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Comic Review


Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #5


Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 10:30 AM - Saturday, September 6, 2003, 12:00 AM


Introduction (10:30 AM - 10:31 AM)

I'll be reviewing Captain N #5 today as well as some miscellaneous short stories. This is the final issue of "Captain N: The Game Master" that I'll be reviewing - at least for now. More on that in the Conclusion.


A King of Shreds and Patches (10:34 AM - 12:26 PM, 9:00 PM - 10:52 PM)

Cover: A very cool drawing of an older Kevin, around 30 years old, sitting on a makeshift throne. His clothes are torn, and he has facial hair. Samus Aran, looking very sexy in her green outfit, is sitting to the left of his throne. Robots holding guns are standing with them, protecting them. The Captain N logo has blue text, white background, and a blue border. The beam is white. "THE" is blue. "GAME" and "MASTER" are yellow with blue border.

Story title: "A KING OF SHREDS AND PATCHES"
Writer: Bryan Leys
Other staff: Don Hudson, Jan Harpes, Jade, Rainbowhead
Length: 10 pages

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #5, September 1990

Summary:

Lana is angry at Kevin for playing with his Zapper in the Palace Gallery instead of getting ready for her birthday party. Kevin says he'll spend a couple more minutes there, because he needs to get in some target practice to be the protector of Videoland. Kid Icarus is watching Kevin shoot and praising him. Kevin says he doesn't understand how time works in Videoland and asks Lana why she even has birthdays. Lana replies that it's fun. She reminds Kevin that he had promised to dance the first dance with her. Kevin promises to be there, and Lana becomes happy. On the balcony, Samus Aran wonders why Kevin wastes time with Lana, when, together, she and Kevin could "own the videoverse". Moments later, Kevin decides to get dressed. A Memu and a Geega attack from Metroid. Kevin zaps them. Another memu flies through a wall and knocks Kevin into a garbage chute, which is activated. Kid Icarus shoots the Memu.

Minutes later, Lana is worried that they'll never be able to find Kevin down in Garbageworld, where everyone in Videoland warps their garbage. Samus says that she has a space-time warp, which she bought cheap from a techno-tinkerer she ran across in deep space. She decides to go into the garbage chute, warp herself forward in time a little, catch up to Kevin just as he lands on Garbageworld, and warp them both back to the Palace of Power. Lana says that she and Kid Icarus will go with her, but Samus says there's no need and tells her to get ready for her "little party". Samus says she'll be back in "no time at all" and warps. While in the warp, Samus thinks that this "daring rescue" ought to score her some points with Kevin; it might even make him realize what a "perfect team" they'd make. Samus sets the warp for fifteen minutes into the future.

Samus arrives on Garbageworld. She sees Kid Icarus surrounded by Rippers, Wavers, and Skrees. She says that's impossible. Samus decides that "the bird-boy" can use some help and fires her Ice Beam. Kevin arrives and zaps the creatures, but he's older, has facial hair, and his clothes are torn. Kevin sends out an army of "walking trash cans" with guns to shoots the enemies. It turns out that Samus is fifteen years in the future. Kevin kisses Samus on the mouth. Samus drops her helmet and lifts her right leg.

Soon, Kevin and Samus are standing in front of the trash can army. Kevin informs them that Samus is their new Queen, and they are to obey her like they obey him. The army praises Samus. They are called the Garbatrons. Samus asks Kevin what he'd do if he could change the way things happened. Kevin tells her to forget it, says he's carved out a kingdom for himself here (the last free world of Videoland), and says this is where he belongs now. He tells her that he'll see her tonight at "the Palace". Samus feels sorry for Kevin.

Later, Samus is sitting in her room in the "Palace", brushing her hair in front of a mirror. She's not wearing her armor. Samus decides to have the Garbatrons start building a spaceship tomorrow. Kid Icarus flies into the room. He says that Samus can take Kevin back and fix it so that none of this ever happened. Samus says she could, but she won't. She has Kevin as a partner now and asks Kid why she should give that up now. Kid replies that Videoland needs him. He explains that, about a month after Samus left, Lana disappeared, just like her father had, years earlier. Then, Mother Brain struck, destroying the Palace of Power. She spread her evil rule all over Videoland. Only "Garbageland" stayed free. It took Kid years to find him, and then it was too late. Kevin blames himself for everything that happened. Kid thinks that's why Kevin stays here. It's sort of a self-imposed exile to punish himself. But Samus can give him another chance to save Videoland. Samus refuses and says that Kevin's life is here and now - with her. Kid tells her that Kevin is tearing himself apart over what happened to Lana and to the world that he was supposed to protect. Kid tells Samus to tell Kevin and let him decide.

