Freak the Mighty
by Rodman Philbrick
Iggy and Loretta Lee
This guy is bad news. Not Killer Kane bad, definitely not someone you want to run into in a dark alley… or a well-lit alley… or any alley anywhere. He's the leader of the motorcycle gang "The Panheads," and he's also Loretta's main squeeze.
But even though he's a seriously tough dude, it turns out he has his soft spots. For example, he tries to help get Max away from Kenny, and when Loretta gets hurt, we see how much he really cares about her: "Iggy, when I saw him that time at the hospital waiting, he was chewing a hole right through his beard he was so worried" (21.6).
Iggy shows us that people can be more complex than they appear to be. He might be a big scary biker, but he'll go to pieces when his ladylove is in trouble. He also provides a nice counterpoint to Kenny, showing us that bad guys aren't always bad through and through. Which, if you think about it, really makes Kenny all the more unique and scary.
The biker babe with a heart of gold—sort of. At first she seems like more of a meany than Iggy: "She pokes Iggy or tickles him and in this strange giggly voice she says, 'Whyn't you find out? Find out if he's as strong as he looks?'" (11.59). Loretta's not too bright, but we come to find out that she's not all bad either. When Kenny kidnaps Max, she risks her life trying to help him escape.
Loretta's gives Max the final push he needs to write the story of he and Freak's adventures: "'Nothing is a drag, kid. Think about it,'" she says (25.16). While it might have just been an off-handed remark from Loretta, it spurs Max into action.
What was it about Loretta that made Max listen to her when no one else had been able to get through to him?