Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Comic Review


Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #3


Saturday, August 8, 2003, 2:25 PM - 11:26 PM


Introduction (2:25 PM - 2:26 PM)

There are four additional stories in "Nintendo Comics System" this month, so I'll be reviewing them after Captain N #3.


Nervous Meltdown (2:30 PM - 3:55 PM)

Cover: A cool drawing of Kevin firing his Zapper outward at an enemy. The Captain N logo has yellow text, blue background, and a yellow border. The beam is blue. "THE" is black. "GAME" and "MASTER" are yellow with black border.

Story title: NERVOUS MELTDOWN
Writer: Mark McClellan
Other staff: Bill Vallely, James Brock, Wansi, Jade, The Gradations
Length: 10 pages

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #3, July 1990
The Best of the Nintendo Comics System, 1990

Summary:

The computers at the Palace of Power are freezing up. The fusion reactor's control computers have shut down. Unless the computers are repaired, the reactor will blow up, the Palace of Power will be destroyed, and thousands will die.

Meanwhile, in Metroid, King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard arrive from their mission. It turns out that they had "injected" a computer virus into the Palace's computer system (with a needle-dart). Eggy had forgotten to wipe his feet during the decontamination process, though, and the virus infects Mother Brain, shutting her down. She controls everything on Metroid, so, if she isn't woken, their reactor will go super-critical within hours.

Kevin, Lana, Kid Icarus, and Duke arrive on Metroid, because Kevin is sure that the whole thing is Mother Brain's doing. Hippo and Eggy find them and beg them for help. They explain what happened. Kevin concludes that they have to get inside Mother Brain's very mind to get her memory of the virus antidote. Hippo and Eggy use a shrink gun (which has its own power source) to shrink Kevin, Lana, Kid Icarus, Duke, and a ship. Kevin warns Hippo and Eggy to not double-cross them, because, if they fail to get the antidote, they both die. Eggy realizes that Kevin's right and injects them with a needle into MB.

Inside MB's mind, they witness her id and land the ship in "some deep, muddy muck". They see ugly versions of Kevin, Lana, Kid Icarus, Duke, Hippo, and Eggy outside. They get out of the ship and fight the ugly versions. A young girl (with a smiley face on the front of her shirt) arrives and helps Kevin, Lana, Kid Icarus, and Duke. She leads them to the memory of the antidote (in the dark tunnel, not the lit one). She stays outside to battle the monsters. Kid Icarus feels guilty about leaving the girl, but Lana points out the the girl and the monsters aren't real. They're just manifestations of Mother Brain's thoughts and feelings. Kevin suspects that the conflict in MB's mind has been going on a long time. He trusts the girl. A minute later, Kevin finds the memory of the antidote. When they leave the tunnel and head back to the ship, Kid Icarus asks the girl who she is. She says "Never mind" and tells them to get back to the ship. They fly out of MB's mind. Kevin informs Eggy that he's sitting on the antidote. Eggy is surprised. Now that they have the information, Hippo decides to bash Kevin, Lana, Kid Icarus, and Duke. Kevin goes to save MB, even though Lana, Kid Icarus, and Duke need his help. Kevin can't let MB die, because the little girl had saved heir lives. Kevin can't let her die. The shrinking effect wears off, and Kevin, Lana, Kid Icarus, and Duke return to their normal sizes. Lana knocks King Hippo unconscious with her power scepter. Kevin gets a barrel of the antidote, and he, Lana, Kid Icarus, and Duke go back to the Palace of Power.

At the Palace of Power, Kevin hooks up the antidote to the computer system, and the meltdown is averted.

Interesting Notes:

No Captain N logo

Kevin (or perhaps Lana; it's unclear) took an Anatomy class.

Lana's clothes are purple-pink in this story.

Kevin's Zapper beams are white with blue border in this story.

Kid Icarus holds his bow in both hands in this story.

Mother Brain is spelled "Mother Brain" in this story.

The team is called the "N Team" in this story.

Great Lines:

King Hippo: "That stuff worked like a charm, Mother Brain! We shot the needle-dart into their computer system..."
Eggplant Wizard: "...and the computer virus it injected spread like wildfire through their computers! Faster than King Hippo eating burgers at the League of Darkness Annual Picnic!"

