Comic Book: Nintendo Comics System

The Nintendo Comics System, first published in 1990, was a short-lived imprint of the now-defunct comic book company Valiant Comics. As the name suggests, it was a series of comic books based on the popular Nintendo video game franchises and their cartoon spin-offs. The titles published within this imprint included stories based on:

  • Super Mario Bros. (of course) - In the only truly comedic comic in the series, Mario and Luigi defend the Mushroom Kingdom against the evil forces of Bowser Koopa.
  • Game Boy - In what may or may not be a Spin-Off from the Super Mario Bros. comic, a disgruntled man named Herman Smirch is turned into a slave for Super Mario Land villain Tatanga and is forced to release through "the gateway" (a.k.a. a Game Boy) when the alien demands it. Luckily, other Game Boy players are always around to release Mario (who has a strangely different personality here than in his other comic) through the gateway so he can drive Tatanga's forces away.
  • The Legend of Zelda - Link and Zelda have to protect the Triforce of Wisdom from Ganon, the Prince of Darkness. These comics take place following the events of Zelda II The Adventure Of Link and have many details in common with the cartoon series based on the games which debuted around the same time.
  • Captain N: The Game Master - Based on the cartoon of the same name, except it takes itself more seriously. Also, Samus Aran, having been oddly absent from the cartoon, is here, while third party characters Simon Belmont and Mega Man are absent.
  • Metroid - Documents further adventures of Samus Aran and is possibly set in the same continuity as the Captain N comics (it uses the same design for Mother Brain). Unfortunately, only one story was written for this one.
  • Punch Out!! - Stories are made based off of Little Mac's matches with his opponents in the games. OK, only two (Piston Honda and Supermacho Man).

Unfortunately, despite Nintendo's prominence in the video game market at the time, the comics apparently did not sell very well; arguably, the Zelda comics were the most popular and had the longest run. They were all discontinued right around the time the Super Nintendo was released (though as Nintendo Power showed the following year, it was not the end of Nintendo comics in general).

The comics are archived here.

These comic books contain examples of:

Super Mario Bros. and Game Boy
  • Apook Corporation Products
  • Anti-Poop Socking : A downright ridiculous inversion in Game Boy # 1 where the hero chastises his older, not-as-competent brother of spending too much time with girls and not enough time playing Nintendo.
  • Catch Phrase: Bowser likes to declare that his current plan is "gonna be excellent!"
  • The Ditz: King Toadstool and Lemmy Koopa
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Subverted because King Toadstool's assumption that Wooster was betraying them was wrong.
  • Flippant Forgiveness: Bowser gets really mad at the Koopalings when Princess Peach tricks them into letting her go — except for Lemmy, because Bowser already knew he was an idiot.
  • Fourth Wall Mail Slot: "Dear Princess Toadstool" was treated as such, despite the fact that she was really just answering mail from other characters
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A particularly blatant one in the story Bowser Knows Best, when the Princess is running from the Koopalings. She's seen jumping over a green pipe, from which a very happy-looking Piranha Plant is peeking up her skirt.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: In "Magic Carpet Madness." But it ends up hurting Bowser rather than helping him - while hypnotized, Peach wrecks his blimp.
  • The Jeeves: Wooster, whose name is almost certainly a Shout-Out to... well, Jeeves and Wooster.
  • Jerk Ass: Mario tends to act like this in the Super Mario Bros. stories
    • Stanley the Talking Fish in his three Mario appearances.
    • Herman Smirch in the Game Boy comics.
  • LARP: The story The Revenge of Pipe Ooze! has Mario and the others attending a Dirk Drain-Head LARP. Mario, of course, goes as Dirk Drain-Head, even though Luigi is the spitting image of Dirk when he wears the costume.
  • Literal-Minded: The King of Mushroom Land.
    Peach: My fellow Mushroomites, we are facing dark days ahead.
    King: Oh no! Higher lighting bills!
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Lemmy. At one point, Mario even asks Bowser if he's sure the kid is on his side.
  • Not So Above It All: While Mario's nerding over the In-Universe Comic Book Dirk Drain-Head often causes trouble for the others, Princess Toadstool is revealed to be just as big a fan of another In-Universe comic book, Baroness Blueblood, even being capable of reciting entire issues.
  • Off Model: Wart in his first appearance, where he was drawn the exact same way as Bowser.
  • Papa Wolf / Hypocritical Heartwarming: Bowser calls Lemmy an idiot often, but the second someone else does...
  • Parody Commercial
  • Phlebotinum Induced Stupidity: The "Stupid Bomb" is a literal Idiot Ball that, when it's triggered by throwing or dropping, causes everyone around it to become stupid. (Incidentally, the King of Mushroomland, who is already an idiot, is completely unaffected.)
    • Inverted with the "Smart Bomb" from the same story, which makes people smarter when they explode on them.
  • Precision F-Strike: From Princess Toadstool, in the form of Symbol Swearing in "Magic Carpet Madness".
  • Sleepwalking: After spending too long reading Dirk Drain-Head comic books, Mario has a bad habit of sleepwalking and thinking he's Dirk Drain-Head. In the story Bedtime for Drain-Head, Mario proceeds to sleepwalk his way to and through Bowser's castle, defeat all his minions, capture Bowser singlehandedly, and rescue Toad, who was kidnapped by Bowser. Bowser is not pleased when he finds out Mario was sleepwalking the whole time.
  • Strawman Political: Herman from the Game Boy series is a straw conservative.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Compare Tatanga's appearance here to how he looks in the official game artwork
  • The Unintelligible: Larry Koopa, in his one appearance. Only Lemmy appears to understand him, and frequently acts as Translator Buddy.
  • Villain Ball: The Mousers carry one in "The Buddy System."
  • Welcome to the Real World: Pretty much the plot of all the Game Boy stories.
  • You and What Army?:
    Pionpi: This army! Tatanga's!
    Mario: Oh.

The Legend of Zelda

Captain N: The Game Master and Metroid
  • Betty and Veronica: Samus Aran and Princess Lana are rivals for Kevin's affections in the Captain N comics.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Happens to Kevin and Duke in "A Dog's Life."
  • Gilligan Cut
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Lana's response to Samus's inquiry about her relationship with Kevin. It doesn't stop her from being jealous, though.
  • Informed Attribute: For all of Kevin Keene's alleged game mastery, it's quite a shock to discover that he never finished the original Metroid fast enough to learn that Samus Is a Girl.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Samus Aran almost goes ahead with some pretty questionable stuff to win Captain N's affections. In one issue where she and Princess Lana are in jail, she almost leaves Lana there when escaping. In another, she ends up in the Bad Future and rejoices that Lana is gone and she can have Kevin all to herself, despite the fact that, you know, the bad guys have taken over every world except the garbage planet where Kevin now lives, and by not going back in time and changing one thing she's screwing over everyone in Videoland (though she did have plans to help liberate Videoland in that future). She does go back in the end.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Literally. When the N Team first meet Samus Aran, none of them are aware of her gender until she removes her helmet. This is a bit of Fridge Logic for Princess Lana, who has already been shown to monitor the various realms of Videoland using magical television screens; one would think that Samus would have removed her helmet at some point while Lana was watching.
  • We Can Rule Together: Samus makes an offer of this sort to Kevin.

Punch Out