By uniting with Freak to become Freak the Mighty, Max discovers a new-found self-respect that has rarely emerged before. With Freak on his shoulders, Max is a new young man. Although Freak still calls most of the shots, Max is now able to face the outside world and attend school on a regular basis. Freak's presence gives Max a more confident outlook and a hopeful eye to the future. Even Max's grandfather Grim sees him in a new light. When the evil father, Killer Kane, is put away for good, Max breathes easy knowing that aspect of his life is over. Freak's always hopeful fantasies have also given Max a new outlook on life.
Max has always felt like he was just a big stupid boy. He is large for his age and looks like his father who has been put in jail for killing his mother. He lives with his grandfather and grandmother which does not help sometimes because he has overheard his grandfather making statements such as he wonders if Max will be like his father.
After Max meets Freak, he becomes like an extension of Freak. He begins to carry him up high so Freak can see the world from a different perspective. Freak demonstrates to Max that he values his friendship. He thinks Freaks mother is beautiful and he and Freak call her the Fair Gwen.
A first Gwen is taken aback by the resemblance between Max and his father, but she learns to care about him. She sees how good he is for her son. Freak invites Max into his world of Knighthood and adventure. The two of them learn to find ways to enjoy life.
Max's father gets out of prison and kidnaps him. He is mean and ties him up. Freak helps to rescue him. Later Freak dies and Max is very upset. However, Freak has taught Max that he can learn and that his friendship makes him a worthwhile person. He still doesn't think he is all that smart but by spring he has written a book and he feels pretty good.