A short time later, Kevin and Samus are outside, shooting Mother Brain's gooins, who had postponed Samus' coronation. Samus tells him that she has a way for them to go back. Kevin is worried about blowing it again and says that he couldn't stand it a second time. He says that he deserves to be in Garbageworld. Samus reminds Kevin of the promise that he had made to Lana. Kevin starts crying and tells Samus to take him back. Samus has recalibrated the warp device. It ought to work perfectly now. She tells Kevin that, when they go back, he won't remember this. Samus tells Kevin to hold her. She sends them back in time.

In "another life", Samus catches Kevin just before he falls into the garbage chute. Kid Icarus flies over to hurry up, or he'll be late for the dance. Kevin asks Samus if she's coming inside and says that they can dance a bit later on. Samus declines. Kevin asks if they can dance some other time. Samus says "Yes...some other time!"

Interesting Notes:

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

The title comes from a line in Shakespeare's "Hamlet".

Lana wears her bracelets, earrings, and tiara in this story, but not her necklace. She wears a white, pink, and blue dress and blue shoes or boots.

Lana calls Kevin "Kevin Keene" in this story, something that she never did on the cartoon series.

The Palace of Power has a Gallery for target practice.

Kevin puts his hands on Lana's shoulders when trying to make her happy.

Videoland is also called the videoverse.

Kid Icarus calls Kevin "Cap" in this story.

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

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

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

Zebes has moons.

Samus calls Kid Icarus "bird-boy" and "feather face" in this story.

Kevin calls Samus "sweetheart" in this story.

Great Lines:

Lana: "Kevin Keene--! I thought you were getting ready for my birthday party, not playing with your Zapper in the Palace Gallery."

Kevin: "You know, I don't understand how time works here in Videoland. Why do you even have birthdays?"
Lana: "Because it's fun, that's why."

Samus: "Kevin, why do you waste time with her when together we could own the videoverse?"

Kevin: "It's a Memu and a Geega, two of Mother Brain's henchthings! A sneak attack!"
Kid Icarus: "It doesn't look like they're here to sing Happy Birthday-a-cus! Prepare to repel party-crashers!"

Samus: "This 'daring rescue' ought to score me some points with Kevin! It might even make him realize what a perfect team we'd make!"

Kid Icarus: "Great Olympus! If I didn't know better, I'd think it was my old comrade, Samus."
Samus: "Shut your beak and fight, feather face. These beasties are out for blood, and I think we're surrounded!"

Kevin: "All right, you walking trash cans, move out! Make sure there are no more of those things hiding in the video rubble. If you miss any, I'll fry your tin hides myself!"

Samus: "My space-time warp must be defective--! No wonder I got it cheap! I don't know what to say!"
Kevin: "Lady, when a man hasn't seen a beautiful woman in fifteen years......she doesn't have to say anything!"
Samus: "He's changed! Boy, has he changed!"

Garbatrons: "Sa-mus! Sa-mus! Sa-mus! Hail to the Queen!"

Samus: "He's the man I always wanted him to be--a king, a leader. And yet, he seems so sad."

Samus: "The videoverse will yet belong to King Kevin...and Queen Samus Aran!"

Samus: "Don't you see? I've always wanted Kevin as a partner, and now I have got him! Why should I give that up now?"
Kid Icarus: "Because Videoland needs him."

Kid Icarus: "But you can give him another chance to save Videoland!"
Samus: "No! Kevin's life is here and now...with me!"
Kid Icarus: "Are you that blind? Can't you see that he's tearing himself apart over what happened to the Princess and to the world he was supposed to protect? The least you can do is tell him! Let him decide! Or do you only care about yourself?"

Samus: "Hold me, Kevin. Hold me till forever comes again."

Review:

This story has Samus in it, but that doesn't automatically mean that it's good. It's merely okay. I don't like time-travel. It creates too many problems. In this case, why did Kevin have to go back in time with Samus? Couldn't Samus have simply gone back in time by herself and caught Kevin before he fell into the garbage chute? Also, why did Samus have to go forward in time to catch Kevin as he landed on Garbageworld? Couldn't she have gone back in time and caught him before he fell into the chute? Why does Kevin forget the events when they go back in time, but Samus remembers? Kevin de-ages. Does Samus, or does she remain a few hours older? She probably de-ages, because there's no sign of her "younger self". Samus says that the stuff that happened to them in the future will never have happened. So, how can Samus remember it? None of it adds up. Also, there's a spelling inconsistency: "Garbageworld "and "Garbageland". Which is it? A question mark is conspicuously missing in one sentence. What's the deal with the "VIDEO" and "ARCADE" signs? Just because this is Videoland doesn't mean that there has to be a lot of "video-trash". We can call it a coincidence. On to Samus. She's made to be extremely selfish - wanting to be Kevin's partner and Queen and not using her ability to change a horrible past and save Lana. Yes, she changes her mind, but Kid Icarus has to argue with her. In previous stories, Samus' selfishness was even with her sense of duty as a hero. In this story, she's just selfish and unheroic. I don't like it. I do like the little things, though, like Samus calling Kid Icarus names and being kissed by Kevin (though how could she stand the likely stink?!). Kevin's comment about time and question about birthdays brings up an interesting question: At what rate do people in Videoland age? Kevin might have aged in 15 years, but we can't tell for sure. Kid Icarus certainly didn't look any older. Just how old is Lana? She looks like a teenager, but she could well be in her 40s - or 5 (the NES came out in New York City in 1985). Lana's reply that they have birthdays for fun seems to suggest that birthdays aren't an accurate measure of her age. Of course, this question is never properly answered. I assume that Samus' desire to "own the videoverse" with Kevin is merely symbolism for wanting to be an awesome fighting team (though her "videoverse will yet belong to King Kevin...and Queen Samus Aran" comment later on seems to disprove that assumption). It's odd. In fact, that's what this entire story is: odd.


Videoland Guidebook: Garbageworld (Thursday, September 4, 2003, 10:00 AM - 10:13 AM, 7:00 PM - 7:25 PM)

Story title: VIDEOLAND GUIDEBOOK: GARBAGEWORLD
Writer: Brian Leys
Other staff: Mickey Ritter, Jade, Rod Ollerenshaw, J. Jackson
Length: 1 page

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #5, September 1990

Summary:

Long ago, Garbageworld was home to an advanced civilization, which produced a huge amount of trash. Later, abandoned, the planet became a dumping ground for the entire galaxy. Warp Zone Chute. Warp zones were placed above the surface of the planet, as an express disposal system for all trash collected throughout Videoland. Microchip Mountains. Gigantic piles of waste were left by the previous civilization. Over centuries, it has broken down into chips and electronic bits. Garbatrons. The permanent inhabitants of Garbageworld. These near-mindless creatures spend eternity pushing video-trash from one pile to another, all across the planet. Palace of Junk. Built by the Garbatrons for their ruler, Kevin Keene, during his fifteen years in exile. The Palace has 300 rooms--all constructed from trash.

Review:

This is a good description of Garbageworld. I had assumed that Kevin had built the Garbatrons. He hadn't. Their origin remains a mystery. This story should have been placed before "A King of Shreds and Patches" - especially since the Palace of Junk is no longer canon. I don't know why they placed it after. Anyway, good description.


From the World of Metroid: Samus Aran's Starship Hunter IV (7:30 PM - 8:22 PM)

Story title: FROM THE WORLD OF METROID: SAMUS ARAN'S STARSHIP HUNTER IV
Writers: George Caragonne
Other staff: Mark McClellan, Dennis Woodyard, Bob Layton, Jade, John Cebollero
Length: 2 pages

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #5, September 1990
Nintendo Comics System Featuring Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 8, September 1991

Summary:

Federation Starship Registration # SSX460 0007; Classification: modified scoutship / gunship; History: Vessel is fourth and most advanced model in series (Hunter I, II, and III destroyed under unknown circumstances). All four ships based on Hyrodyne Space Systems, Explorer class scout ship (manufactured at Hyrodyne Shipyards, Altair V). Already considered most advanced starship in its class, Hunter IV has been highly modified by owner Samus Aran, and other, unknown technicians. Design: Hunter IV is made up of 3 interlocking sections. Cloaking Device (origin classified / performance unknown). Top Turret: 30mm Gatling laser cannon. Main / Living Section: (detaches to form base) bridge, Samus's cabin, crew bunks, galley, security vault, prisoner holding cell, sick bay, cargo hold, communications, computer banks. Electronics Package: sensor array, ECM/ECCM, normal and hyperspace communications. Gunner Section: (detaches to form needleship) weapons control, auxiliary bridge, mergency booster, weapons bays. Emergency Booster: Sirus System space scramjet. Weapons Bays: (port and starboard) 6 X Striker space homing missiles, 1 X Federation proton torpedo tube, 6 X Solaris homing space mines. Gunner section and emergency booster detash to form heavily armed / ultra-maneuverable needleship for infiltration and high speed attack runs. Secondary Gun: 60mm Avenger laser cannon (fixed forward). Drive Systems: (ratio of power to mass is six times higher than average for ships in this class, resulting in geometrically higher performance specifications). Atmospheric drive: Ber'ger aerospace gravity resist generator. Sublight drive: Gravity Propulsion Systems photon drive. Hyperspace drive: modified from Federation Navy Corvette MK 88. Two air / ground powercycles stored in outside compartments, port/starboard. Drive Section: (starboard section detaches to form armored personnel carrier) life support, drives, anti gravity, power, shields, main gun. Main Gun: 100mm Starfire laser cannon (90 degree forward mount). Front of drive section detaches to become armored personnel carrier. Centuri Systems heavy duty deflector shields. Escape Pods. Tailgunner Turret: 30mm Gatling laser cannon. Chaff anti-detection dispensors (port and starboard).

Review:

A good, two-page spread of Samus' ship with detailed descriptions. I like it. One question, though: How can Gatling make weapons for Videoland?


Videoland Guidebook: The Locker (10:00 PM - 10:20 PM)

Story title: VIDEOLAND GUIDEBOOK: THE LOCKER
Writer: Brian Leys
Other staff: Mickey Ritter, Rod Ollerenshaw, Jade, J. Jackson
Length: 1 page

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #5, September 1990
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 5, June 1991

Summary:

The Locker is a storage center, diner, and home-away-from-home for all galactic bounty hunters. It has 350 levels, and walls one hundred meters thick. The spaceport receives thousands of ships each month. Space hunters who recover pirated cargo are allowed to keep half of what they salvage. There are thousands of hotel rooms, each specially adapted to conditions on any space hunter's homeworld. The Locker also contains restaurants, recreational facilities, a medical complex, and a trading bazaar. Each space hunter has his/her/its own locker, to store souvenirs, armaments, and personal belongings. Each locker connects by a warp zone to its own dimension--creating a huge storage area that takes up no space in this world.

Review:

This is an excellent description of a place where Samus Aran hangs out a lot. Too bad not everything mentioned in this story will be explored in-depth in longer stories. I'd love to see everything. Anyway, this is a great description.


When Friends Fall Out (9:30 AM - 10:52 AM, 7:00 PM - 9:56 PM)

Story title: WHEN FRIENDS FALL OUT
Writer: Bryan Leys
Other staff: Don Hudson, Jeff Albrecht, Jade, The V-8's
Length: 10 pages

Appears in:
Captain N: The Game Master, Volume #1, Issue #5, September 1990
Adventures of the Super Mario Bros., Volume # 1, Issue # 5, June 1991

Summary:

Samus Aran, Kevin Keene, Princess Lana, and Duke are flying in the Starship Hunter IV to a large, cubed-shaped object in space. Samus is piloting. Kevin is sitting in the chair to her left. Duke is standing on his hind legs, looking out the front window with curiosity. Lana is standing between Samus and Duke. Lana and Samus argue for a bit, then Kevin breaks it up. Samus docks the ship at the Locker.

Once inside the Locker, they are welcomed with the sounds of lots of people, from many different planets, yelling Samus' name. Samus, Lana, Kevin and Duke hop on the gravulator and go to Samus' personal starage area on Level 200.

Samus tells them about the weapon that she'd stored here: the Medusa Ray. She had found it on a dead planet. She knows it can turn a person to stone and is pretty sure it can be used in reverse." Kevin says that's just what they need to free Kid Icarus from the spell of the evil gorgon. Kevin remembers how he, Lana, Samus, and Kid were on Mount Olympus, and how all of them except Kid had managed to avoid looking at Medusa. They had taken him back to the Palace of Power.

After walking down a corridor, they come to a door marked "SAMUS ARAN". Under her name is a skull. Under that is a rectangular scanning device of some sort. Under that are the words "PRIVATE PROPERTY", and, under that, "KEEP OUT". Lana is surprised at the large advertisement on the door and asks Samus if she's worried about being robbed. Samus takes out a rectangular metal object with her left hand and says that these warpkeys unlock a pocket dimension on the other side of the door. No one can open it, except the owner. Samus unlocks the door, and they step through into her storage area. Samus, Kevin, and Duke walk away, but Lana lingers behind as a glowing object catches her attention. Samus says that they'll stow the Medusa Ray in her ship and then relax with a pint of Comet Grog. Kevin calls Lana, but Lana doesn't pay any attention to him. She is staring in shock at the golden object, which she had picked up and examined.

Later that night, in Kevin and Lana's rented suite, Lana tries to convince Kevin that it was the legendary Flame-Chip, the only one of its kind. The Flame-Chip was offered as a bounty for the capture of her father. Since she saw it in Samus's personal storage, Lana is convinced that Samus kidnapped her father for money. Kevin refuses to believe it without more proof. Lana says that she has all the proof that she needs She plans to put Samus on trial for high treason once they're back at the Palace of Power. Samus is standing in the doorway, wearing nothing but green boots and a green combination-shirt-and-underwear. Kevin tries to get Samus to tell Lana that it's a mistake. Samus replies that she has no explanation and tells Kevin and Lana to find a ship and leave the Locker immediately. She tells them that their alliance is at an end. Then she walks away. Kevin doesn't understand why Samus had spoken so coldly. Lana tells him that she will not leave without Samus. Lana orders him to help her capture Samus and bring her to trial! Kevin turns on her angrily, startling her. He tells her that he is not her personal sheriff. He still considers Samus to be a friend. He says he won't do anything until he hears Samus' side of the story. Kevin then wonders what he's do if Samus is guilty. He turns to leave the room and tells Lana to wait here while he goes to talk with Samus. Lana takes a tea kettle off of the stove, apologizes to Kevin, and hits him on the head with the kettle, knocking him out.

Kevin wakes up some time later to Duke's slurps. Lana is gone. Kevin stands up and realizes that Lana had taken his Zapper.

In the Locker's canteen, Samus is sitting at a table, having a drink. She thinks that she can't tell Kevin and Lana the truth, because they'd never believe her, but, if she doesn't say something, she'll lose Kevin's friendship. Lana arrives and shoots Samus' glass with the Zapper. Samus quickly stands up, putting on her helmet. Samus kicks the table and sends it flying at Lana. Lana ducks, and the table goes over her head. Samus starts firing ice blasts at Lana. Lana hits the floor and gets out of the way of the blasts. Lana gets to her feet and pushes a dessert cart towards Samus. Samus grabs Lana's right hand, so she can't fire, and pulls her off her feet. Lana feels horrible pain in her hand and thinks that Samus has got a grip of steel. She presses her left hand against Samus' helmet, finds the air supply valve, and floods Samus' armor with pure oxygen. Samus releases Lana and falls to the floor. Samus moans, dazed. Lana stands up and tries to figure out how to defeat Samus without zapping her out of existence.

Meanwhile, Kevin is trying to get through a doorway, but a guard isn't letting him. Kevin makes his left hand into a fist and punches the guard in the face, knocking him over. Suddenly, three guards come by and start firing at Kevin. Kevin presses the Up button on his Power Pad and dodges the blasts. Duke jumps into his arms. Kevin keeps shifting to avoid getting hit by the guards' fire. Suddenly, Kevin spots a gravulator shaft! He jumps to the other side of it with Duke. Duke jumps out of Kevin's arms. All that shifting has drained Kevin's Power Pad.

