Max is one tough kid; when he finds out his absentee father has “sold” custody of him to his aunt, instead of being mortally offended, Max says he should get at least half. He is often on his dad for being short-sighted and stupid, and “acting before you think.” In order to get his dad to let him go on the road, Max threatens to drop his keys down a grate, then refuses to hand them over until he’s in the cab of the truck, in case his dad pulls any stunts. His main motive, early on, is to make enough cash to “get the hell out of here.” He berates his father for the loss of an expensive robot by accusing him of not even learning his command codes before he threw him into a fight ring. When a robot arm saves Max from a lethal fall, he chooses to dig out the robot and take it home, because he feels he owes it something. Then, despite everyone else arguing that it’s a worthless little sparring robot, Max has total faith in it, that it can do great things. He figures out how to tweak its system, install new commands, use shadow mode, and then convinces his dad to teach it new boxing tricks. Though he has no reason to believe the robot will succeed, he decides to put it into the ring, where he wins each match, always upping the stakes and doubling his money. He knows the bot is special. Max also believes it’s alive in its own way. When he has a chance to sell it for big bucks, he refuses out of an intuitive hunch that they “know the bot is special” and are afraid of what it can do; he then marches into the ring, wins a match, and demands to take on their champion fighting bot. He knows his dad can win the match when Atom’s voice recognition fails, and urges him to spar on the sidelines in shadow mode. Max can be impulsive at times, taking on matches he’s unprepared for. He’s offended at the idea that his dad just throws away anything he doesn’t need, in part because it reflects on Charlie’s treatment of him. He also bonds with his robot, enough that he refuses to part with him on sentimental grounds. Nor does he talk about what happened to his mom, or how he feels about her loss.

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Max is ambitious and driven, has total confidence in his ability to take a little robot and do something big with him. He never fails to assume he and Atom will come out on top, even when things look dire and are against him. He often plays to the crowd and gets them on his side, even though at first he’s resistant to the idea of dancing with his bot in public; them being on his side revs him up even more, and causes him to call out a huge challenge for the sake of his ego (he’ll take on their bot any time, any place, we’ll be there!). Much of what he’s doing is to earn the approval of his father and show him up a little. Max admits that all he’s ever wanted is for his dad to fight for him (to want him, to love him; Max wants to make him happy). He is somewhat emotional about Atom, but also finds ways to include his dad and make him feel like he’s part of something, though he’s fierce in his refusals to compromise.