson was Terry McGinnis's friend, and later an invaluable ally in his life as the second Batman.
Max did not have a happy childhood. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she and her older sister moved in with their mother. To make ends meet, Mrs. Gibson was on the road a lot, leaving Max to take care of herself from a young age. She missed a lot of the attention and love, but grew stronger through it.
Not deterred by her family situation, Max rose to become one of the smartest students at Hamilton Hill High School. She received a perfect score on the standardized GAT test and her class grades made her the lead candidate for class valedictorian. Also a computer genius, Max wrote a computer program to discover Batman's secret identity as a hobby. She narrowed it down to a basic, physical description, plus her hunch that he was somehow connected to the high school.
Unfortunately for her, Terminal, the leader of a gang of Jokerz, attacked the school in an attempt to alter the records and then tried to kill her. After the first attempt on her life failed, Max adapted her identification program to find possible Jokerz gang members. The list of names the computer printed out included Terry's, which she suspected may have been why he had tried to talk her out of making the list. Deciding to take action, she sent a message to Terry that she knew "his secret", and ordered him to meet her.
Terminal followed her and threatened to kill her, but Batman showed up and saved her. Terminal's true identity was revealed as Carter Wilson, the class's second-highest achiever who was driven to be first by his uncaring mother. Max realized that Terry was actually Batman and, in private, told him that she knew his secret, but promised not to tell anyone and offered to help him in any way she could.
Max played an integral part in Batman's war on crime: when it came to crime-fighting, she employed her considerable intelligence and skills at computer hacking and investigation to aid Terry, compensating for his lack of training as a detective.
She was likewise invaluable at helping Terry maintain his "normal" life, including coming up with excuses for his long absences for Dana Tan, creating diversions that enabled him to slip away when necessary, keeping him updated on developments at school that he missed out on, or just helping him catch up on his schoolwork. Terry jokingly referred to her as his "Alfred" (after she quipped that she refused to be called "Robin"). Aside from her intelligence, she was also valuable to him as a sympathetic friend whom he could confide in.
Beneath her confident, even brassy demeanor, Max had a craving for both affection and excitement that sometimes got the better of her cool head. At times, she pressed Terry to let her take a more active role in his investigations; he was reluctant to involve her, but she sometimes stepped forward before he could stop her. This led to an unfortunate addiction to Spellbinder's love-filled virtual reality technology, while she was helping Terry investigate illicit gaming parlors. Another time, she was nearly killed by the assassin Curaré when she sneaked into her target's hotel room to look for clues. But she still proved her worth to Terry as a partner time and again, most notably when she tracked down, and then disarmed a massive bomb hidden in a museum while Terry was fighting Curaré. Then despite being held hostage by Zeta, Max helps Terry realize that the rogue synthoid doesn't wish to fight anymore, and convinces him to give Zeta a chance.
Over time, Terry trusted Max with full knowledge of his secret activities and she eventually became acquainted with Bruce Wayne. At first, Bruce was very resistant to the idea of her getting involved, even going so far as to have her arrested after the two of them are forced to work together to find and save Terry. Eventually, though, Bruce came to accept Max as Terry's friend and ally. Bruce, however, still kept her at an arms length; never letting her into the Batcave or discussing any other sensitive information.
Along with Terry, she became acquainted with Zander, the sheltered leader-in-training of the terrorist organization, Kobra. Having never before met a woman who challenged or defied him, Zander became intrigued by and smitten with Max after she beat him in a game of "Sentries of the Last Cosmos". Going against the wishes of his Kobra minders, he arranged for Max to be abducted and brought her aboard his organization's ship, revealing his plan to remake the Earth as a home for spliced human-dinosaur hybrids, and asked her to be his queen. Of course, she refused. She escaped the ship with Terry before it exploded, with the help of Kairi Tanaga.
Max was later confronted by Terry and confessed that she made an offhand remark about how the school sees more of Batman than it did of Terry. He was furious, but Max didn't see what the big deal was. In fact, she warned Terry that his relationship with Dana was on thin ice as it was, and that it might be a good idea to let her in on the truth.
Powers and abilities
- Max has no metahuman abilities, but she possessed a genius-level intelligence, and considerable skills with computer hacking and investigation, as well as street-smarts.
- Though she had no formal martial arts training, she was also scrappy in a fight and nearly fearless.
Max was introduced in the second season of Batman Beyond to meet the demands from the WB network, who wanted a young teenage girl to be part of Terry's secret life, as a means to widen the audience viewership.