Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. #1
Valiant (February 1991)STORY 1 John Walker, Dan Danglo, P. Zorito, Jade, Rainbowhead STORY 2 Mark McClellan & Bill Valley, James Brock, Wansi, Jade, The Gradations
One of the biggest failings of Valiant Comics‘ “Nintendo Comics System” line was that the credits were just who worked on it, not who did what. Also, there were two releases of the line, and the second was just reprints of the first, only in a traditional comic format. (The original launch was slightly larger with a paperback cover.) Both launches were also two stories an issue rather than a full-length comic (with the exception of the occasional story and the Game Boy series). Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. was at least an anthology comic, with a Super Mario Brothers story and one of the back-up stories, in this case Captain N: The Game Master.
In the Super Mario stories, Bowser feels insulted when Luigi wears a Koopa costume for a dunk booth. So the would-be tyrant decided to wreck the entire fair, but Mario gets his SMB3 raccoon powers to wreck King Koopa’s plans.
What they got right: The comics existed to promote Super Mario Brothers 3, which was out at the time of the original run. Mario and Luigi aren’t depicted as…intellectually questionable as their cartoon counterparts, or their other comic stories. It made it difficult to take any of them seriously, including the villains.
What they got wrong: In the story Mario plucks the raccoon leaf from a plant in a garden…to use as a toothpick? Yes, I know these stories aren’t meant to be taken seriously, but it still bugs me.
In the Captain N story, The N team (in the Valiant comics this was only Lana and Kid Icarus–not referred to as “Pit”–with Mega Man and Simon Belmont replaced by a recurring appearance of Samus Aran from Metroid) must invade Mother Brain’s headquarters to obtain the anti-virus that is causing the computers of the Palace of Power to shut down. However, Mother Brain is also infected and the N-Team have to travel into her mind to find out where the antidote is. They end up meeting corrupted versions of themselves, and a young girl fighting against them.
What they got right: I like that the villains’ plan backfires on them (because of Eggplant Wizard’s stupidity), and the thought that even Mother Brain has an inkling of good in her is an interesting thought, as is seeing how Mother Brain sees the N-Team.
What they got wrong: But how do they travel into Mother Brain’s brain? Fantastic Voyage style. They enter her brain and it becomes a world which makes no sense to me. You can’t uncover someone’s memories or thoughts by taking a submarine into their brain and walking around.
Recommendation: Unless you are a huge video game/Mario fan, this really isn’t a comic to work hard to find. The first story is a decent enough read but the second one makes no sense.
Up Next: “Best Scene of the Week” in the Weekly Wrap-Up with Jake & Leon.