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

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.
  • Hey! It's That Artist: Joe Quesada got his start here!
  • 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.
  • What Could Have Been: One letters page revealed that Mega Man would have finally shown up had the title continued.