King Hippo: "She controls everything here, stupid! Our reactor will go super-critical, just like the N Team's, within hours!!"
Eggplant Wizard: "Uh-oh. We're in trouble, aren't we?"

Kevin: "Mother Brain's memory is the key! We have to get inside her very mind to get the virus antidote!"
Lana: "Is that all?! How?!"
King Hippo: "Well, there is that weapon we were planning on using for the spring offensive..."

King Hippo: "This machine will shrink anything for twenty minutes. Laser rifles, tanks, battleships..."
Eggplant Wizard: "And entire populations! For convenient packaging!!"
King Hippo: "Of course, that's totally out of the question, now! I mean, we're all friends...right?"
Eggplant Wizard: "Maybe we can use it to make toys! If that's okay--?"

Kevin: "I've always wondered what it would be like to see myself as someone else sees me..."
Kid Icarus: "Of course everything Mother Brain would imagine about us would be a lie!"
Kevin: "I hope it's a lie but maybe...there's just a little bit of truth in there."

Dumb Lines:

Eggplant Wizard: "Mother Brain's so cute when she's asleep..just like a little girl!"
Mother Brain had just said that she was going into a coma, Eggy! Pay attention!

Review:

This story started decently enough. I like the death talk, and the threat is real. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. The ideas of injecting a virus into a computer with a needle, and the N Team being shrunk to get into Mother Brain's mind, are just so damn ridiculous. I did like Lana's sarcasm about the whole thing, though.

Kevin is unwilling to let Mother Brain die, because he doesn't want the little girl to die, despite the fact that Lana had said that the girl isn't real earlier in the story! He wants the little girl to win the fight someday, changing Mother Brain. This is stupid! It completely prevents Kevin from ever defeating Mother Brain!

On the positive side, Duke was a bit useful (tackling ugly Kevin), and the philosophy was nice, but, overall, this story wasn't very good.


The Secret Powers of Captain N (3:57 PM - 4:15 PM)

Story title: THE SECRET POWERS OF CAPTAIN N
Writer: George Caragonne
Other staff: Dennis Woodlyard, Jacqueline Roettcher, Ken Lopez, Meridee Mandio, Wansi
Length: 2 pages

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #3, July 1990
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 3, April 1991

Summary:

Kevin is on Metroid, demonstrating the functions of his "Power Belt" (Up, Down, Left, Right, Pause) and Zapper. He runs out of power, but Samus Aran comes to save him from the Eggplant Wizard and his loyal veggies.

Great Lines:

Kevin: "Pressing Left or Right on the controller makes me 'shift' at super speed! I can dodge anything!"
Eggplant Wizard: "Hey where'd he go?"
Kevin: "Especially someone slow and dumb--like the Eggplant Wizard!"

Kevin: "Uh-oh! I forgot that my Power Belt only holds a limited supply of energy. When the power meter reaches zero...dead batteries! No more powers, no more Zapper and maybe......no more me?"
Eggplant Wizard: "Heh! Your powers can't save you now, Captain N! Get him, my loyal veggies--process him into puree!"
Samus: "Ready for some back-up, Captain?"
Kevin: "Sure, Samus Aran! After all, special powers are great, but nothing beats having great friends you can count on--like the N-Team!"

Interesting notes:

Kevin claims to know every world and every power trick in Videoland.

Kevin's Power Belt has 9 units of energy.

Kevin's Zapper beams are white in this story.

Kevin's Power Belt uses batteries.

The team is called the "N-Team" in this story.

Review:

This is a good, short story that shows the functions of Kevin's weapons. For those of you worried about Kevin breaking the fourth wall, he may be hosting a TV special, not addressing the readers. I like the welcome posted on the wall. One nitpick that I have is that Kevin says that pushing Up or Down on the controller will give him power-assisted jumps. He should have specified that pressing Down would make him land from a jump.


Video-Town (4:17 PM - 4:21 PM)

Story title: VIDEO-TOWN
Writers: George Caragonne
Other staff: Joe Q., Joe Rubinstein, Jade, Christiaan
Length: 1 page

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #3, July 1990
The Best of the Nintendo Comics System, 1990

Summary:

There is one world in Videoland that has it all - fascinating places, bizarre characters, and incredible events...VIDEO-TOWN It's a city that attracts the best and the worst from every game world. From ghosts to space warriors, you never know who you'll meet next.

