Nintendo Comics System #9
Valiant (October, 1991)
Dr. Mario: “The Doctor Is In…Over His Head”
Laura Hitchcock, George Wildman, Jade, The King and his Court
George Carogonne, Donald Hudson, Ken Lopez, Jose Marzan, John Cebollera, & Sean Grissom
I wish Valiant gave the Nintendo comics creators a proper credits list.
In the main story, Mario and the Princess (who is helping while Luigi is busy) think they’re going to the hospital for a plumbing emergency, but the screwball doctor needs help with a group of really nasty viruses. When they get loose and three (one of each color) are supersized they prepare to run roughshod on the Mushroom Kingdom, until “Dr.” Mario learns hitting them with certain color combinations of vitamins causes them to disappear. Can Mario be a plumber, doctor, and save the world from King Koopa?
What they got right: I’m not surprised that the Dr. Mario video game would be adapted into comic, given the Valiant version of the Mushroom Kingdom. And for that version the story works good. It’s hard to even say that Mario being co-opted into being a doctor despite lacking a degree makes no sense because people aren’t too bright in these comics. Go read my previous Super Mario Bros. comic reviews, including Adventures Of.
What they got wrong: Somehow this was less silly that most of the other Super Mario Brothers comics and it makes some of them just look even more ridiculous.
In the “Punch-Out” story, Little Mac’s next fight is with Piston Honda, but he overhears that Honda plans to use the prize money to build a school in his teacher’s village. Wanting to see kids get a good education and Sensei not willing to accept help from outsiders, Little Mac almost throws the fight (the annoyance of Piston Honda, who wants a good match) until Doc reminds him that honor is at stake as well, and Mac makes a good comeback. After the fight, some of Honda’s fans want to teach Mac a lesson for beating their hero, but Honda himself puts a stop to that, and Sensei congratulates Mac on putting what’s right (honor) first and tells him that he would be welcomed as family by his village, which means Mac can finally give him the money for the school. This was one of my early Friday Night Fights if you want to see it. This was back before I reviewed my older comics, so the FNF entries had longer summaries.
What they got right: A good lesson about the importance of fighting with honor, which is important in both boxing and Japan, so showing honor while boxing in Japan is rather important. The writer (I’m assuming Carogone) also put in the “TKO from Tokyo” line from the round transition in the game as well as a tip on how to beat Piston Honda in the game.
What they got wrong: Sensei isn’t called out on his pride for not accepting charity when his village really needs that school. The solution comes from Mac being treated like an honorary member instead.
The comic also includes the “Believe It Or Else” and “Mario Brothers Museum Of Plumbing” shorts from earlier comics.
Recommendation: A fun little comic with two good stories. Worth picking up.