|This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for her Comic Series counterparts. For other pages with the same name, see: Max|
- "It was just dumb luck, honestly. I found the radio parts in a dumpster behind the municipal building. They'd never be left there for security reasons, so someone clearly thought it was trash. But it wasn't trash. It just needed some love. That's how we started talking, and we talked about... everything. Everything and nothing. I never thought about leaving this place before. Well, I-I did, but I never let myself believe it was possible. But then my brother got involved, and he was not happy. I knew I'd crossed a line. And with Hornsby on the prowl, getting out to see you was impossible. And then you turn up with some other girl calling herself Stephanie, using my words... my voice. You seemed so happy... So, I kept my head down. I didn't know what else to do. (...) No. I'm Max. There is no Stephanie."
- —Max telling Eugene the truth about her identity.[src]
Max Mercer, also known by the alias Stephanie, is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. She is a resident of a massive community known as the Commonwealth and has been in contact via radio with Eugene Porter.
Max is a plucky and kind individual. She is first heard when she makes contact with Eugene over a radio, going by the alias Stephanie. The two begin to bond and after finding out their communities are not far apart, they make plans to meet each other. However, after Eugene and his group arrive at the Commonwealth, another person impersonates Max to get information on his community. Fearing she would endanger Eugene, she stays back to not interfere with his happiness. After fake Stephanie's true identity is revealed, she reveals that she is the real Stephanie.
Max appears to be quite intelligent, shown when she was able to make her radio out of parts found in the trash. She is shown to be somewhat nerdy, similar to Eugene, with the two bonding over things like comets and a novel Eugene plans on writing.
Max soon becomes aware of the corruption within the Commonwealth. When Tyler Davis confronts Pamela and takes Max hostage she whispers to him, "I'm like you." After she finds out about Sebastian's heist, she angrily confronts her brother, Michael, who knew about it. She begins to rebel against Pamela and makes her own investigations. She eventually finds a list with many more names of people who were sacrificed.
Nothing is known about Max's life prior to or as the outbreak began, except that she was born and raised in Strasburg, Pennsylvania by her mother, Stephanie Mercer, and grew up with her older brother, Michael - who later became a West Point graduate and U.S. Marine. Max was more interested in the realm of science and engineering. Max was fond of the local Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, as well as the Inside Scoop ice cream parlor, her favorite flavor being Rocky Road.
At some point during the outbreak, Max joined a community in Ohio.
Max uses a radio from her community to look for other survivors before eventually hearing Eugene's messages. She responds to him and claims to be happy at finding someone else after being unsuccessful after a long time. They then proceed to talk.
Eugene asks about her community and she says she's not comfortable sharing that information yet but agrees on talking about their pasts. Eugene says he grew up in Dallas, Texas while she grew up in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. He admits to having visited the town for a train fair and to have gone to an ice cream shop. She joyfully reveals to be a big fan of the shop too. They keep talking for the remainder of the day.
That night, Max admits she doesn't know if they should keep talking because they could be a threat to each other. Eugene says he trusts her enough to share his full name and suggests they continue their conversations. She agrees but wants to keep them a secret between them and if she hears anyone else she will stop answering. Eugene accepts to her conditions and they sign off.
At the Hilltop, Eugene is searching for a music record while Max discusses comets, noting that she spotted three last night. Eugene is frustrated that he cannot find the record, so Max encourages him to sing the song himself. Eugene doesn't believe himself capable of the feat. Max then asks how many comets Eugene spotted, to which he replies four. Max is slightly peeved that Eugene is in the lead, and warns that he "better not be counting satellites", revealing that she saw one falling recently. Eugene realizes that the satellite she observed is the same one that crashed near Oceanside at roughly the same time, leading Max conclude that their groups are located relatively close to each other. Excited to learn this fact, Eugene reveals that his group is located in Virginia and proposes a face-to-face meeting, allowing Max to choose the time and location. Max reluctantly agrees to talk to her people, but asks Eugene not to do the same. Eugene promises to keep quiet.
Searching for Eugene, Rosita climbs up to the attic, where she hears Max on the radio attempting to contact Eugene. Puzzled by the mysterious voice, Rosita answers the call and asks for Stephanie's identity as Eugene scrambles to climb down from the upper floor and stop Rosita from replying. Furious that Rosita made him break his promise to Max, Eugene tells her to leave.
Eugene tries to get Max to respond by singing "When The Wild Wind Blows" by Iron Maiden over the radio. After a while, Max joins in, much to Eugene's joy. Max apologizes for disappearing, explaining that she got spooked when she heard someone else respond, although Eugene claims it was his fault. Max asks who the girl who responded was, and concludes that Eugene must be fond of her when the latter explains. Eugene describes Rosita as his "BFF", and says that he hopes Max gets to meet her some day. He goes on to say that the last few days of talking with Max have been incredible. Max abruptly blurts out the location of her group (Charleston, West Virginia), and sets up the location and time of their future meeting, which Eugene accepts. Right after this, Rosita comes to fetch him for the battle, and Eugene confidently follows her, stating that he has a "date".
Max first appears whilst buying ice cream, and after she gets her order, she gets approached by Eugene and the fake Stephanie, and after Eugene asks her about her flavor, Max simply looks at him before walking away without saying a word.
Max is seen chatting with Yumiko while she waits for her meeting with Pamila Milton. She suddenly takes a phone call, and then tells Yumiko they need to reschedule the meeting because her son, Sebastian, was just attacked.
Max is seen rejecting the wine that Lance had picked out for Pamela's upcoming masquerade ball. Hornsby dumps the wine in a trash can. Max and Yumiko hand out money and non-disclosure agreements to party guests to ensure their discretion. She is later taken hostage by Tyler Davis before being released.