Here, also, is the ultimate recreation center! This is where Videoland folks go when they have time off to enjoy Baseball, Soccer, or even Championship Wrestling! If it's played in a video game, it's played here.
But, beware! A place as large as Video Town attracts all kinds...and some of them are very dangerous!

Review:

A good, one-page description of the world that is featured in the next long story. Nothing special, though.


A Dog's Life (4:30 PM - 7:04 PM)

Story title: A DOG'S LIFE
Writer: Bryan D. Leys
Other staff: Bob Layton, Jade, The Gradations
Length: 10 pages

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #3, July 1990
The Best of the Nintendo Comics System, 1990

Summary:

Lana and Kid Icarus are waiting for Kevin and Duke on the sidewalk in Video-Town. The two finally arrive, but there seems to be something wrong with Kevin. He sits there, looks stupid, and does not talk. On the contrary, Duke keeps barking. Kid Icarus tells him to be quiet, because they are trying to talk to Kevin, but at the same time we can see in Duke's thoughts. He says that he is Kevin and wants to tell them that their minds had been switched when they went through the warp zone. Duke had hit a button on the Power Pad at the same time. Lana says that "Kevin" has laryngitis, and that it cannot stop them from looking for Mother Brain's secret weapon, so she drags "Kevin" along. Kid Icarus tells "Duke" to stay out of trouble, and "Kevin" starts growling at him. That confuses the little winged creature. So they set out on their mission, "Duke" leading the way, Kid Icarus brooding, and Lana still dragging "Kevin", who looks at a fire hydrant with interest.

Meanwhile, in the "Videotown City Hall", Mother Brain and King Hippo are testing the will-dulling device - Mother Brain's secret weapon - on the city officials. It works, and she cannot wait to use it on Captain N.

As the good guys are walking on the street, they are attacked by King Hippo's mob of crocodiles, in a car, firing laser guns. "Kevin" starts running after the mob's car and stops it with the help of "Duke", who acts as a real dog. Then, "Kevin", Lana, and Kid Icarus go to City Hall, leaving "Duke" behind to guard the warp zone. The real Kevin ponders if he should go with them or stay there, and decides to wait.

Lana, Kid Icarus, and "Kevin" try to fight Mother Brain but are shot one by one by the mind-dulling ray.

Kevin, still outside, sees King Hippo and starts chasing him. He traps him in a flying saucer, which flies off. At that moment, Lana, Kid Icarus, and "Kevin" arrive. Lana has used Mother Brain's weapon on reverse to cure everyone, but Kevin and Duke are still in the wrong bodies. Kevin thinks about it for a moment then presses the "Reset" button on the Power Pad. Kevin and Duke's minds are switched back to their own bodies. Lana comments that Kevin's got his voice back. Kid Icarus exclaims "What a lucky break!" Kevin says "No. Luck is having wonderful friends and a great dog!" He kneels down and pets Duke, who barks.

Interesting notes:

Lana has friends in Video-Town.

Kid Icarus calls Duke a "four-legged flea-taxi", just like Mother Brain did in "All's Well That Ends Swell" (except for the extra hyphen".

Kid Icarus asks "What did I say? What did I say?", pretty much like Kevin did in "Happy Birthday, Megaman".

Kid Icarus thinks that Duke is a dopey dog. I guess he forgot his experience in "Just a Dog".

Lana calls Kid Icarus "Kid" three times in this story.

Kevin taught Duke never to chase cars.

Lana's clothes change from purple-pink to pink to purple in this story.

Mother Brain is spelled "Mother Brain" in this story.

Great Lines:

Kevin: "So this is what it feels like to be a pet. At least I'm cute."

King Hippo: "There's just one thing......what do I get out of all this?"
Mother Brain: "Think about it, Hippo. You've always been rather stupid, correct?"
King Hippo: "Uhhhhh I think so."
Mother Brain: "Well, after we get Captain N, you can use the ray on the whole town, and you'll be the resident genius around here! You get revenge, and Captain N becomes my personal house pet.."
King Hippo: "Hey, I like it, I like it."

