Artwork by Kerry Connell
Name: Maxine Dorothy Sparks
Occupation: Reporter / Adventurer
Birth Date: September 26, 1906
Weight: 108 lbs.
Place of Birth: St. Louis, MO
Maxine "Maxie" Sparks grew up in St. Louis, the youngest of five children (and only daughter) born to Lutheran minister Andrew Sparks and his wife Laura. With four older brothers, Maxine was somewhat of a tomboy; however, her mother also made sure that she was feminine enough to fit into proper society. She was also an imaginative child who loved to read and write.
When Maxine turned 18, she moved to New York City to try her hand at pulp adventure writing. But no one wanted to buy pulp stories from a woman. Needing to make a living, Maxine took a job as a rewriter for the New York News and Views, eventually convincing editor Michael Chance to let her try reporting. At first, she was assigned to fluffy women's stories like society reports and celebrity profiles. But she wasn't happy.
In 1930, that all changed. Assigned to write a profile on Dr. Abraham Justice, Maxine helped Doc and his friends uncover the nefarious doings of crime boss Antonio Vallenci. Her Vallenci story not only earned an assignment to the crime beat, but also an invitation to join Doc Justice's adventuring group which she named the Friends of Justice in her article. In addition, she drew upon the events of the case to write a pulp novel which was sold under the name Max Stark.
While she appears tough and cynical, underneath it all, Maxine is actually a romantic who enjoys fighting for a good cause. She is relentless when following a lead, even when it may prove dangerous.