Game Boy (comic book series)

From the Nintendo Wiki, a wiki covering all things Nintendo
Jump to navigationJump to search
This article is about the comic book series by Valiant Comics. For the video game system, see Game Boy.
Cover artwork for the first issue (used for the reprint in Nintendo Comics System Featuring... #1)

Game Boy is a four-issue series within Valiant Comics's Nintendo Comics System brand, acting as a spin-off to the main Super Mario Bros. title. It is named after the handheld system of the same name, which noticeably appears throughout the comic, although it serves more as a tie-in to Super Mario Land since the premise involves the game's characters invading the real world. All four issues were published in 1990.



Herman Smirch, a bitter and self-centered clerk at an electronics store, is surprised when he sees Tatanga, Princess Daisy, and the various enemies from Super Mario Land materialize out of his Game Boy. Explaining that Herman's misanthropy and weak will makes him a perfect vessel to activate a conduit between reality and the world of the Game Boy, Tatanga's loyal minion Pionpi and his forces proceed to cause chaos in a bid to conquer the "giants". A teenager manages to summon Mario from his own copy of Super Mario Land, who beats back Tatanga's assault and causes them to warp back to the Game Boy, Mario in tow.

The next issues follow a similar formula: Herman Smirch, despite his attempts to stay out of the conflict, is hypnotized into playing the Game Boy and summon Tatanga into our reality. With Herman's assistance, Tatanga's troops attempts to weaponize or fortify a location or vehicle while Tatanga unsuccessfully courts Daisy's affection. A person witness to the commotion and with the knowledge of how to summon Mario grabs a Game Boy to play Super Mario Land and gets Mario to materialize. Mario, with some help from his human allies and Daisy, uses his skills to foil Tatanga's plot and the villains retreat back to the Game Boy. Mario exchanges some parting words with his ally-of-the-week before doing likewise.

To convey the "clash of the worlds" theme, the backgrounds and human character were illustrated in a realistic style while the Super Mario Land characters were drawn with a more cartoon-like appearance, faithful to their game artwork. An exception to this is Tatanga, who is redesigned to look taller and more muscular. Mario, though similar in his appearance to his game self, is portrayed as a quippy smart aleck eager for a fight, unlike his personality in the main Super Mario Bros. comics.

The book was slightly more serious and action-focused than the main Mario comics, featuring such plot developments as Herman Smirch being on the run from the authorities due to his role in hijacking an airliner, and Mario narrowly averting a nuclear reactor meltdown and becoming ill from the resulting radiation exposure. Like the other Nintendo Comics System titles, Game Boy featured one-off gag pages, framed as tabloid headlines from the International Enquisitor.

Creative team[edit]

The first and third issue were written by George Caragonne, while fellow Playhouse Comix creative and regular contributor on other Nintendo Comics System titles. Mark McClellan wrote the second and fourth. The comic had a rotating stable of artists, though Art Nichols worked on the first three issues.


It has been requested that this section be rewritten. Reason: some of the release dates could be inaccurate

Image # Title Released
In the Palm of Your Hand... USA February 1990
Having had a bad trip to work, Herman Smirch steals a Game Boy from his workplace and inadvertently summons the characters of Super Mario Land while playing the game. Tatanga and his minions attempt to remodel the World Trade Center into World 1-3 of Super Mario Land, but they are foiled when teenagers Rick and Josh summon Mario with their own copy of the game.
It's a Small World After All USA March 1990
Herman is convinced by his mother to give up gaming and go back home, but it is not long before he is hypnotized into summoning the villains again. When he suggests Tatanga takes Princess Daisy to Disney World, they hijack a 747 airliner, but Tatanga soon think up a more ambitious plan after he speaks with space shuttle-loving Tannis Rhodes.
Team Play USA April 1990
A fugitive after the events of the previous issue, Herman is probed by Pionpi on the best location to set up a fortress and enslave a lot of humans. Answering China, Herman flies Pionpi and his soldiers to an uninhibited island in the Pacific. An ensign on the nearby USS Nimitz summons Mario while casually playing Super Mario Land off-duty and helps Mario destroy the well-defended fortress by giving him access to the carrier's military weapons.
Pipes is Pipes USA May 1990
For Daisy's birthday, Tatanga warps in Seaside Heights, New Jersey and hatch a plan to get rid of Mario by triggering a meltdown at the nearby nuclear power plant. While Mario flies off to avert nuclear disaster, Michael Hallis tries to rescue Daisy himself.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning