Nostalgia November Day 13 -- Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. #5

Each day in November, I will read and review/discuss/whatever one comic taken from a box of some of my childhood comics. Today, it's Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. #5.

The Nostalgia November archive can be found here.

Adventures of the Super Mario Bros. was a Valiant title from the early '90s of which I've read exactly one issue. It's really a split comic between Mario and his gang and Captain N who you'll remember from the cartoon -- basically, real guy gets sucked into a Nintendo universe. The comic is different, because it only used characters developed by Nintendo, not third-party characters simply featured in Nintendo games... ironically, meaning Seamus from Metroid shows up even though she never appeared in the cartoon despite the bad guy from the game being one of the main baddies (how that works escapes me). Enough context, more comic...

Eh, it's not great. The Mario story is goofy in the extreme, which is fitting since the characters are pretty goofy. The King of the Mushroom Kingdom has bought a new pimpin' crown that has a one of those electronic displays for words and his chief advisor, Wooster, thinks it's awful. It is pretty tacky, but the King will hear none of it (it was a good deal at the Koopamart, after all... wait, they're at war with Koopas and shop at their store? AND use their currency?), so Wooster quits. He's then kidnapped by the Koopas, which convinces the King that he's a traitor. Mario and Toad go to rescue him and, after fighting their way through dozens of absolutely useless Shyguys, they discover him making nice with Bowser. But, AHA! it was all a ploy as Wooster fed Bowser so much junk food that it made him go into hibernation. Wooster is a clever dude. With that problem settled, they take Wooster back to the castle and discover the King is hiding from the Princess since she's pissed at him for fighting with Wooster. It ends with the King running into a broom closet.

There's a one-page gag strip about the King being on a diet, so he has cakes made to look like his crown, which he eats when no one is around.

The Captain N story is a bit more serious as the trio of Captain N, Seamus, and Princess Lana go to the Locker, a hangout for spacehunters. In Seamus's storage space, Lana sees the flame-chip, the reward for kidnapping her father who they're searching for. Surely that means Seamus captured him, right? Captain N isn't convinced, but Lana won't listen and Seamus is pissed at the lack of trust... it results in Lana stealing Captain N's Nintendo gun and going after Seamus. After much fighting, it's revealed that Seamus doesn't know how she got the flame-chip -- she was captured and under mind-control, waking up with it in her hand at the Locker. So, she could have kidnapped the King. The story ends with the flame-chip speaking telepathically to Duke (Captain N's dog) and telling us how Seamus broke free of her captors quickly, grabbed the flame-chip that was just sitting there, and escaped -- so she didn't kidnap the King! Only they don't know that.

Fairly middling, average stuff. The art in the Mario story is annoying since Mario rarely looks the same in two consecutive panels. Also, the strong influence of Super Mario Bros. 2 on the elements of the story doesn't help. (Hey, don't get me wrong, I dig that game... it's just weak compared to the others.)

Two questions:

* Why are the King and Princess human-looking in a kingdom of Mushroom people?

* Why do they shop at Koopamart and use Koopabits as currency?

See you tomorrow.

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