A child's imagination about adventure and coolness were the equivalent of a what Clive Barker on an entire sheet of acid can come up with. And only one show/toy franchise in the 90's truly can be described as the original "Nightmare Fuel".
The overall concept of the show and the toys is loosely based on the premise that some blonde 10 year old boy receives a baseball cap capable of teleporting him anywhere in the universe through CPPs (conveniently placed portals.) The toy of mighty max is included in every single toy playset just incase you were a collector and wanted 50 iterations of the same god damn peice of plastic. Each play set is based around some kind of monster or location called Doom Zones and Horror Heads. each of which is a plastic modling of everyone's childhood fears made incarnet. The show took the scarier route to actually let him have a voice. And Holy fuck if he isn't the same generic adult sounding voice actor pretending to be a kid but sounding like a unic man from new jersey. Either way, to put more insult to injury. At the end of every fear inducing episode they end with a small two minute clip of this whiney voiced bastard tieing in something educational to the overall episode. Because we want to know that besides being home to cannibals the Amazon is suffering deforestation.
The kid would travel around the world from torture dungeons ruled by mad scientists, evil brain sucking aliens, insect mutants, sea monsters, zombies, and a giant battle robot made of lava...That last actually sounds more awesome than mind numbingly terrifying.
It wasn't untill the show was made that they introduced into the toyline the side characters and villians.
One of his traveling companions were Vergil, a talking two foot tall bird man who knows everything and has set up complex schemes to litter the world for time senstive messages to be read by Mighty Max. Even to the point of having a message appear as a Wheel of Fortune puzzle on national television while Mighty Max conveniently sat down to watch the channel at that moment. Horrific monsters aside, a tiny bird man that knows exactly what you will be doing every minute of your life to the point he can create elaborate messages that were set up thousands of years in the past. Truely a "fowl" evil.
The second companion and real hero of the show was Norman, a god among men.
He is supposedly a 10,000 year old immortal viking warrior from a generic barbarian villiage in the frozen northern europe. He swore an Oath to virgil to protect to dedicate his life to protecting the chosen one by destroying anything that gets in his way. In every episode he usually ends up having a catch phrase of "That's a really big ______" because real men like to comment on the size of things. And will more than likely be featured lunging into battle only to be helplessly knocked away. And despite him weilding a huge broad sword in almost every scene, this being a kids show he would rarely use it for it's intended purposes. But the alternative is more manlier when you weild a deadly weapon as a mere prop while clobbering people to death with just one hand. Even more badass, he not only constantly relates situations back to epic wars or battles but in one episode he mentions that at one point he acted as THOR GOD OF THUNDER...THE MIGHTY FUCKING HAMMER WEILDING SERPENT SLAYING THOR...that's right he played the role as a norse god as a side job. He is a man of very little words but he does take the time to dish out one liners. He was mentioned at one point to being afraid of spiders but by the end of the episode he manned the fuck up and beat a giant spider with a lead pipe. He fights monsters made of lava, giant squids, ancient dragons, tentacle monsters, aliens, while babysitting a kid in a red hat and a fucking bird.
But for an antagonist or a lack there of, they deside to go the vauge villian route and repackage Skeletor with Tim Curry's voice. The result was the vaguely all powerful evil wizard Skullmaster.
Besides being a man with a skull shaped face, he was basically your run of the mill evil overlord. He used his magic to steal the souls of the people which proably was Atlantis before it sank, and used that to create an army of indestructable sea zombies. But because of him being not such a good guy, he was banished to the center of the earth to be imprisoned forever, or atleast until he could dig himself out. In at a mass of atleast 40 episodes he rarely is used as an overall villian since he was never used in most of the other monster themed play sets. And it wasn't untill the second season that he freed himself from his prison to finally reign terror on the world, and disappears for 15 god damn episodes. But while he was stuck near the earth's core he did end up making an enemy for himself since a rarely seen enemy needs an even more obscure rival character to fight.
Behold Lava Lord.
But with greate rarely used character development comes great power. When he is introduced into the series he is shown to have created a gigantic battle robot made entirely of volcanic rock and heavy metal. Armed with rockets, lazers and big robot fits it would seem that this guy would be a dangerous reoccuring character. Forcing Max to fight not only the reigning wizard warrior skull master, but beings from the center of the earth that were made of lava...Too bad it wasn't the case and the character would only be used for two overall major story arc events at the conclusion of both seasons. But atleast he got to accomplish something by, using his new freedom to just piss around at the center of the earth and pimp his giant molten lava death machine.