Kid Icarus: "Wooooooo! Get 'em Captain N! Teach that walking luggage a thing or two!"

Kevin: "I can't believe it. I'm jealous of my own dog. I wonder if Duke ever felt this way about me?"

Kevin: "Boy, crocodile sure tastes awful."

Lana: "It's dark inside! We'd better be ready for anything."
Kid Icarus: "Really, Princess, we've got the spectacular Captain N with us. What could go wrong?"
Lana: "Something like this!"

Mother Brain: "Hello, Princess. I'm Her Honor, Mother Brain, the new Mayor of Videotown. My first official duty will be the destruction of Captain N."

Mother Brain: "Too bad, Captain. I was going to save you for last, but first come first serve!"

Kevin: "Yuck! Some things taste even worse than crocodile."

Kevin: "Not bad for a dog! I guess being a hero has nothing to do with looks."

Dumb Lines:

Kid Icarus: "Oh-oh! How will my hero give me my orders."
Other than the incorrect punctuation, this line just sounds stupid.

Lana: "Kid, why do you suppose Kevin keeps sniffing the air?"
Kid Icarus: "Maybe heroes can smell better than us."
I agree with Kevin. Oh, brother!

Lana: "Kid, what's wrong with him?"
Kid Icarus: "Maybe it's his night to howl."
Um,...what?

Lana: "We need help! Why didn't we bring Duke!"
Because you told him to stay and guard the warp zone, maybe?

Review:

Did I mention that I don't like Duke? I did? Good. We did not need another Duke story. Are you reading this, ex-Valiant? The whole mind-swapping thing causes problems, such as how Kevin can remain intelligent with a dog's brain. Anyway, onto the nit-picking. Why does Kid Icarus correct himself after calling Captain N "Kevin"? He had already called him "Kevin" in "Nervous Meltdown". Why does Kid Icarus call himself Kevin's "old pal"? They haven't known each other that long. In case you were wondering who said what, Lana said that Kevin must have lost his voice, and Kid Icarus wonders how his "hero" will give him his "orders". That's because Lana is taller, so her word balloon would be higher than Kid Icarus'. You'd think that, with "Duke" barking so much and "Kevin" being silent, Lana and Kid Icarus would figure out what happened. How could pressing a button on Kevin's Power Pad while warping cause a mind swap? The way that they spell "Videotown" contradicts the previous, one-page story. Where did Lana pull her map out from? How come she suddenly has her power scepter when she needs it? Anyway, while it was fun seeing Lana talking to Kevin as if he was a dog, I agree with Kid Icarus. Next time, Duke can stay at home.


The Master Machine (7:05 PM - 8:59 PM)

Story title: THE MASTER MACHINE
Writer: George Caragonne
Other staff: Dennis Woodyard, Jan Harpes, Jade, Kingman Huie
Length: 10 pages

Appears in:
Nintendo Comics System, Volume # 1, Issue # 2, July 1990
Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 4, May 1991

Summary:

In the massive central power core, heart of the Palace of Power and the greatest source of energy in Videoland, Kevin and Lana are standing, facing a huge computer system called the Master Computer System (M.C.S.). Lana had just installed it and asks Kevin what he thinks of it. The three prime directives of this unit are: 1) Serve the allies of justice. 2) Protect the Palace. 3) Destroy all enemies. The M.C.S. is the most powerful computer in Videoland. It now controls all the Palace's defense systems. Lana says that they'll never have to worry about "the Mother Brain's" sneak attacks again. Kevin doesn't like putting his life in the hands of a machine.

Seconds later, at the front gate of the Palace, Lana is amused when she realizes that Kevin is jealous. Kevin grunts and looks up at the sky. He says that it looks like a storm's coming.

At that moment, on the roof of the great Palace tower, two robots reprogram the M.C.S.

Outside the Palace, Lana and Kevin watch as a tornado approaches. Just then, a bunch of bad guys come out of the tornado and charge at the two heroes.

Back inside the Palace, the M.C.S. sounds an intruder alert and activates the Palace's defenses.

