Western Animation: Max Steel 2013

A 2013 Continuity Reboot of the Max Steel franchise, to relaunch it to the international market.note 

Young Max McGrath moves into a new town with his mother. He quickly finds out that his body generates TURBO energy - an extremely potent energy source, which he cannot control... until he meets Steel, an alien entity known as UltraLink, and who needs TURBO Energy to survive. Together, they become the titular Max Steel and face the forces of Miles Dredd, the evil CEO of the Trans Human Industries, who wants to acquire all possible sources of the TURBO energy for himself... by any means necessary.


  • A Boy and His X: See the photo caption: A boy and his techno creature.
    • Played with in the second intro - Steel: My name is Steel, and this is my human, Max.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Sword of Murakami in "Live By the Sword". Only the Steel suit even begins to stand up to it.
  • Action Mom: Max's mother, Molly McGrath
  • Adaptational Badass: N-tek went from counter terror agency to fullblown Heroes Unlimited
    • Dredd also has gone from Bond villain to full blown super human with bond villain level resources
    • The original Makino, while powerful, was easily outsmarted by Tox Zon. This version of Makino is the Big Bad of the series.
  • Adaptive Armor: Steel made one for Max, from which he cannot get out.... ever.
  • Affectionate Parody: The episode "Supermania" is an Affectionate Parody of superhero comics, and incredibly full of shout outs. Steel becomes a full on comic fanboy, so he turns the Turbosuit into a cheesy superhero outfit with a cape, gives the Strength mode purple pants, declares he has a "Steel sense", and says they need to get to the Fortress of Steelitude. He also adds superhero sound effects. The episode's eyecatches are also done in the style of the Adam West Batman series.
  • All Your Powers Combined: All four Elementors in "Elements of Surprise".
  • Almost Kiss: Max and Sydney, despite only having met the other day, had their's interrupted by an "earthquake" in the second episode no less.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The official site for the series describes R.O.C.C, the N-Tek standard issue tank, as having a bullet proof multilayered Kevlar weave armor plating, ballistics grade polycarbonate window glass and... a wicked 7.1 MP3 player.
  • Badass Army: N-tek proves their badassitude by taking down big threats both with and without Max Steel.
  • Bad Boss: Dredd, big time.
  • Butt Monkey: Kirby. From getting turned into a zombie to possessed by the cursed katana.
  • Catchphrase: Lampshaded; when Max first says it, Steel calls him on the ridiculous use of a catchphrase.
    Max: Uhm... Go Turbo?
    Steel: Go Turbo? Really?
    Max: I don't know, I thought it'd be cool. Like a, catchphrase or something? Like a, superhero? Ya know, up, up and away!
    Steel: Oy... let's try it again.
    Max: Go Turbo!
  • Book Ends: "Come Together" opens with an N-Tek ship picking up an Ultralink from space, and ends with Dredd's crony Knott picking him up from space.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    Neon green for N-Tek.
    Electric blue for Max. Notice that when CYTRO passes a gun to Max, it changes from N-Tek green to blue.
    Wynter's gear and suit are different shades of purple
  • Cool Uncle: Uncle Forge.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: Used in "Cleaning House".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Steel.
  • Demonic Possession: Kirby in "Live By the Sword".
  • Disappeared Dad: Max's dad was killed in an accident with TURBO energy that also left Steel in a dormant state. Actually he's alive. The Turbo Star has transported him somewhere into outer space, right into Makino's hands. He gets freed by Max and Steel in the end.
  • Electronic Eyes of Gold: Mr. Naught has these.
  • Elemental Powers: The Elementors cover the standard air, water, earth and fire.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Kirby earns the name 'Itchy' when a toxic leak alert causes him to get psychosomatically antsy. It's really because he's about to turn zombie.
  • Emotional Powers: Played with. Even though his suit is tech, if Max's emotions get stronger, his TURBO energy responds in kind. His rage at discovering Dredd killed his father causes a surge of TURBO energy that completely recharges him from a previously depleted state.
  • Exact Words: The cursed sword in "Live By The Sword" is stronger than any weapon on Earth... but Steel isn't from Earth.
  • Five-Episode Pilot: Though its three as is standard for more modern shows, it still fits the formula and can even combine into a mini-movie.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Applied Phlebotinum for this series is called Tachyon Unlimited Radiant Bio-Optimized energy, or TURBO for short.
  • G-Rated Drug: Dredd treats his turbo absorption like this he even described as a rush
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: N-Tek and Max Steel's most prominent color scheme is white with green and blue accents respectively. On the contrary, all of THI equipment is black with red accents... even their robotic dogs!
  • Heroes "R" Us: N-Tek, of the heroic organization type.
  • Heroic Build: Exaggerated. In the episode where Steel goes comic book crazy, he upgrades the suit giving him 20 abs.
  • Impairment Shot: When Max is knocked out, we tend to get the blink-blink eye-shaped shot as he comes back to consciousness.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Dredd and Makkino form an alliance to defeat Max Steel and N-Tek but both have previously admitted to the other that they don't trust each other and both fully understand that the alliance lasts only as long as Max Steel and N-Tek does.
  • In Name Only: Most concepts and characters are too different to anything shown in the old show and films, with the possible exception of Forge Ferrus. However, character development has turned some (not all) characters more similar to their old versions.
