It’s time for a look at an old Mario comic series that came out a long time ago. I finally got to read the trade paperback and it was definitely fun. I can safely say that it was better than the Super Mario-Kun manga and it was a fun take on the mythos. There were some creative liberties like Peach’s new personality, but it was actually quite the improvement and it would be really cool if Peach could stay like that in the games. Bowser was a little worse than usual though so that helped to balance things out.
Mario and Luigi are called in to inspect a plumbing situation. They have to get it done before the day is over or it’ll spoil Peach’s party. Unfortunately, Bowser takes this opportunity to attack and says that if Peach doesn’t marry him, he’ll turn all of the Toads into statues. Peach doesn’t surrender to threats though and storms Bowser’s castle. Meanwhile, Mario has been turned to stone and stays that way for 3 days. Are Mario and Luigi too late to save Peach? More important, will Peach be able to save them from Bowser in time?
As mentioned earlier, Peach’s change is the most radical by far. She seems to be styled after Zelda from the TV show this time as she is eager for a fight and also very clever. She actually outshines both Mario and Luigi here as she escapes from Bowser on her own, defeats his underlings, and then escapes the castle. Mario was placed in the same situation later on and he was unable to break free. It just goes to show why Peach is the princess here and while she may have ultimately gotten captured by the end, she stole the show in the end. Peach was easily the best character.
Mario and Luigi were also cool of course. They do panic a bit and let their guard down around the enemies, but they come through when it counts. Mario got a big punch in on Bowser and took down quite a few enemies. Luigi boldly used a disguise to get into Bowser’s lair and even talked back to Peach as he wanted to keep the dress. Mario and Luigi also get to sing at the beginning of the comic so we know that they’re talented. The comic has a lot of fun with them, but it never goes too over the top to make them unlikable or anything like that. I still can’t get over the fact that Peach is stronger than Mario in this version though.
As for Bowser, he is the one sad part of the comic. His whole goal is to marry Peach falls for all of her tricks. He’s not much of a fighter in this comic and needs his underlings around him 24/7. I can understand why Bowser isn’t portrayed as a super serious villain, but they could have at least given him a little dignity. As it stands, he is just a poor villain and I actually preferred all of his henchmen. The piranha plants and Boos actually did the best as they kept biting the heroes. Yoshi was also pretty neat even if he didn’t get to do a whole lot. He was quite large in this version and that made him a powerful ally to have.
There was also one human character who tagged along at some points. He’s always looking to make a few bucks and actually tricked the Mario bros so you can’t say that he isn’t clever. His role was pretty small, but he made an impact and at least he had a fun personality. Fun was actually one of his titles when people would stop to greet him. I don’t know how he got here, but you can definitely tell that the guy is here to stay.
Aside from the main story, there was also a quick epilogue tale with Wario. Apparently Mario used to bully him a lot without realizing it. After 20 years, Wario decided to have his revenge by inviting Mario over while preparing a lot of traps. The problem is that Mario is simply too good so he overcomes all of the traps and then blasts Wario with a water gun anyway. You have to wonder how innocent Mario is in the middle of all this. It was a fun little comic, but you can’t help but feel bad for Wario the whole time. He didn’t ask for this! He should have just looked on the bright side and enjoyed the activities with Mario. You have to see the cup half full after all.
The art is a lot of fun to read. It may not be super detailed, but the colors are some of the brightest that I’ve seen. Every page really pops out at you and the backgrounds all look great. The trade paperback was rather tall and that’s a good thing since it allowed you to easily see all of the panels on the page. It made for quick reading and considering that it was 12 chapters long plus an epilogue bonus comic, the individual comics would have been insanely short. As it stands, this was a good length for a collection although I wouldn’t shell out too much money for it. The art is part of what makes it enjoyable and the definitive Mario reading experience. (Although the chapter book was also a lot of fun)
Overall, Super Mario Adventures was a fun comic. It’s too bad that the series couldn’t have lasted a bit longer. It’s the kind of title that could have easily kept on going and going since there is always another story to tell. The Mario franchise has a lot of characters so it’s not as if they would have run out. The 12 issues are basically just one arc so with a mere 5 arcs, it could have reached 60 issues. Ah well, Nintendo typically doesn’t do a whole lot of comics or other similar products so I’ll just be happy that they did this one. Since Link also got some comics, we just need some for Metroid next. There is less of a big universe to work around, but still enough for a bunch of comics. If you enjoy the Mario games, then I definitely recommend this. Even if you don’t, it’s just a fun all around comic that can appeal to everyone. Who doesn’t like a nice fantasy adventure?