Maximus Rex is a registered hero and a former member and leader of the Guardians of the Dawn superhero group.
He describes himself as the "Once and Former King of the Earth", a title that actually suited him.
Omega Xi 6-4
Maximus Rex comes from an alternate universe designated by Portal Corporation as Omega Xi 6-4. In this world, humans gifted with mutant abilities are considered nobles.
Maximus' lineage can be traced back to Pharaoh Raman el Set, the first recorded mutant of his world, who used his ability to siphon life from others in small amounts to prolong his existence to over four hundred years. Through his power he was able to spread his mutant genes across several generations and gave rise to the idea that genetic mutations were a sign of nobility. One of his descendants would become the mother of Maximus Gaeus of Cimerora, who would eventually become Caesar of the Roman Empire. One of Caesar Maximus' descendants was Caesar Rex, who became the first leader of the Global Kingdom.
Maximus Rex was the son of King Dominus Rex at the start of the Fifth Golden Age. During this time, the human genome had been completely mapped, the nature of mutations was revealed, atomic energy was harnessed, and space was even beginning to be explored.
It's during this time that, for reasons that were not publicly known, Dominus Rex announced he would be stepping down as Global King and passing the crown on to his son, Maximus.
Following the coronation of King Maximus Rex,this earth was invaded by the Rikti. Although Rex was able to rally the forces, with the help of Lady Jessica, who would later become his wartime bride, the overabundance of mutant-powered beings still were no match for the Rikti. The Rikti devastated the planet, killing everyone except for Maximus, who only survived out of sheer force of will and his mutant power.
Later, scientists from Portal Corporation in the Primal Earth discovered the existence of this world and rescued Maximus.
It was eventually determined that the reason why Maximus' world fell to the Rikti so easily was because they had outlawed magic. Magic was a vulnerability to the Rikti, and in worlds where magic was allowed, those inhabitants were able to hold off the multiverse invaders. But on Maximus' world, magic was a forbidden art, and its practitioners were hunted down and exterminated and their artifacts were destroyed. Thus the Rikti were able to prevail.
After being treated and debriefed to Vanguard, Maximus Rex was given exile status. He decided that he would best serve as a registered hero to help this planet defend against the Rikti. He would later work with other "exiles" from other universes, including the three heroes that would later be dubbed the "Guardian Exiles". He was recruited into the Guardians of the Dawn group due to his powers and experience with the Rikti.
In Issue #14, he was given leadership of the Guardians following the removal of Captain Paragonna from active duty in the Paragon City Police Department. With the public still leery of co-chairwoman Midnight Arachnia due to her history with the Rogue Isles, and of the leadership skills of vice-chairpeople Arktic Chill and Galatea Powers, a consensus was made that Maximus Rex was the better choice given his experience as the battle-hardened king of his home universe.
Maximus accepted the leadership role with honor and dignity. He relied on the experience of fellow "exile" Icon Powers for assistance when asked and began making positive changes in the group. One of his more controversial decisions was to allow the provisional recruitment of the underage hero Pyrogurl early into his tenure. Maximus said that the decision was done in order to help mold the teenager into the role of a hero properly instead of letting her fend for herself as she was already doing.
Maximus was in charge of the Guardians when the treachery of StarCygnus was revealed. Not only did he help expose the disgraced hero's activities, but he coordinated with the Freedom Phalanx in the big confrontation, and would later escort the de-powered Hank Geddy to the prison base at Vanguard Atlantis. He would also coordinate with the heroes of the European group Dawn Patrol along with Sister Psyche and ExGemini in stopping the threat of Leona Powers.
As mentioned in the "Guardians of the Dawn AFTERMATH" special, following the attempted assasination of Alex Wentworth, the Guardians were given the option to allow Alex to become the next District Attorney, but, as a consequence, the Guardians would have to disband.
As much as Maximus hated the idea, he went along with the advice of Icon Powers, on the promise that the disbanding would only be "on paper" and that the group would eventually find a way to re-form. Because of his experience with the Rikti, he was quickly recruited to join the Vanguard as a tactical advisor.
After the Guardians were publicly vindicated in November of 2012, he chose to not return to the team, believing the group needed a "fresh start" without him.
He remains a member of Vanguard, reporting directly to Lady Grey.
Powers and Abilities
His primary ability is Dark Melee. He can tap into his power for additional strength, or to siphon strength from others.
His secondary ability is Invulnerability. He can endure a lot of punishment. This includes being subjected to Armageddon-level conditions. He was able to survive alone in the ruins of his home world for an undetermined period of time before being discovered by Portal agents, living off nothing but his sheer force of will.
He also possesses the power of flight as an extension of both his primary and secondary powers.
Of late he has been wearing black-and-gold Vanguard armor underneath his black robes, but this is mostly for decoration.
Maximus is a born leader. He was born and raised to not only rule, but to rule benevolently and honorably. Not only does he know when to lead, he knows when not to. Some consider him reserved when he is not in charge.
Maximus has a crush on Ms. Liberty, mostly because she is the Primal Universe's counterpart to his own late wife. But he knows his affections for her are unrequited. He has accepted the reality that this Jessica will never love him like his own did, but it is still hard for him to move past her.
Maximus Rex first appeared in Issue #14 of the Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight series and his origin story was featured in Issue #15.
According to the character's creator, Maximus was inspired by several mainstream heroes, including Marvel's Sub-Mariner and Doctor Strange, DC's Aquaman, and the Roman Empire.