Josh McGrath is a 19-year-old fictional extreme sports teen star, whose parents died some time ago. He was later adopted by his father's best friend and partner, Jefferson Smith, who works in an extreme sports equipment manufacturing company which is in reality a facade for a secret counter-intelligence agency known as N-Tek. While Josh was visiting his stepfather at work, Psycho broke into the facility. The young McGrath faced him and battled against this super-powered cyborg, but in the middle of the fight, he was severely injured and exposed to a swarm of microscopic nanomachines, known to the company as "Nano-Tech Max." The nanomachines entered Josh's body and, as they ran out of energy, started dying, causing Josh to die too. In order to save Josh's life, his foster father, Jefferson Smith, agrees to submit Josh to a high proportion of the transphasic energy (nicknamed "t-juice"), which the machines need to survive. This saves his life and also gives him superpowers. As a result, Josh takes on the identity of Max Steel and fights against super-powered villains, mainly Mr. Dread, Psycho's evil boss, and the members of his Spy organization. Later, in the movies, they fight off mutants, robots, mad scientists and monsters.