Lana smiles when she sees the M.C.S. activate the Palace's defenses and put up a forcefield to stop the bad guys. She tries to convince Kevin that she was right. She places her hands over a scanner and tells the M.C.S. to open the front door. The M.C.S. scans Lana and concludes that she's an enemy. It activates the Capture Warp Zone. A warp opens. Chords wrap around Lana's wrists and pull her into it. Lana is surprised and yells to Kevin for help. Kevin jumps to reach her but isn't fast enough. The warp closes. Kevin places his left hand over the scanner. The M.C.S. scans him and identifies him as Captain N, ally. Kevin demands to know what's going on.

Inside the Palace, Lana is placed on a table. The M.C.S. renders Lana unconscious by stun gas. The M.C.S. identifies Lana as Mother Brain. A laser cannon begins charging up. It is aimed at Lana's head.

Kevin tries to convince the M.C.S. that it has Lana. The M.C.S. states that error is not possible and that Lana will be destroyed in sixty seconds. Kevin realizes that he can't destroy the M.C.S., because it's the only thing that's keeping Mother Brain's army from destroying the Palace. With thirty seconds left, Kevin fires at the Palace's gate with his Zapper and blasts a hole in it. The M.C.S> is surprised. Kevin tells the M.C.S. that it made an error and asks if it made another error when it identified the prisoner and is about to destroy the wrong person. The M.C.S> continues to count down. Kevin asks what if its defenses can't stop him from reaching the central power core? Then he'd be the primary enemy. The M.C.S. pauses the prisoner destruct sequence and gives Kevin fifteen minutes to reach the central power core under maximum defenses. Kevin runs into the Palace.

Kevin goes through all of the levels of the Palace of Power - with everything trying to get him.

Meanwhile, the malevolent Mother Brain has joined her army, laying siege to the Palace.

At that moment, Captain N has reached the central power core. Kevin plugs a chord into his Zapper and jumps down to the computer. Kevin aims his Zapper, tells the M.C.S. that a blast from it could destroy the M.C.S., and asks why he doesn't fire. The M.C.S. asks Kevin the same thing. Kevin lowers his Zapper and explains that he's not the enemy, and neither is the girl. He says its programming is in error. Suddenly, Kevin's Zapper is knocked out of his hand by an electrical blast. Kevin turns around and tells the M.C.S> that Mother Brain is there. MB tells the M.C.S. to not listen to him and to zap him and destroy him. She calls herself "the beautiful Princess Lana". Kevin convinces MB to drop her weapons to convince the M.C.S. that she's Lana. MB fires at the M.C.S. and destroys it. Kevin presses the Pause button on his Power Pad and freezes Mother Brain. He then reprograms the M.C.S.

After the Pause has expired, the laser cannon that was previously pointed at Lana is now pointed at Mother Brain, and it is charging up, making a humming sound. Another laser cannon is also pointed at her, and five workmen robots are by her, three of them holding weapons. Kevin is standing on the machine he had jumped off of earlier. He is holding his Zapper again, and it is still plugged into the central power core. Kevin informs MB that he is in control of the Palace defenses now. Mother Brain zooms out of the Palace and tells her forces to retreat. Kevin walks over to Lana, places his hands on her arms, and talks to her. Lana remains still. Kevin kisses Lana on the lips. Lana wakes up and sits up. She places her left hand on the side of her head, dizzy, and asks Kevin what happened. Kevin sits down next to her, twirls his Zapper, and replies "Let's just say there are some things that shouldn't be left to machines!"

Interesting notes:

The Captain N logo has black text, white background, and a black border. The beam is yellow. "THE" is black. "GAME" and "MASTER" are blue with black border.

Lana's clothes are pink in this story.

Kevin's Zapper beams are white with blue border first but then change to yellow in this story.

Mother Brain is spelled "Mother Brain" in this story.

The workmen robots look like R2-D2s. They give off a "ZARK" sound effect. A reference to "Battle of the Planets"?

Great Lines:

Kevin: "I don't like putting my life in the hands of a machine, Princess."
Lana: "But, the M.C.S. is really just the ultimate game computer. I thought you loved game computers."
Kevin: "I like them when I control them--not when they're running things."

Robot #1: "Lightning! They don't pay us enough."
Robot #2: "They don't pay us anything. We're robots."

