Herman Smirch

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Herman Smirch.

Herman Smirch is a key character in the Game Boy Comic books published by Valiant Comics, as he is the one that lets Tatanga out of the Game Boy and onto Earth. He has little empathy for others, attempting to distance himself from a homeless Vietnam veteran and thinking to himself, "Beggars should be shot!" Smirch worked at an electronics store where he is committing insider theft by stealing Game Boys because he feels he is underpaid for his work, while his unsuspecting boss merely cautions him to be more vigilant for shoplifters.

In the first issue of the Game Boy Comics ("In the Palm of Your Hand..."), Smirch is hypnotized into letting the alien villain out of the Game Boy he had stolen, but two nearby teenagers promptly do the same with Mario and the plumber quickly defeats the invader. However, Tatanga escapes with Princess Daisy, whom he had kidnapped, back into the console which he had come out of.

In the next issue ("It's a Small World After All"), Herman calls his mother, who convinces him to give up gaming and come home. After giving his Game Boy to two girls on the street, he ends up shoplifting another and again lets Tatanga out. Daisy wants to take a vacation, so Smirch suggests Walt Disney World. Tatanga hypnotizes Herman into hijacking a semi and then a 747 to Florida. However, unsatisfied with the jet's speed, they pile into the space shuttle, along with another kidnapped lady named Tannis Rhodes. Herman feels pity for Tannis, and gives her his coat before going off to help his leader. Tannis, however, finds Herman's Game Boy in the jacket, and releases Mario. The ship smashes into the It's A Small World attraction at Disney Land, and Smirch quickly vacates.

The next story ("Team Play") starts off with him hiding from the police in his mother's house. When the mother of the two girls in the previous issue mails his first Game Boy back to him, he runs away to Wyoming, releasing Tatanga and his entire alien army. Thanks to an upgrade to his car, Smirch leads the squadron to China, where they begin setting up a new base of operations. But, an older brother of one of the boys from the first issue, who is a seaman on a US Navy aircraft carrier sees the goings-on and releases Mario from his own Game Boy. Mario tries to attack Tatanga's forces in his Sky Pop, but sees that they are using weaponry designed for the real world and has to retreat. The seaman notes that the island that has been taken over is American soil, and that Tatanga has effectively declared war on the United States. The seaman uses real world weaponry to upgrade Mario's Sky Pop in order to now match Tatanga's forces, and with the upgrades he drives the baddies off, making Smirch flee in terror in his car.

In the last story ("Pipes Is Pipes"), Herman is working at a famous carnival in Seaside Heights. This time around, when Tatanga is set free, it's Daisy's birthday and he has brought her here for a present. In this issue, all Herman does is set Tatanga free. He is not mentioned for the rest of the story.