Above all else, Kevin and Max are reunited after many years apart: They become best friends and then together, with Kevin atop Max's shoulders, they team up to become "Freak the Mighty." They have several memorable adventures, first on Independence Day, when the two boys are allowed to go to the festivities by themselves. They are forced to fight off Blade's gang before Max escapes to the safety of the millpond. Later that summer, Kevin dons a Darth Vader mask and, atop Max's shoulders, the two head to a sewage drain where Kevin has previously spotted a lost purse. They retrieve it and then decide to present it to its owner, who lives in the New Tenements, one of the worst neighborhoods in town. The purse turns out to be owned by Loretta Lee, wife of motorcycle gang leader Iggy Lee--an old friend of Max's father, the imprisoned "Killer" Kane. Loretta and Iggy cruelly reveal some unflattering memories about the two boys' fathers, and Max and Kevin consider themselves lucky to get out of the New Tenements in one piece.