Nintendo Comics System
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The Nintendo Comics System was a series of comic books published by Valiant Comics in 1990 and 1991. It was part of a licensing deal with Nintendo, featuring characters from their video games and the cartoons based on them.
Valiant Comics's Nintendo Comics System series of comic books was published between 1990 and 1991. The comics are based upon Nintendo video game and television intellectual property from Super Mario Bros., Game Boy, The Legend of Zelda, Captain N: The Game Master, Metroid, and Punch-Out!!.
Valiant's Super Mario Bros. comic books were based on the three main Mario games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. It featured the five main characters from the games and cartoon - Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool (as the name Peach was not known in America at the time), Toad, and Bowser. Wart (the main villain from Super Mario Bros. 2), the Koopalings, and the Viruses from Dr. Mario also made appearances infrequently. New characters were also made for these comics. One of these was Stanley the Talking Fish, an annoying fish who often pestered Mario about his dating problems. Also among the new characters in the comic was King Toadstool, the Princess' brainless father who did stupid things frequently. Then there was his advisor, Wooster, who knew the king's disposition. One particular character created for the comics was Dirk Drain-Head, a comic book superhero favored by Mario and all of Bowser's minions, and disliked by most other characters. Mario's line was renewed for 1991, when he had two different books - Super Mario Bros. and Adventures of the Super Mario Bros.
The stand-alone Game Boy comic books, despite having that title, were based on just Super Mario Land, since it was the only Game Boy adventure game around at the time. It ended at four issues. The stories featured an exclusive character named Herman Smirch, who was a quasi-hero of the storyline. He was an ill-willed character whom Tatanga—the villain of source game—could easily hypnotize into doing his bidding, due to the bitterness in the man's cynical soul. In each episode Smirch would release Tatanga and his minions into the real world and a child would then release a tiny Mario to battle them.
The Legend of Zelda was based on the two Zelda games released on the NES, as well as the animated segments featured on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
Captain N: The Game Master was based on the animated series of the same name, but with some major differences. All third-party characters were dropped due to Valiant not applying for licenses from Capcom and Konami as the animated series had done, but the characters made for the show (Kevin Keene, Princess Lana, Duke, and King Charles), as well as Pit, remained. Simon Belmont and Mega Man were appropriately replaced by Samus Aran, the Metroid heroine who had not appeared in the cartoon, and Mother Brain's second-in-command became Uranos, the demigod from Kid Icarus. For unexplained reasons, Pit's toga was bleached yellow, and in most of the stories, Lana's dress was purple. However, she has a weapon - the scepter she had in concept art, but never featured on the show. However, some of the game-relation inconsistencies on the show (i.e., Metroid being a place, King Hippo being blue, Mother Brain's appearance) remained in the comics.
Note: Short stories are 1 or 2 pages. Long stories are 4 pages or longer.
The Legend of Zelda
Two 5-Issue Volumes, published in 1990 and 1991. Some stories are printed in both volumes.
Nintendo comics after Valiant
The cancellation of the Nintendo Comics System was not the end of Nintendo comics in general, as Nintendo's characters would appear in several more comics in the coming years.