Max is a child who is large in stature for a boy of his age. He has low self-esteem and keeps to himself. One day he meets a new neighbor named Kevin. Kevin is often called Freak by people at school and in the neighborhood, because he has a dwarfed and twisted body. He struggles to walk. Also, he is different from the other boys. He has a wonderful mind with a creative imagination.
When Max meets Kevin they form a friendship. Max begins to carry Kevin around on his shoulders. This action provides Kevin with legs and Max a brain, because Kevin does the planning. Kevin likes to engage in fantasy adventures. Kevin becomes so happy to have Max's friendship and believes that together they are one great and powerful person. Kevin begins to call himself Freak the Mighty. The strength that Max has given him and the wisdom he has given Max has created a powerful team. Kevin uses the term when he is talking with a police officer.