As Eugene burns the evidence from his investigation into "Stephanie" in a bonfire Max walks up behind him and says that she needs to talk. She uses nicknames that only he and Stephanie had used with each other over the radio and Eugene turns around. She reveals that she is the real Stephanie and the one that he talked to on the radio.
As Max narrates to Eugene, a series of flashbacks shows her building a radio out of parts that she had found behind the municipal building despite someone clearly thinking that the parts were trash. Having made contact with Eugene, Max flirts with him over the radio as time goes on, greatly enjoying the connection between them. Although Max had never considered that leaving the Commonwealth was possible before, she set the rendezvous with Eugene at the Southern Train Yard.
However, Michael discovers Max's radio while investigating a massive communications breach, the Commonwealth having learned that someone was talking to a rogue community outside of their walls and Lance Hornsby is all over it. Michael realizes that it was Max talking to Eugene and that she was planning to sneak out " to meet some stranger at a rail yard." Michael warns Max that it's dangerous for everyone at the Commonwealth, but especially for the two of them. Michael leaves, telling Max that she had better pray that Lance doesn't realize that it was her voice. Knowing that she had crossed a line and with Lance on the prowl, Max was unable to get out of the Commonwealth to meet Eugene as planned.
Max recalls seeing Eugene after his arrival at the Commonwealth with "some other girl calling herself Stephanie" using Max's words and voice and getting ice cream with him while Eugene is unaware that the real "Stephanie" is standing right in front of him. As Max takes the ice cream, Eugene asks her if it's Rocky Road. After a moment, Max leaves without saying anything, but turns back around to see how happy Eugene and Shira are together. Because Eugene seemed so happy, Max decided to keep her head down rather than get in the way.
Max visits Pamela Milton and the two briefly joke about how stressed Pamela is, especially with Sebastian's antics. Max goes to get Pamela ice cream, but she orders Max to have the bank cut off Sebastian's line of credit in the hopes of whipping him into shape. As Max leaves, Lance enters revealing to Pamela what he had learned from Eugene about Alexandria and the Coalition.
In the present, Eugene asks Max what Lance is planning, but she doesn't know. Max warns Eugene that Lance is ambitious and that his plans could mean anything or nothing aside from the rebuilding of Alexandria. Eugene is surprised that Mercer is Max's brother and that Max is Stephanie. Max reveals that there is no "Stephanie" and that her real name is Max, Stephanie having just been an alias that she'd used while talking to him. Max starts to tell Eugene that Stephanie was her mother's name, but, overwhelmed and upset, Eugene departs, leaving Max behind.
The next day, after thinking things over and talking with Rosita about it, Eugene visits Max at her home with some ice cream. Max reluctantly lets him in and Eugene spots Max's disassembled radio on her desk. Eugene apologizes for his ungentlemen-like behavior, running away and not listening to her, stating that he was bruised and confused. Max calls Eugene's behavior "pretty damn rude" and Eugene acknowledges this, admitting that he'd let Lance get inside his head with an infiltration of epic proportions and he let an imposter into his heart and let her read his manuscript. Max's interest is drawn by Eugene's mention of a manuscript and the two bond over Eugene's ideas for his book before Max becomes enraged that Eugene had let Shira read it.
Max can't understand how after all of the time that they spent together and everything that they had told each other, Eugene couldn't tell that Shira wasn't her. Eugene doesn't know and tells Max that he'd figured out a long time ago that he isn't like most people and had gotten used to rejection to the point that he didn't even recognize that it was in fact rejection some of the times. As a result, a part of Eugene had always wondered if their connection was just all in his head, but when he got to the Commonwealth and "Stephanie" didn't push him away, Eugene had wanted it to be real so badly that he allowed himself to be blinded to the truth. In addition, subtle cues escape Eugene sometimes. Eugene had never intended to hurt Max, but he knows that his intent doesn't excuse the fact that he did hurt her. Eugene asks how he can make it up to her and if Max will allow him to try, but Max doesn't know and Eugene begins to leave. Max stops him, asking to read Eugene's novel, but Eugene tells her that Max had found him as he was burning the only physical copy. Eugene and Max discuss the concepts that Eugene is using in the novel, leading to them sharing a laugh and Max commenting that it feels like old times.
Max will appear in this episode.
Max will appear in this episode.
This list shows the victims Max has killed:
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies
- "The Storm" (Voice Only)
|✔||Appears||✔||Voice is heard|
|👁||Appears with no lines||✔||Appears in a flashback|
|✔||Appears as a walker||🖼||Appears in a photograph/video|
|✔||Appears as a corpse||✔||Appears in a hallucination/dream|
- Shortly after the promo photos for "Out of the Ashes" were released, AMC re-credited this character as Max (rather than Stephanie) in an attempt to avoid giving away any plotline spoilers and hide her true identity.
- However, it ended up turning out that her name was actually Max.
- Max is one of the twelve TV Series characters whose comic counterpart lacks a known last name. The others being Shane Walsh, Glenn Rhee, Dale Horvath, Carol Peletier, Sophia Peletier, Tyreese Williams, Eric Raleigh, Negan Smith, Lucille Smith, Yumiko Okumura and Ezekiel Sutton.
- Max is also the first character of the TV Series whose first name was changed differently compared to her comic counterpart.
|Language||Dubber||Other Characters Voiced|
|Spanish (Latin America)||Luciana Mauri (9-10)
Bárbara Drebnieks (11)
|Maggie Rhee ("Something They Need"-"The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"; 9-11)|