Kevin: "Have you flipped your circuit board?"

Kevin: "Now all I have to do is get past every level in the Palace of Power. With every thing in the Palace trying to destroy me. No problemo!"

Narrator: "And in the spacious Palace kitchen, Cap faces angry appliances, forks of fury, and killer cookware!"

Kevin: "My fifteen minutes are almost up!"

Kevin: "Okay, you mixed up mound of megabytes, the party's over!"

Kevin: "Computer! If Tall, Wet, and Ugly over here isn't an enemy...then she won't mind turning over her weapons!"
Mother Brain: "Put down my...weapons? Why, of course! I'll be delighted to turn over my weapons."
Kevin: "Is that all? You must be traveling light today."

Kevin: "Hey don't have a cow, babe! "Pause! And while Mother Brain is frozen in time, it's time out for a little re-programming of mine!"

Kevin: "I'm in control of the Palace defenses now! I think you're in trouble!"
Mother Brain: "Retreat!!"

Kevin: "Princess! Are you okay? Lana! Wake up! Hmmm. She's a Princess, I'm the hero. Guess there's only one thing to do..."

Lana: "Kevin! What happened?"
Kevin: "Let's just say there are some things that shouldn't be left to machines!"

Dumb Lines:

Lana: "That black cloud--! It's coming this way...fast!"
Kevin: "I've got a bad feeling about this, Lana..."
Gee, Kev, what was your first clue? The tornado, maybe?

Kevin: "Check it out! The creeps from Punch-Out, Metroid, and Kid Icarus' worlds are here to take their shot at us!"
The structure of the sentence just seems awkward.

Kevin: "You reprogrammed the MCS! You set this up!"
I think it was rather obvious who did it when the M.C.S. identified Lana as Mother Brain, Kev.

Review:

This is a good story. There's no Samus, but there are also no Kid Icarus or Duke. Kevin and Lana are the sole good guys in this story, which is nice. Kevin gets to kiss Lana on the lips (for sure, this time). The hearts in the "SMOOCH" sound effect are cute. Despite a few dumb lines and a conspicuous lack of commas in many sentences, this story beats both long stories in Captain N #3.


The Coming of a Hero (9:13 PM - 9:22 PM)

Story title: THE COMING OF A HERO
Writer: George Caragonne
Other staff: James Brock, Bob Layton, Jade, Kathryn Bolinger
Length: 2 pages

Appears in:
Nintendo Comics System, Volume # 1, Issue # 2, July 1990
The Best of the Nintendo Comics System, 1990
Nintendo Comics System Featuring Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 6, June 1991

Summary:

In the Galactic Federation, only one being in a million is qualified to join the Federation Police Force. The annals of police history tell of a woman who not only qualified, but completed the training course in record time, graduating first in her class......and became the youngest police officer ever promoted to the elite Star-Tracker Squad! Her name was Samus Aran. Star-Trackers! Only one police officer in a million is chosen. Each works alone, hunting down the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy. Equipped by the Federation with weapons and cybernetic super powers, they are nearly invincible, and Samus was the best ever! But then, something mysterious happened in the vastness of space. Without warning, Samus left the police force and disappeared. When Samus reappeared, she would not speak about why she left the force. She became a free agent--a galactic bounty hunter, taking on missions others declared impossible. Then, on an isolated world known as SR388, a group of space pirates came upon the greatest threat in the history of the Federation, a deadly new life form, called...the Metroid! The space pirates took the fearsome creatures home, hoping to control them. The plan backfired, and the pirates might have been destroyed......except for the skill of their leader, Mother Brain! She could mentally control the creatures--and threatened to use them against the Federation! The Federation knew a large army could never overwhelm Mother Brain. But, a single hero might slip through defenses and succeed where armies failed. Thus began Samus Aran's most famous assignment--leading her to fame, fortune, and many more dangerous adventures!

Interesting notes:

This is called a Metroid story, not a Captain N story. The Metroid logo has white text and a black border.

Mother Brain is spelled "Mother Brain" in this story.

Review:

This is a nice background story on Samus Aran. I actually would've have preferred it to be a long story.


