Home > Valiant Comics > Super Mario Bros. (1990 Series) #2

Super Mario Bros. (1990 Series) #2

June 11, 2011

Magic Carpet Madness: John Walker, John Costanza, P. Zorito, Jade, The Gradiations
Museum of Plumbing:
John Walker, Gina Going, Jacqueline Roettcher, Jade, Karen Merbaum
The Kingdom Enquirer:
Bill Vallely, Mark McClellan, John Costanza, P. Zorito, Pat Brosseau, Andrea Brooks, The Gradiations
Koopa’s High School Yearbook:
Bill Vallely, Mark McClellan, Kelly Jarvis, Rich Maurizio, Ken Lopez, Karen Merbaum
Valiant Comics

Here’s a blast from the past for you. I recently stumbled across this classic in the cheap box at a comic convention. It’s easy to forget that there was a time these old Super Mario Bros. comics were hot collectibles, because they were in fact the first comics published by the once-hot Valiant Comics. Now you can get ‘em in a quarter bin, along with most other Valiant books, except those other Valiant titles would usually be much more worth your reading time.

At the beginning we see the first thing I hate about early Valiant – the way they lump all the credits together off to the side without actually telling us who did what. But past that, “Magic Carpet Madness” is a weak story. The king tracks mud through the palace, which leads to scrubbing the carpets, which leads to unearthing a flying carpet, which somehow turns Princess Toadstool into a punk rocker. I am not making this up.

“Museum of Plumbing” is a bit better. It’s a one-page gag featuring Luigi showing off… well, the Museum of Plumbing, which leads to a cheesy last-panel punchline, but at least it’s a joke that makes sense.

“The Kingdom Enquirer” is the best story in the book, which isn’t necessarily to say that it’s good, just better than the others. Toad decides he’s going to start up a palace newspaper, but his attempts at journalism quickly devolve into putting together a trashy gossip rag. The conclusion here is actually clever, and it’s that which raises this story up above the rest of them.

The comic ends with another one-pager “Koopa’s High School Yearbook,” which is just four panels in a yearbook format and a few gags thrown in. I’ll say this for the comic – the artwork is quite good. It’s very cartoonish and lively, and suits the Mario cartoons of the era. But it’s a good thing Valiant EIC Jim Shooter had the foresight to license the Gold Key heroes to start his own superhero universe, or else Valiant today would be even more of a footnote than it is.

Rating: 5/10

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