Meanwhile, near the docking bay, Lana is firing repeatedly at Samus with the Zapper. Samus tucks herself into a ball and rolls out of the way. Lana warns Samus that the next zap will send her to oblivion. Lana has lured Samus toward the ship, but Samus has transformed into her mari maru mode, and Lana doesn't even know if she can hear her. Lana tries to jump over her but crashes into a wall, drops the Zapper, then falls to the floor. Samus gets to her feet. Samus tells Lana to surrender in exchange for safe passage home. Lana is lying on the floor, bruised but still determined. She makes her left hand into a fist. Suddenly, Kevin and Duke run into the canteen. Kevin yells at Samus to let go of Lana. Samus turns her head and starts to speak to Kevin. Lana had uses the distraction to launch herself off the floor. Her feet crash into Samus' head. Lana thanks for the opening. Then, Lana walks away from them. Samus is upset at Kevin, because Lana got away. She asks Kevin if she'll have to fight him next. Kevin kneels down and picks up his Zapper. He gives her an inconclusive answer. He stands up and holsters the Zapper. Kevin wants to hear Samus' side of the story and asks her how she got the Flame-Chip. Samus agrees to tell him but says that he won't feel any better.

A few years ago, she made a foolish misstep and ended up prisoner of two space-pirates from Metroid. They connected her to a machine designed to make her serve their evil leader, Mother Brain. When they pulled the switch, everything went black. When she came to, she was here at the Locker - with the Flame-Chip in her hand. She didn't know if an hour had gone by or a month. That's why she can't tell Kevin and Lana that she's innocent - she's not sure of it herself."

Lana says she'll take that as a confession. Kevin and Samus turn and see Lana standing behind them. Lana is holding the Medusa Ray, which she had gotten from Samus' ship. She tells Samus to surrender, or she'll use it. Kevin stands in front of Samus. He talks to Lana. Lana begins to protest but then collapses to the floor, ashamed of herself. She apologizes to Samus. Lana says that they should take the Flame-Chip and get home, where Kid Icarus needs them.

Later, on the ship, after most of the N Team is asleep, Duke is lying on the floor, still awake. Suddenly, the Flame-Chip, sitting on a control panel, sends its thoughts to Duke telepathically. It tells Duke that Samus is innocent.

Interesting notes:

The Captain N logo has pink-red text, white background, and a pink-red border. The beam is white. "THE" is pink-red. "GAME" and "MASTER" are gold with a pink-red border.

Lana's clothes are pink in this story.

Samus has bionic hearing.

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

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

Great Lines:

Kevin: "Wow! This place looks like a giant safe, Samus Aran!"
Samus: "With good reason, Kevin. This is the Locker, safe haven for me, and every other tough space hunter this side of Metroid!"
Lana: "Space hunters? I thought you were bounty hunters--pirates who hunt down other people, for the price on their heads."
Samus: "A person has to eat, Princess. Besides, your father made space hunting perfectly legal. Ask him about it, if you ever find him."
Kevin: "Please don't argue, Samus, and Princess Lana. You're just tense right now! We're all tense right now, because of this mission. We need to pick up one of Samus's weapons--and we don't need extra problems."
Samus: "Point taken. Let's cut the bickering, and I'll dock the ship."

Lana: "You're pretty popular around here!"
Samus: "Well...a lot of people owe me favors."

Lana: "Tell us about the weapon you've stored here."
Samus: "The Medusa Ray? I found it on a dead planet. I know it can turn a person to stone, and I'm pretty sure it can be used in reverse."
Kevin: "That's just what we need! Then, we can free poor Kid Icarus from the spell of that evil gorgon. At least we know he'll wait patiently back at the Palace of Power. He has no choice!"

Samus: "What's everybody staring at?"
Kevin: "I - it's so big!"
Samus: "Yes, well, I couldn't afford one of the larger ones."

Samus: "Let's see...I think the Medusa Ray is back in Aisle 30. Or is it Aisle 32? We'll just grab it, stow it on the ship, and relax with a pint of Comet Grog!"

Lana: "Once we're back at the Palace of Power, I'm putting her on trial for high treason!"
Samus: "I don't think so. The walls of these compartments are thin--especially when you have bionic hearing."

Kevin: "Lana, I am not your personal sheriff. Samus is a friend! I won't do anything until I hear her side of the story."

Lana: "I'm sorry, Kevin. But I won't let my father go unavenged!"

Kevin: "Uhhh, what hit me!? I feel like I went six rounds with King Hippo!"