Metroid (9:23 PM - 9:33 PM)

Story title: METROID
Writer: George Caragonne
Other staff: Mickey Ritter, Jan Harpes, Jade
Length: 1 page

Appears in:
Nintendo Comics System, Volume # 1, Issue # 2, July 1990
The Best of the Nintendo Comics System, 1990
Nintendo Comics System Featuring Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 6, July 1991

Summary:

The asteroid known as Metroid was built by intergalactic pirates, known as the Planteers of Krom. They designed it as a mobile attack base to strike other worlds, far beyond their home planet, Zebes. Metroid's metallic surface conceals a huge array of deadly weapons, all maintained and patrolled by monstrous creatures bent on galactic domination! Metroid normally floats in space above Videoland. But, with its powerful megastar drive engines, it can be moved anywhere in the universe. Metroid's deadliest threat, however, lies deep inside the asteroid. Here, within the endless secret corridors, dwells the smartest, most fearsome foe of all...Mother Brain! Mother Brain completely controls Metroid, by her genius ability to program every electrical circuit to do her bidding! But, she is also dependent on Metroid; she needs the asteroid's supply of Zebetite for power. That's why Metroid itself is the key weapon in Mother Brain's tireless struggle to conquer Videoland!

Interesting notes:

This story is called "Metroid", and the title is written in green text.

Mother Brain is spelled "Mother Brain" in this story.

Review:

This is a good background and technical story about Metroid. Two nitpicks: "Planteers" is probably supposed to be "Planeteers". Also, what does it mean that Metroid usually floats in space above Videoland but can be moved anywhere in the universe? I thought Videoland was the universe. There's no space above the universe.


Deceit Du Jour (10:12 PM - 10:50 PM)

Story title: Deceit Du Jour
Writer: Mark McClellan
Other staff: Bill Valley, Vince Mielcarek, Bob Layton, Jade, Joe Q, The Gradations
Length: 10 pages

Appears in:
Nintendo Comics System, Volume # 1, Issue # 2, July 1990
The Best of the Nintendo Comics System, 1990
Nintendo Comics System Featuring Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 6, July 1991

Summary:

Mother Brain is in her lair on Metroid, talking with a creature wearing red armor. His name is "Big Time" Brannigan, and he convinces Mother Brain to hire him to stop the "pesty intruder" that is infiltrating Metroid. He's a bounty hunter and has an efficiency rating of 100%. Zoomer, a small, red, bug-like creature with gold spikes on its back, disputes that figure. Big Time fires at Zoomer, who dodges. An alam goes off, and Big Time goes to confront the intruder.

Meanwhile, the intruder, Samus Aran, continues with her own plans. She's testing her weapons in a corridor. Big Time attacks her. They recognize each other. Big Time and Samus fight each other. Big Time fires at Samus' right arm. Samus can no longer fire with her blaster. Samus hands Big Time her gun.

Soon, Big Time, Samus, and Zoomer are in Mother Brain's chamber. MB tells Big time to pick up your pay on the way out. Big Time refuses to leave. One squeeze of Samus's own gun will make him the top bounty hunter - undisputed. Big Time fires Samus' gun, but nothing happens. Suddenly, the gun explodes. Samus knew this was going to happen and had gotten a safe distance from the blast. Mother Brain reveals that Samus had booby-trapped her own gun to trick Big Time. MB orders Zoomer to feed Big Time to the Metroids. Big Time is dragged away by some creatures. Samus walks out of the lair unnoticed, a smile on her lips.

Interesting notes:

This is called a Metroid story, not a Captain N story. The Metroid logo has red text and a black border.

Mother Brain is spelled "Mother Brain" in this story.

Samus has a 100% efficiency rating.

Great Lines:

Big Time Brannigan: "I do so hate unsightly lint."

Mother Brain: "Your job is to get the intruder, get paid, and get out! Should you fail, however, the penalty is...severe."
Big Time Brannigan: "If I ever lost, I might be concerned."

Samus: "Ha! So much for this world's monsters! Anybody else?"

Samus: "Big Time...?!"
Big Time Brannigan: "Samus? Samus Aran?!!"
Samus: "Still stealing my jobs--just like old times!!"

Big Time Brannigan: "My job is clear----to get you!!"
Samus: "You're taking this way too personal!"

