Back around 1990, there was nothing in the world cooler than the NES. Michael Jackson tried with the “Dangerous” album. Macaulay Culkin tried to steal some attention. But outside of lingering buzz from Michael Keaton’s Batman, there was NOTHING in the world of the prepubescent male that could usurp the importance of the Nintendo, especially now that Super Mario Bros. 3 (aka God’s Latest and Most Important Transmission to Mankind Since the Angel Gabriel Dictated the Qu’ran to Mohammed in a Cave) was out.
That was why we were suckers enough to watch The Wizard with Fred Savage, collect Nintendo sticker books and eat Nintendo cereal. Hell, I didn’t even HAVE a Nintendo and I still did all that stuff just to compensate!
Then there were the Nintendo comics, published by a young Valiant press, later to become famous for resurrecting the Key superheroes (Magnus, Turok, Solar, etc.) and making them edgy and getting them video game contracts.
Comics Alliance reports on those lost gems:
The Super Mario Brothers aren’t just the stars of this week’s biggest video game release on the Wii, nor were they simply the heroes of one of the most disastrous films of the 1990s - they were also comic book legends.
Well, legends might be pushing it, but brothers Mario and Luigi certainly have some comic book credibility to their name. TRsRockin.com has an extensive rundown of the plumber brothers’ many comic appearances, including a lengthy Valiant Comics run.
There are some definite gems among the Valiant work, including a story titled “Beauty and the Beach” found within the pages of “Super Mario Bros.” #4. Mario, Peach and Toad wash ashore on a mysterious island filled with Toadstools and secretly ruled by King Koopa himself. Things go south when a volcano threatens to erupt, prompting the selfish Koopa to flee the scene while Mario and his pals save the day. It’s really cute, if only for Toad’s hilarious swim trunks.
Ah. Set adrift on memory bliss.
(Comics Alliance: Remembering The Super Mario Bros.’ Surprisingly Cool Comic Books)