  • Institutional Apparel: Toxzon gets incarcerated, and his pipes are filled with an inert goo so he just gets a color change, but Fishy can be seen wearing that little hat that normally goes with the black and white striped variant of this trope.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Steel says this in "Cleaning House". Immediately lampshaded by Max.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Max's Uncle Forge tries to get Max to keep the whole Steel and TURBO thing under wraps from his mom Molly. Doesn't stick at all. She finds out due to the natural events of episode 2.
    • Max gets this a lot with the aggravatingly secretive dealings of N-Tek
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: In "Supermania", Toxzon had 297 years 8 months 12 days and 42 minutes left on his sentence, and that's with good behaviour. He quickly escapes though.
  • Love Interest: Sydney
  • Oh Crap!: 3 words Turbo Nuclear Missile
  • Orcus on His Throne: Very much averted with Dredd. As soon as he has the means to fight, he engages the good guys personally. He does it again in "Secret Identity Crisis"; as soon as he's healed from his previous encounter with Max Steel, he gets directly involved.
    • This makes sense since when you consider his predicament; his need for ample TURBO energy pretty much requires he always remain proactive, and so he does.
  • Mama Bear: Molly. If you mess with her boy, she will, literally, drop a building on you.
  • Multiform Balance: Max Steel's Turbo Modes.
  • Myth Arc: Largely based on N-tek's secret mission, the Ultralinks and Turbo energy
  • Mythology Gag: One of Max's old toys is a Cytro from the previous toyline.
  • No One Could Survive That: N-tek's reason for believing that Toxon has been Killed Off for Real is that his body landed in the bottom of the ocean. They even say the name word for word.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Done with a toxic gas in the episode where Toxzon debuts.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: The first half of Cleaning House is straight-up Survival Horror.
  • People Puppets: Steel seems to have control over Max's body, as shown when he was doing diagnostics on the suit. Going so far as to make Max smack himself in the face, do ridiculous acrobatics and fling around like a rag doll.
  • Pent Up Power Peril: Since Max's body generates TURBO energy constantly, Steel has to be around to absorb it. If he doesn't, bad things happen.
  • Plague Zombie/Technically Living Zombie: They appear in "Cleaning House".
  • Powered Armor: Steel can generate it for Max.
  • Power Incontinence: Max constantly creates and builds up TURBO energy inside his own body. If he doesn't get rid of it before he overloads, he will go ka-boom.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Dredd realizes that learning max steel's secret identity doesn't, what matters is his TURBO energy.
  • Pun-Based Title: Max Steel.
  • Retired Badass: Molly McGrath.
  • Robot Buddy: Who else but Steel?
  • Shout-Out: The first episode alone is filled with these. When Max goes to his new school and first walks in the door he encounters a gang of bullies who trip him before making the age old pun "have a nice trip, see you next fall."
    After being tripped:
    Sidney: Nah, pretty much just him.
    Max: Don't tell me, school bully? What's his name, Moose, Biff, Flash?
    Sidney: Bartholomew, but they call him Butch.
    Max: And the stereotype lives.
    Kirby: Welcome to Copper Canyon High new guy! Wretched Hive of scum and villainy. I'm Kirby.
    • Really, the show's full of them. Max talks about Facehuggers and Steel spends one episode spouting off every superhero cliche and catchphrase.
    • Amidst the Western hero references we get an Anime one, as Max's "hero" helmet resembles Gatchaman.
    • Extroyer resembles Doomsday.
    • "Thanks I think" gives us the classic ET gag.
    • Max refers to the sort-of zombies as "walkers."
    • Cannon Mode is straight-up Cannonbolt.
  • Signature Style: You can count off the Nerd Corps staples like Disappeared Dad, Non-Human Sidekick, not so Animesque this time...
  • Status Quo Is God: In one episode, Sydney finds out Max is the superhero and she helps in the battle against Elementor but at the end, an explosion made her forget those.
  • Storming the Castle: What N-Tek does to the THI building during the third episode.
  • Symbiosis: Max and Steel are an interesting example of mutualism, as Steel benefits from not shutting down permanently, and Max benefits from not exploding.
  • Talking Weapon: Steel, especially evident when Max uses him as a Battle Boomerang.
  • Techno Babble: Largely present throughout the entire show.
  • Technology Porn
  • Teen Superspy
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Justified with Max Steel as they seem to generate an energy field of some sort to knock back enemies, preventing interruption. Subverted once when Extroyer in his spider form uses his web to snag Steel before he can latch on! Subverted again when Blast made a well-aimed shot at Steel in the middle of the transformation. Turns out that energy field to protect Max Steel during the transformation isn't infallible.
  • Transformation Sequence: Pretty much anytime Max does his "Go Turbo!" catchphrase.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Wind Elementor attacks the NTEK base, with the sole purpose of getting dragged into the same brig where the other Elementors are.
  • Unflinching Walk: Ferrus and the N-Tech guys as one of their own grenades go off.
  • Unplanned Crossdressing: When testing out camouflage mode for the first time, Steel 'accidentally' changes into Molly's business suit. Only lasted a couple of seconds, but dang. Couldn't wait half-way into the second episode.
  • Vampiric Draining: Miles Dredd, who has to feed on Max's TURBO energy to survive.
    • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The way Dredd gets rather close and chummie towards Max and his ecstasy while draining his TURBO energy... In fact Forge even likens it to a 'fix'.
    • Hell the way he looks before he recharges is similar to a junkie in withdrawal.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World