Nintendo Comics System

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This article is under construction. Therefore, please excuse its informal appearance while it is being worked on. We hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

It has been suggested that this page be moved to Super Mario Bros. (Valiant Comics). (discuss)

The cover of the hardcover collection of The Best of the Super Mario Bros.
The cover for "Bedtime for Drain-Head", part of the Nintendo Comics System
The cover to a reprint collection by Random House that came with an audio cassette. This artwork is based on the cover art for Super Mario Bros. #3.
Comics for Nintendo players!
Now there's an idea! They'd have to be fast-paced. Intelligent. Sophisticated. Literate. Intriguing. Involving. Funny.
Because Nintendo players are smart, discerning, tasteful people with a sense of humor.
Lots of companies would have loved to have published comics for Nintendo players. But the nice people at Nintendo picked us-VALIANT. They thought we'd do the best job. We will.”
Introduction to Nintendo Comics System #1

The Nintendo Comics System is the umbrella brand for Valiant Comics's line of licensed comics based on Nintendo properties. Running from 1990 to 1991, the comics include stories based on Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda (with some inspirations from the cartoon), Punch-Out!!, Metroid (one story), and Captain N. Issues could feature comics based on multiple properties or focus on a single one. Of the properties featured, Super Mario was the most prolific and longest-running.

Distinct from the regular Super Mario stories is the 4-issues Game Boy miniseries, focusing exclusively on Super Mario Land.


The premise of the Super Mario Bros. comics, set up by the introductory story "The Legend", follows the basic plot of Super Mario Bros.: the peaceful Mushroom Kingdom is invaded by the evil forces of Bowser. Hearing the inhabitant's cries for help, two plumbers named Mario and Luigi set out to adventure, defeating Bowser and restoring the kidnapped Mushroom King and Princess Toadstool to the throne. Hailed as heroes by the Mushroom Kingdom's denizens, Mario and Luigi decide to stay behind as its protectors, knowing Bowser won't take his defeat lying down.

From that point on, the comics had no overarching storyline. The stories featured Mario, Luigi, Toadstool and Toad foiling plots by Bowser and other villains to conquer the kingdom (often involving kidnapping the scatterbrained and moronic Mushroom King or the Princess), and sometimes getting into hijinks during their downtime. Stories were comedic and absurd in natures, with plots such as Bowser developing a bomb that makes all those who inhaled its fumes lethally stupid, or Toadstool participating in a bowling ball tournament played with oversized meatballs. Primarily drawing on the settings and characters of the platformers up to 'Super Mario Bros. 3, the comic's cast was rounded by a number of original characters including the Mushroom King's beleaguered advisor Wooster, the neurotic lovestruck Stanley the Talking Fish, and Mario's superhero idol Dirk Drain-Head.

A trademark of the Nintendo Comics Systems line was breaking up the stories with one-off pages. These often featured visual humour and insight about the comic's characters.

Creative team[edit]

The Nintendo Comics System had a highly variable stable of writer and artists, leading to a somewhat inconsistent visual style. Among the the most recurring writers were comic book veteran Bill Valely and Mark McClellan.

Publication History[edit]

According to an info page in Nintendo Comics System 01, Valiant's deal with Nintendo was announced at a January 1989 conference in New York. Artists drew the story "The Fish That Should've Gotten Away" live for the press, making it the first comic produced for the line.

In January 1990, an 8-pages Sneak Preview featuring various pages from the upcoming comics and ultimately unused art was published. This was the first comic issue published by Valiant, predating the company's wrestling and self-owned superhero titles.

Below is a comprehensive list of Super Mario-related titles, including the Captain N comics that include Donkey Kong (an occasional antagonist in the series).

Heavy stock[edit]

Released in 1990.

Nintendo Comics System[edit]

These books contain comics from various systems.

Nintendo Comics System No. 1[edit]
Nintendo Comics System No. 2[edit]

Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Super Mario Bros. Special Edition #1[edit]
Super Mario Bros. #1[edit]
Super Mario Bros. #2[edit]
Super Mario Bros. #3[edit]
Super Mario Bros. #4[edit]

Captain N: The Game Master[edit]

Captain N: The Game Master No. 1[edit]
  • Welcome to Videoland
Captain N: The Game Master No. 3[edit]
  • Video-Town
Captain N: The Game Master No. 4[edit]
  • Secrets of the Warp Zones

Game Boy[edit]

Soft cover[edit]

Released in 1991.

Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Super Mario Bros. Feb No. 1[edit]
Super Mario Bros. May No. 4[edit]

Adventures of Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. Feb. No. 1[edit]
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. May No. 4[edit]
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. Jun No. 5[edit]
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. Jul No. 6[edit]
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. Aug No. 7[edit]
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. Sep No. 8[edit]
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. Oct No. 9[edit]

Nintendo Comics System Featuring...[edit]

Nintendo Comics System featuring Super Mario Bros. Jul No. 6[edit]
Nintendo Comics System featuring Super Mario Bros. Sep No. 8[edit]
Nintendo Comics System featuring Super Mario Bros. Oct. No. 9[edit]

Hardcover collections[edit]

The Best of the Nintendo Comics System[edit]

The Best of Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Valiant Illustrated Action Books[edit]

The Super Mario Bros. Meet the Koopa Kids[edit]
The Super Mario Bros. Battle Against Bowser[edit]
The Super Mario Bros. in: "Mario's Special Powers"[edit]
Super Mario in: "Tatanga Invades Earth"[edit]

External links[edit]