Venomous Maximus (2004)

First off, spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the direct to DVD Valor vs. Venom special. Venomous Maximus is the DNA modified form of General Hawk. In the special, Dr. Mindbender combined the good General’s DNA with all sorts of animals. The result was a brutal, feral and ruthless leader who had instant aspirations to take over Cobra. Sort of like Serpentor minus the tendencies toward foppishness. Now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about the figure.

It’s one of the most unique small GI Joes ever made. Regardless of what you may think of the character and its design, Venomous Maximus deserves some credit simply based on the fact that it’s done something new with the usual GI Joe action figure buck. He’s a monstrously mutated mountain of a man, and one of the bulkiest o-ring figures in the line. Unlike the monsters introduced in the 90s,which sacrificed articulation for a larger body type, Maximus retains the usual points of movement.

To top it off, he’s dressed in a sort of ancient Rome meets Eternia number. The outfit is impressive, especially the cape/drape covering his mutated left arm. The fact that the man got this incredible villain getup right out of the gate amazes me more than the fact Cobra had a suit all ready for Serpentor back in the day. However, compared to the badass warrior groove Maximus puts out, Serpy looks like a goofy sports mascot.

It wasn’t the only versiof the toy, as the mold was cast in translucent plastic and included with the wonderfully fun Venomization Chamber in 2005. Unfortunately, Venomous Maximus as a concept was all too quickly dispensed. Hawk was cured by the end of the VvV special thanks to some serious DNA therapy and Dr. Link Talbot, and I guess the Cobra high command sent Maxie’s wardrobe to the Evil Goodwill. Maybe someday the concept will get a revisit. After all, even bits of Cobra La have made appearances in Joe media from time to time. I’d certainly like to see this figure interpreted in the modern, more detailed style.


  • In my personal fan-continuation of the Sunbow/DIC continuity (with a few ‘retcons’ here and there), Maximus isn’t a mutated General Hawk, but was created in a manner similar to Serpentor, with a bit of input from the likes of supervillains such as Vandal Savage and Kraven the Hunter. In a ‘fancast’ for a third GI Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon series circa 2003-05 (with art and character designs similar to the initial Ben 10 shows), Maximus would be voiced by Ron Perlman.

  • I have the translucent version and might get this one someday. Vennie Maxie certainly is a unique, well-crafted figure and somehow, he doesn’t annoy me the way Serpentor does. His backstory is also cooler than Serpy’s.

    @Acer: That’s a neat origin you have there. I like the inclusion of classic supervillains and Ron Perlman would be perfect casting for this guy.

  • @Clutch
    I also came up with a worthy replacement for Chris Latta as Cobra Commander, who could still sound similar (he’d also, in turn, voice Ripper of the Dreadnoks, Breaker, Frostbite, and Gung-Ho): Hank Azaria. You’ll remember that he voiced Cobra Commander in the Family Guy episode PTV. (In a way, I think Azaria was paying back Latta, as he took over for Latta as the voice of Moe on The Simpsons.)

  • I remember being so excited when I found this guy. I may have been in college when this stuff came out, but V-Max was just such a fun figure I couldn’t help but play with him when I first got him. He was on display too, but that was one of the few figures that I really played with. As I recall, I had him just pounding the everloving tar out of the Duke he came with. Nothing really against Duke, but he just made a convenient enemy and seriously, without backup who’s gonna stand up alone against that monstrosity?

  • Its an impressive sculpt. Add some green paint and youve got an Ork “Big ‘un”. VvV was relesed in very limited quantites down here [i did see some of it in Hobbyco at the QVB back in January ’05]. The only way i could watch the movie is by viewing it on Youtube.

    I had no idea Hank Azaria appeared on Family guy or the fact that Moe from the Simpsons was voiced by Chris Latta! and i have all the Simpsons dvds.

  • In my Joe-verse, like Overlord (as seen in G.I.JOE Image comics), Venomous Maximus (as seen in G.I.JOE I.D.W. comics) is a general of Emperor Serpentor into the Coil organization.
    I love Serpentor and his generals and advisors like Crystal-Ball and…the “religion” of Golobulus and Cobra-LA!
    I suggest You to read all the I.D.W. “G.I.JOE: COBRA” issues.


  • Though I’m not the biggest fan of the new sculpt era (figures or media), I can get behind the VvV idea way before Cobra La. And this is a cool figure. Maybe not so much GIJoe as D&D, but well made. A “gut bomb” would put him over the top!

  • That left arm is pretty gruesome! Like road rash or he got the business end of Blowtorch’s flamethrower.

  • He like an amalgam of Serpentor and Golobulus by way of the Hulk. The “army green” pants are like a nod to him being Hawk. He’s amusing.

    IIRC, some early designs had an even more monstrous appearance, less human face.

  • I agree – well worth a read. A nice new take on Serpentor and the Coil and Venomous Maximus does reappear with his arm in a sling 🙂

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