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 an UltraLink, and who needs TURBO Energy to survive. Together, they become the titular Max Steel and face the forces of Miles Dredd, the evil leader of Trans Human Industries, who wants to acquire all possible sources of the TURBO energy for himself... by any means necessary.

After the shows initial 2 season run, a series of MFT Movies where made that continues the story.note  A live-action movie adaptation was also released on October 14, 2016.


  • 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-terrorism agency (with sports equipment front) to full blown Heroes Unlimited.
    • Dredd also has gone from Bond villain to full blown superhuman with Bond villain-level resources.
    • The original Makino, while powerful, was easily outsmarted by Toxzon. 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 theirs 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!
  • Bookends: "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. For non-standard powers, there's the Recurring Character Toxzon whose power is over poisonous and toxic compounds, be they viruses or radioactive sludge or even crude oil. And in Season 2 we have Metal Elementor, as well as the Elite Mooks consisting of three ultralinks: one combined to crystals, one combined to a plant, and the last combined to a laser gun. Admittedly the last one might not be "elemental" in their powers, but the others are.
  • 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 only three episodes, 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 behavior. He quickly escapes though.
  • Love Interest: Sydney
  • Multiform Balance: The essence of Max Steel is that he's able to change between different "Turbo Modes". And emphasized constantly when he mode-shifts mid-fight and, in Season Two, mid-tactic.
  • Max also adds to the balance Stealth mode, Copy mode, Mimic Mode (which gives Steel parallel abilities as the mimicked mode), and the unique Spike mode for when direct combat begins to fail.
  • 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.