Max was the unfortunate victim of an abusive father, Trent, when a young man named Frankie rescued him. They came to Salem, posing as brothers, and were taken in by Steve Johnson and Kayla Brady. Luckily for them, Shawn and Caroline had large hearts, and soon legally adopted the two boys. Shortly after the Brady Fish Market became the Brady Pub, Frankie left town, and Max was sent to summer camp...and never came home.
In the summer of 2005, Jennifer Deveraux was thrilled to run into Max at the Salem racetrack when her family had gone down to watch the races. Max was immediately intrigued with teen Chelsea, and the two got hot and heavy in his car before Max returned to the Deveraux home to find that his older brother, Frankie, had tracked him to Salem. He soon got romantically involved with his brother Bo's daughter, Chelsea, and when Chelsea was responsible for the death of young Zack Brady, he kept quiet. The truth eventually came out, and Chelsea and Max were not able to weather the storms that followed, and Max soon realized that Chelsea was too immature for him. After a brief but unfulfilled relationship with his niece, Stephanie, Max decided to focus on his work.
Max began comforting Mimi after her break up with Shawn and the two began dating. While trying to track down the whereabouts of a missing Phillip Kiriakis, Max and Mimi were trapped and held prisoner in the basement of a church. While there, they discovered a skeleton burring behind the basement wall. Through DNA testing, Mimi discovered that the bones belonged to her dead father. Mimi moved to Arizona to get away from Salem.
Max soon hired Chelsea's best friend, Abby, to work at the garage, and she developed a crush on Max, and he finally admitted that he had feelings for her, as well. The two began to see each other, much to the dismay of Abby's family, who thought Max was too old and too experienced for Abby. Abby moved to New York to attend school and left Max in Salem.
Despite his misfortune in love, Max's garage was making money. So, Stephanie convinced him to invest money in Jeremy Horton's airline business. The business turned out to be a counterfeit clothing smuggling operation, and Max lost all of his money. He did, however, manage to fall for Stephanie, and the two began a flirtation. After Max went on a date with Morgan Hollingsworth, Stephanie realized her true feelings for Max, and the two began dating.
In the winter of 2008, Max lost his "Pop" when Shawn died in a plane accident. Max was crushed and took the loss quite hard. He devoted much of his time to helping his ma, Caroline, out at the pub. While working at the pub, Max noticed Nick's work on an alternative fuel source. Max corrected Nick's proposal and sent in "Nick's" work to the dean. Nick's grant (thanks to Max's calculations and work) was approved. Nick began working with Dean Robbins on the grant. Upon seeing Dean Robbins, Max became increasingly quick-tempered, snapping at many people. Despite Nick and Stephanie's urging to get Max to open up, Max grew increasingly angry. Nick finally admitted to Dean Robbins that Max was really the brains behind the grant.
Max confronted Dean Robbins. Only it wasn't over Nick's grant. Max confronted Dean Robbins because Dean Robbins was really Trent Robbins, Max's biological father. Trent didn't want anything to do with Max, and vice-versa. The only thing that Max wanted was to know the identity of a girl in a picture that Trent carried around. Max learned that the girl was Trent's daughter, Melanie, which made her Max's half-sister. Max went in search of his sister and found her living in France.
Melanie had a "party girl" attitude, which did not sit well with Stephanie. But, Max believed there was more to her attitude. He soon learned that Trent had been pimping out Melanie to pay off gambling debts. Furious, Max insisted that Melanie come back to Salem with him. The two of them confronted Trent. Trent disowned both of them. A few hours later, Trent was murdered. Max and Melanie were amongst the suspects.
Max fought hard to protect his sister, despite her confession to him that she was with Trent at the cemetery the night he was killed. When he told Stephanie about Melanie's confession, Stephanie went straight to the police. Furious about her betrayal, Max broke up with Stephanie. Both Melanie and Max were dismissed as suspects, but Max and Stephanie's relationship was over. Max turned to Chelsea Brady for support after the break-up. Chelsea and Max eventually rekindled their relationship. When Chelsea needed to move to London to care for her mother, Billie, after a bad car accident, Max moved to London with Chelsea.