Archie Comics Mario comic
At an unspecified time, comic publisher Archie Comics pitched a Mario comic adaptation to Nintendo, written by Ian Flynn and featuring art by Tracy Yardley and Ben Bates. The pitch first became known to the public when concept art for it was published on website Comics Art Fan in 2015 (since deleted). Author Ian Flynn would revisit the Mario comic in 2019, giving more details on Twitter about its fate (stating that he heard the comic was well-received by Nintendo of America but was rejected by Nintendo's Japanese office) and the planned storyline for it.
According to Ian Flynn, it was planned to begin with a 4-issues mini series with plans to turn the comic into an ongoing series had it been successful. The comic would have taken an approach similar to Flynn's work on Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man comics, featuring "narrative-driven adaptations of the games with stories bridging the canon". Reflecting back on the pitch, Flynn stated, "It's not how I'd approach a Mario project today - too much drama, not enough whimsy. Still, I thought some of y'all might get a kick out of it."
It started off with Mario & Luigi being summoned to Peach's castle for a plumbing job. Luigi was excited for the career-defining contract, Mario less enthused - a job's a job & he's bored of their career. They arrive just after Bowser has ransacked the Mushroom Kingdom. With literally no one left to save the princess, Mario jumps at the call to adventure. Luigi less so. They stock up on what power-ups are left after the invasion and embark on a journey through Worlds 1-8, burning through their provisions since they're novice heroes.
They reach Bowser's Castle in W8-4 and Luigi calls it quits. This is suicide. They're PLUMBERS, not heroes. Mario refuses to give up - too many are counting on them. They part ways, Mario storming the castle. Mario makes his way past the traps and firebars to his first showdown with Bowser. The King of Koopas wants to know who's been causing so much trouble for his troops and it's...this pudgy guy? Oh well. Anyone who challenges him meets the same fate.
It's a knock-down, drag-out fight on the bridge over a magma moat. Mario is too nimble for Bowser to land a solid hit, but Bowser is too tough for Mario to actually hurt. They're at a stalemate when a scream is heard, building from deep in the hall.. It's Luigi, screaming in blind terror, running thru the castle as fast as he can. Over the bridge. Past the baffled combatants. Into a wall. Which knocks loose the decorative axe. Which cuts the bridge.
Mario bounces off the falling Bowser to safety. Mario and Luigi reconcile - yeah, Mario may have gotten in over his head, but Luigi could never abandon his brother. Together they rescue Peach who shares a bashful love-at-first-sight moment with Mario. The trio returns to the Mushroom Kingdom and begin to rebuild. Peach names Mario & Luigi royal plumbers. Luigi is overjoyed - they're set for life now! No more adventures! Cut to the stinger ending of Bowser crawling out of the magma moat.