Big Time Brannigan: "You wanted to see the Mother Brain chamber, and here it is... Too bad you can't do anything about it. You got what you wanted, just not the way you wanted it - with your own gun at your back!"

Big Time Brannigan: "What happened...?"
Mother Brain: "Your 'friend' booby-trapped her own gun, you idiot! Feed him to the Metroids!"
Big Time Brannigan: "That's why she gave me her own gun--to complete her own mission!!?"
Zoomer: "I guess I was wrong, buddy. There is someone with a 100% efficiency rating......it just don't happen to be you!"
Big Time Brannigan: "Samus - my rating! My life!"
Samus: "You did get me, Big Time - but just not the way you wanted!"

Review:

Hell. Yes. This story is awesome. Samus knew that Big Time would try to kill her, so she rigged her own gun to explode. I'm not sure what Big Time thought when he asked if Samus did it to accomplish her own mission. Her mission was to attack Metroid. Perhaps she did it to keep her own 100% efficiency rating. The ending was perfect. Samus has the steel to let someone that had betrayed her be killed. Sure, technically, she's an accessory to murder, but I don't care! Samus rules! She rules! Oh, she rules!


Comic VS Cartoon (10:54 PM - 11:26 PM)

As before, I'm going to compare each comic book story reviewed against one or more cartoon episodes.

Nervous Meltdown VS Germ Wars

Both stories involve shrinking and going inside someone's body. "Germ Wars" has them going into Kevin's body. That's improbable. "Nervous Meltdown" has them going into Mother Brain's mind and seeing her thoughts. That's impossible. Both stories ignore the fact that shrinking does not cause a reduction in mass, so everyone should still weigh the same as they do when they're full-sized. "Germ Wars" has a nice message about family. "Nervous Meltdown" has a message about some good in an evil being, but it prevents Kevin from ever defeating Mother Brain, making the remainder of the series pointless. "Germ Wars" is a filler episode without Mother Brain. "Nervous Meltdown" is part of the war against Mother Brain. Final outcome: Both stories beat each other senseless, and the match is a draw.

The Secret Powers of Captain N VS Metroid Sweet Metroid / Once Upon a Time Machine

"The Secret Powers of Captain N" shows Kevin demonstrating how his weapons work (which the cartoon series never does). "Metroid Sweet Metroid" and "Once Upon a Time Machine" contradict each other over how good Kevin is without his weapons. "The Secret Powers of Captain N" has a good message about friends, and it wins.

Video-Town VS Videolympics

"Video-Town" has, well, Video-Town. "Videolympics" has Punch-Out. Which is the rougher world? Video-Town, definitely. "Video-Town" wins.

A Dog's Life VS Queen of the Apes

Both stories deal with mind-swapping. Both stories handle it poorly. At least "A Dog's Life" takes place on a rough world. It wins - but barely.

The Master Machine VS Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street

Both stories deal with Kevin having to reach Lana in a certain amount of time. Kevin and Lana kiss on the lips in both stories. In "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street", Lana kisses Kevin on the lips. "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street" is a lame Snow White rip-off, though. "The Master Machine" has a message about technology getting out of control. It's also a good "man VS machine" story. "The Master Machine" wins.

The Coming of a Hero VS The Most Dangerous Game Master

Both stories deal with flashbacks. While "The Most Dangerous Game Master" is cool, "The Coming of a Hero" offers more background information on the featured character, so it wins this match.

Metroid VS Kevin in Videoland

"Kevin in Videoland" doesn't tell where Mother Brain came from. "Metroid" does, so it wins.

Deceit Du Jour VS How's Bayou / Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain / Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street / Gameboy

How does the N Team deal with Simon whenever he betrays a fellow team member, disobeys orders, or otherwise puts them in danger? They just keep him on the team. Stupid, stupid, stupid. How does Samus deal with someone who betrays her? She gets back at him by letting him die. "Deceit Du Jour" kicks all four episodes' collective butts all over the place.


That's the end of my review of Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #3. It's not as good as #1 or #2. If they had dropped "Nervoud Meltdown", "Video-Town", and "A Dog's Life" and substituted "The Master Machine", "The Coming of a Hero", "Metroid", and "Deceit Du Jour", it would have been so much better. Next up - Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #4!


Back to Reviews