Herman Smirch

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Herman Smirch
Herman Smirch holding a book.
Species Human
First appearance "In the Palm of Your Hand..."
Latest appearance "Pipes is Pipes"
“That was fun! Hey, Atty, did you see that? I got Mario all the way to the end...and then I let Tatanga blow him away!”
Herman Smirch, "In the Palm of Your Hand..."

Herman Smirch is the quasi-main character of the Game Boy comic books published by Valiant Comics. Smirch is a bitter and unscrupulous man from the real world who features prominently in every issue, often appearing before any other characters. He is depicted with little redeeming qualities, attempting to avoid paying for food at a restaurant and declaring "Beggars should be shot!" to a homeless veteran. He possesses little empathy for others, save for his pet tarantula, Atilla. Smirch, an underpaid electronics store worker, stole and sold Game Boys in resentment. He often played Super Mario Land, deliberately losing at the final boss, Tatanga. In each issue, Smirch follows Tatanga's orders, releasing the villain and his minions from the Game Boy into the real world.

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 is Daisy's birthday and he plans to give her a present. In this issue, all Herman does is set Tatanga free, and he is not mentioned again for the rest of the story.