A deranged gang leader, Maximilian "Maxie" Zeus came to believe himself an avatar of the Olympian god Zeus. Creating a cult-like gang of henchmen to do his bidding, Zeus became a power-player in the Gotham City underworld. His criminal activities are perpetrated by his army of followers, and—he believes—overseen by the ancient Greek gods themselves.
Maximilian Zeus, a slightly built, almost mild man, was a history teacher and a married man. Through unrevealed circumstances he lost his wife and his sanity. Completely delusional, Maxie Zeus believes he is the reincarnation of the Greek god Zeus himself. He became a crime lord, and uses his cunning and intelligence to rise to power amidst the chaos in Gotham City's underworld caused by the city's numerous insane criminals.
Zeus fought Batman on several occasions before being committed to Arkham Asylum, where he remained until escaping to form a team of superhuman agents, the New Olympians. He attempted to kidnap Olympic athlete Lacinia Nitocris and force her to marry him and become a mother figure for his daughter Medea. This plot is foiled by Batman and the Outsiders, who beat the Olympians in a series of Olympic-style games. Returned to Arkham, Zeus is one of the villains that escaped when Bane brought down the walls of Arkham Asylum during Batman: Knightfall. Maxie's escape attempt was disrupted when he collided with a tree. When the Joker escaped, he ignored Zeus's pleas for help because the Joker finds him annoying.
Sometime later, however, Zeus was drawn into a plot engineered by the children of the god Ares — Deimos, Phobos, and Eris - to merge Gotham City with Ares's throne capital, the Aeropagus. (The Greek gods actually exist in the DC Universe, and appear quite often in Wonder Woman). The intent being to re-establish Ares's rule on earth. Zeus is seemingly killed as a result of that plot, and his sacrifice brought about Ares' return. However, the scheme was foiled by Wonder Woman and her allies, and Ares himself banished his children back to Tartarus.
Recently, Zeus has resurfaced, having survived his apparent death (either his injuries were not severe or his history has been altered by the events of Infinite Crisis) and coming into conflict with Robin. In Batman: Cacophony, he begins selling a drug created from a combination of Joker venom and ecstasy. In retaliation, the Joker blows up a school where Zeus's nephew is a student. It is shown that Zeus can be coherent and sane when on medication but lapses back into a raving, delusional man-god when off them.
Maxie Zeus is driven by religious delusions and is a charismatic leader who has developed a long-standing cult. He is currently determined to extend his powerful reach and recruit new followers.
- Achilles - Robin Vol. 4 #30
- Eddie - Detective Comics #514
- Fred Britt - Detective Comics #491
- Harpy - Detective Comics #514
- Hector - Robin #30
- Heracles - Robin #30
- Joey - Detective Comics #514
- Julie Caesar - An associate of Maxie Zeus that believes himself to be Julius Caesar. (Batman #19)
- Morris - Detective Comics #514
- The New Olympians - A group of Greek Mythology-based criminals assembled by Maxie Zeus in his plot to affect the Olympic Games. (Batman and the Outsiders #14)
- Antaeus - Batman and the Outsiders #2
- Argus - Maxie Zeus' henchman who is a member of the New Olympians. He has telekinetic powers that enables him to see great distances and was a poor fight as he was easily defeated by Batman. His talents make him similar to the actual Argus Panoptes. (Batman and the Outsiders #2)
- Diana - Maxie Zeus' henchman who is a member of the New Olympians. She is superb archer and a fierce swordswoman. Diana was defeated in a sword fight against Katana. Her talents make her similar to Artemis. (Batman and the Outsiders #2)
- Nox - Batman and the Outsiders #2
- Proteus - Batman and the Outsiders #2
- Volcanus - Batman and the Outsiders #2
In Other Media
- In the novelization of the 1997 film Batman & Robin, Maxie Zeus is confirmed to be an inmate in Arkham Asylum.
- Although he doesn't directly appear in Batman: Assault on Arkham, he was indirectly alluded to when his apparel was discovered by the Suicide Squad while rummaging through the Arkham Asylum evidence locker. King Shark claimed to have never heard of him.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, Maximillian Zeus is voiced by the late Steve Susskind and is a shipping tycoon with underworld connections. He carries a metal rod appropriately in the shape of a thunderbolt, which he uses to electrocute his victims. In his sole episode, "Fire From Olympus", after recovering from a serious financial crisis after turning to smuggling following a run of bad business, Maxie goes insane, develops a god complex, and starts to believe that he is the Greek god Zeus and his lawyer-girlfriend is the muse Clio. When Batman arrives at the top of his building, Maxie believes he is Hades, as "no mortal can reach 'Mount Olympus" without his permission, and even calls the caped crusader his "brother". Maxie steals a giant lightning gun which he uses on "pitiful mortals" who dare to oppose him, although on a couple of occasions he seems to revert to normal. When Clio tries to stop him, he has her gagged and bound to the barrel of the lightning gun by his henchmen, though she is saved by Batman before she can be killed. Maxie is eventually subdued by Batman with help from Clio. While being dragged through Arkham Asylum, he looks at the prisoners watching him and believes that he sees a Greek deity in their place: The Joker is Hermes the trickster god, Two-Face is the "double-faced" beginnings and endings god Janus (actually a Roman god), and Poison Ivy is the harvest goddess Demeter. His last line is "Now at last, Mighty Zeus is home", indicating humorously that he is now where he belongs, in Arkham.
- Main article: Maxie Zeus (The Batman)
- Although Maxie Zeus himself doesn't directly appear in Gotham, he is alluded to twice, once in two episodes: In "Selena Kyle," the henchmen for the Dollmaker utilized Trident Shipping for their abductions and later attempted shipping of the children to Dollmaker, alluding to the shipping company run by Maxie Zeus. In "Viper," after a junkie addled with the titular drug starts referring to himself as if he were a god, the store owner sarcastically refers to him as "Zeus," alluding to Maxie Zeus's delusions.
- Maxie Zeus (spelled Maxiezeus in the manual) appears as a minor enemy in the NES Batman video game, aiding the Joker. He attacks by rushing towards Batman.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
- While Maxie Zeus does not appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, his cell, decorated with symbols from ancient Greece (as well as an Egyptian Eye of Ra, for some reason), can be located behind a hidden wall in the Patient Pacification Chamber. If people looked closely at Scarecrow's hidden lair or Riddler's secret maps, the name "Maxie Zeus" is pointed to the circle with an "M" inside at a room, and at the bottom left corner, it was labeled Arkham Mansion.
Batman: Arkham City
- Although Maxie Zeus doesn't appear in Batman: Arkham City, his nightclub (Gotham City Olympus) does. When scanning the nightclub it answers the riddle "Would an invitation to party like the gods be a bolt out of the blue?" It is revealed that Maxie disappeared at the asylum after one too many rounds of electroshock therapy, most likely from Quincy Sharp. However, the continued operation of his nightclub suggests that Maxie is still around.