A monthly Star Fox comic strip, illustrated by Benimaru Itoh, was printed in issues 45 to 55 of Nintendo Power in 1993. It was a sort of background covering of events in the original Star Fox, with some exclusive characters not currently seen in any of the games to date. One such character was Fara Phoenix, a vixen who becomes the fifth member of Star Fox after they saved her from Venomian forces. The story followed the Star Fox team as they went from outlaws on Papetoon, to an elite Arwing fighter squadron. Fox, Falco, and Andross were the only 3 characters whose backgrounds were fully explained in the story.Not to be confused with Starfox from the Marvel Universe.
Air-Vent Passageway: Inside Andross' base, Slippy and Peppy manage to break into Venom's control center via a vent.
Almost Dead Guy: As the crippled freighter ship crashes, a lizard stumbles out of the smoking wreck. He cryptically says, "Beware the Stingrays...!" before collapsing.
Alternate Continuity: A retelling of the SNES version of Star Fox. One of two, in fact, as one of the strategy guides in Japan had illustrations by the same artist detailing a separate but similar canon to the game storyline.
Fox gets even more furious upon finding out that Andross killed his mother with a car bomb meant for his father, and that his father being lost in the Black Hole was the result of Andross' sabotage of his ship.
Peppy Hare appeared to be barely middle-aged, and most likely not old enough to be a Parental Substitute to a Fox who was already fully-grown. However, Peppy was still the best friend of Fox's father, so he was still the team's Cool Old Guy, and his affection towards Fox made him the perfect Big Brother Mentor. His perky chirpy personality also made him a lot more...peppy.
Slippy Toad was notable for having no Viewer Gender Confusion whatsoever, being unambiguously male and boyish (reflecting his deep baritone voice in the original game), all the while constantly wearing a bead necklace. Later on, when Slippy's sound become more feminine, his appearance was made more masculine in contrast, and his trademark necklace had to go. Slippy also had a constant stutter, and periodically punctuated his lines with "ribbit" — which vanished entirely from his rebooted persona.
Child Prodigy: Young Fox was in the best of his class at the academy. "He could fly circles around a flea, endure days of gravity training, recite the Cornerian Constitution backwards and belch on command." Fox Sr. was justly proud.
Cliffhanger: The team cockily chases Slippy's kidnapper to Sector Y, only to find that he's disappeared from radar. Making matters worse, they're running low on fuel. And the stingrays are moving in...
Cool Shades: One of General Pepper's most distinguishing features, along with his distinctive uniform and the lollipop he was always sucking on.
Crazy Enough to Work: The Team laments that they can't get to Andross without first getting to Venom, which is impenetrable. Fox knows of a route that Andross might not have considered: "We'll go through the Black Hole!"
Custom Uniform: Fara's black Arwing. After it's blown to pieces, she gets a pink replacement.
Derelict Graveyard: Fox notices many other floating ships that have gotten lost in the Black Hole, freaking him out.
Die Hard on an X: Fox, Falco, and Peppy stowaway on a cargo tube being loaded into a star freighter. After the ship exits Papetoon's atmosphere, the three climb out of the cargo hold to hear a battle happening on the floor above them. Some lizards have taken over the ship.
Died Happily Ever After: Inside the Black Hole, Fox finds himself lost, unable to find a way out. Suddenly, the image of his father appears in front of him, calling out "Junior! Follow me!" Fox flies into a white light at the end of the tunnel.
Driven by Envy: Falco chafes at Fox's leadership. Hasn't he gotten enough glory?
Dynamic Entry: At the Papetoon spaceport, Peppy mentions that Slippy is spending the trip in a cryo-mud bath. Later, as the hostage-taken is about to escape, Slippy bursts out of one of the bath tanks. The lid falls on top of the lizard's head, knocking him out cold.
Early Installment Weirdness: This comic is based off of the original Star Fox game for the SNES, and the unreleased Star Fox 2. There are many things different that fans who got into the series after 64 wouldn't recognize (which makes sense- Star Fox 64 was meant as a Replacement Sequel for the original).
"Star Fox," in the later series, is the name of Fox's mercenary team, which was founded by James McCloud. In the comic, they're a group of freedom fighters.
In the comic, Andross' forces are all lizards. While we do see lizards in Andross' forces in 64, there are also mammals and other types of creatures.
In the comic, James (Fox McCloud Sr.) died because Andross sabotaged a bomb, trapping him in some sort of alternate reality. In the games, James and the original Star Fox team (including Peppy and Pigma) went to Venom to investigate strange happenings. Pigma betrayed the team and killed James, leaving Peppy to limp home.
Ejection Seat: Fara is able to bail out of her Arwing as it goes down. Her cockpit deploys helicopter rotors to slow her decent, while Fox swoops in with his Arwing and catches her between his wing.
The Exile: As per the SNES game, Andross was stranded on Venom. In a dramatic twist, the Star Fox team fled to Papetoon after being "dangerous radicals" on Corneria.
Fox McCloud and his companions were originally Ace Pilots in the Corneria Defense Force. But after the incident that created the Black Hole and caused his father's disappearance, Fox and his friends protested. Cornerian leadership was terrified of Andross's growing power on Venom, and exiled the crew to Fox's ancestral home planet Papetoon to try to avoid Andross's wrath. It didn't work, and Venom soon conquered Papetoon and invaded Corneria, turning the latter into a tense warzone while Fox and his friends spent the next few years just trying to hide and survive. At the beginning of the main story, General Pepper suspended their exile and they smuggled themselves back to Corneria.
Expospeak Gag: "I'm thinking it is our sacred duty to relieve these lizards of the burden of command."
"Call it a professional assessment."
External Combustion: Fox's mother Vixy Reinard's death was because of a car bomb rigged for James. Not to be outdone, Andross rigged James' Arwing to blow.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: More so than the games. There is no euphemism for the car bomb Andross used and the characters arrest Fox because "he's beyond reason and he'll kill himself."
Fara had very visible cameltoe under her jumpsuit.
Glad I Thought of It: Fox's "insane" plan to modify the Arwing to survive the Black Hole. After knocking Fox unconscious and sticking him solitary confinement, Falco tells Slippy to get to work on the modifications.
Glory Days: Falco reminiscing about being a thief. He's never happy.
Human Shield: Peppy wonders aloud why imperial troops were sent to hijack a freighter. Suddenly, they notice a lizard holding a woman hostage. Fox asks Peppy who she is, and he replies that she is Fara Phoenix, the spaceship magnate's daughter.
I Work Alone: Fara, concerned about Fox, follows him into the Black Hole against his wishes. Needless to say, the rest of the team is in hot pursuit.
Identical Stranger: When Fara gets into one of Fox's mother's outfits, Fox remarks that she could be his mother's twin sister. This sets up an important reveal when the first Andross clone mistakes Fara for Fox's mother, whom the original Andross loved long ago but mistakenly killed in his attempt to Murder the Hypotenuse.
Keep the Reward: Following Fara's rescue, Mr. Phoenix's valet comes over to inform Fox that Mr. Phoenix is very grateful. His teammate's eyes light up with dollar signs. Fox, remembering his uncomfortable stay in a cargo pod... asks for First Class tickets.
Our Time Travel Is Different: Slippy proposes using a gravity dilator in the Black Hole to create a shortcut through space. This fits into the real-life "gravity donut" theory of time travel.
Ow, My Body Part!: When Fox saves Fara's escape pod, Slippy is stunned at the stunt; his brain hurts just thinking about it.
Parental Bonus: When first told about General Pepper, Fox recalls him being a sergeant. In case this is too stealthy, it is reused and expanded upon when Pepper explains James and Andross's backstory, ending with the revelation that he was unable to help because he was only a sergeant at the time. Complete with a picture of him and his associates, resembling a certain album cover.
General Pepper was also shown singing "Hound Dog" while shaving.
General Pepper isn't the only character who likes lollies. At the start of Act.6, we see a freighter captain enjoying one — the Captain is an owl.
Percussive Prevention: Falco expresses concern that Fox is "beyond reason" and that unless they stop him from going into the Black Hole, he'll kill himself. Better knock his lights out, then. *cracks knuckles* Falco almost decks him a third time, when the others remind him that putting Fox in solitary confinement is a more sensible option. Fox later returns the favor! Falco's real motive is revealed a few pages later, when he tries to steal Fox's Arwing to go make history himself.
Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Fara cockily compares one of Andross' carriers to a trash compacter. "Time to take out the garbage!" (she gets shot down immediately.)
Falco, sitting in Fox's cockpit, says to himself, "I've got to concentrate. This isn't going to be easy." Fox suddenly pops up and says "Easy enough, Falco!" He jumps in and knocks Falco out on his ass.
Slippy reminds Peppy of the android pig they captured on Papetoon, and says that the pig they're looking at is a literal "piggy bank" of data and the nerve center for the base. Peppy says it's time they "made a withdrawal," and shoots Herbert with his blaster.
Fox taking out both of the Andross head's eyes. "Keeping an eye out, Andross?"
Single-Biome Planet: Titania is an icebox with great frozen yogurt. This is odd in a modern context because Fichina is generally considered the coldest planet in the Lylat system, and Titania is a desert planet.
Space Whale: Fox McCloud Sr. survived, but became permanently trapped in a parallel dimension. He was only able to interface with others again as a voice, and visually only as a giant baleen whale that would emerge temporarily from the Black Hole.
Tracking Device: Falco and Peppy are next to emerge from the Black Hole. Falco gloats, "I told you I'd get us through the hole!" Peppy reminds him that Slippy's tracking device was what locked onto Fox's route.
Training Accident: Fara boast that she's "been flying since [she] was a kit," and challenges Fox to a race. Peppy notices they're headed the wrong way, though. back at base, General Pepper is alerted that two Arwings have entered Imperial Space.
Unstoppable Rage: Fox goes into a supremely awesome one of these near the end of the comic when the first Andross clone reveals that not only was the original Andross after his father from the very beginning, but that he was responsible for killing his mother with a bomb that was meant for his father. "Payback time is overdue," indeed.
Peppy: ...Fox? He's boiling over!
Falco: I've never seen him so... twisted! I'm glad I'm not Andross!
Vehicular Sabotage: Fox and co. are a bit hasty in chasing down Fara's stolen Arwing. When they arrive at Sector Y, they find their fuel tanks have been emptied.
Done to the car of Fox's parents as well, intended for McCloud Sr. It didn't quite end well and killed Fox's mother instead.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Fox and Falco have a tendency of pressing each other's Berserk Buttons and exchanging moments of Percussive Prevention, but they're still good friends in spite of it all. Falco seems to express his most honest words of caring towards Fox while busy beating the shit out of him.
Walk In Chime In: Peppy does not initially see who kicked Falco out of the Arwing. Fox pokes his head out the cockpit to remind them that he's the only one qualified to navigate the Black Hole. Fara chimes in and says that he's "not the only one qualified!" She and Fox start up their Arwings.
What Measure Is a Mook?: The Venomian Army is composed of Lizardmen which are under the influence of a very powerful Mind Control device. After Andross' first defeat, most of the Lizardmen are glad to be free from his control while a few are still loyal to him.