Kevin: "Jumping microchips! Lana took my Zapper. She must be going after Samus on her own!"

Samus: "I can't tell them the truth. They'd never believe me...but, if I don't say something, I'll lose Kevin's friendship."

Lana: "Samus Aran! I hereby arrest you for crimes against Videoland! Surrender while you can..."
Samus: "Craters of Metron...she's got Kevin's Zapper! You're not arresting anyone Princess."

Samus: "See? Caught you off balance. A few well-placed ice blasts should keep you that way!"
Lana: "I'm not impressed by your weapons or your bionic strength, Samus. You may be stronger, but I do know how to take care of myself! My father taught me to use anything, as a weapon, whether a Zapper or a dessert cart!"

Samus: "Princess, you just made a big mistake. You let me get my hands on you."

Guard: "I said, back off. Where are you going in such a hurry anyway?"
Kevin: "I've got to get through...and you're starting to annoy me."

Kevin: "I may not have my Zapper, but I'm no pushover. You may be one, though!"

Kevin: "All that shifting drained my Power Pad, though. I hope I can put a pause on the Princess without it."

Lana: "Stay back, Samus. Or the next zap will send you to oblivion!"

Samus: "I am sorry, little Princess. You forced me to fight, and there was only one way the fight could end. Surrender, and you'll get safe passage home."
Lana: "I'll never surrender. You may be stronger than I, but you'll never have a moment's peace while I live. I will bring you to justice."

Samus: "Now you've done it. The little wildcat got away. I suppose I'll have to fight you next?"
Kevin: "Maybe so, maybe not! First I want to hear your side of the story."

Samus: "That's why I can't tell you I'm innocent--I'm not sure of it myself."
Lana: "I'll take that as a confession, Samus. Do you recognize the Medusa Ray,ship and got it. Now you must surrender--or your whole body will become as stony as your heart!"
Kevin: "Wait a minute, Princess! I don't know if Samus kidnapped your father or not. We may never know! But, I do know I've fought beside this woman, and seen her risk her life for both of us, time and time again. Maybe that doesn't earn her a pardon for the past. But, it makes me want to have faith in her. I hope you can have faith in her, too."
Lana: "But, Kevin, I.....I,,,No, you're right, Kevin. Our faith in each other is all we have! I'm sorry, Samus. It's just...I miss my father so much. Let's take the Flame-Chip, and get out of here. Kid Icarus needs us back home."

Flame-Chip: "Duke! Gentle Duke, listen, harken to the thoughts of the Flame-Chip. I do not live as humans do, but I have a consciousness. I was aware when the pirates captured Samus, and when she broke free of their machine...stumbling half-conscious, fleeing her tormentors, she came upon my resting place. She rescued me, and brought me here to safety. This I do know and more. But humans cannot hear me. Only you, Duke, can receive and understand my thoughts. Therefore, the innocence of Samus must always be...our secret."

Dumb Lines:

Samus: "These warpkeys unlock a pocket dimension on the other side of the door. No one can open it, except the owner. In fact, you could say that without the key, the contents don't really exist."
I know what Samus means, but it's kind of a dumb line, because the contents do exist in another universe.

Lana: "Kevin, I will not leave without Samus. As protector of Videoland, I'm ordering you to help capture Samus--and bring her to trial!"
I know what Lana means. She's saying that, since Kevin is protector of Videoland, he has to help her capture Samus and bring her to justice. The way that she says it, though, could make the reader think that Lana is calling herself protecttor of Videoland. She should have said "As ruler of Videoland, I'm ordering you".

Kevin: "Duke, where's the Princess?"
Yeah, like he knows / can tell you, Kev.

Review:

Awesome story! Lana behaves totally unlike her cartoon counterpart, which I like. Was Lana serious about killing Samus with the Zapper? Later on, she decides to use the Medusa Ray, which may or may not kill. Since there were no more issues after this one, we don't know if Kid Icarus will recover or not. I love the fight between Samus and Lana in the canteen! I gotta wonder, though, why no guards were called in to break it up? Or does Lana have the right to fight anyone wherever she wants to? Her talk of putting Samus on trial seems to indicate that she's pretty powerful, yet the Galactic Federation Police have authority over her in "Breakout". Anyway, Samus rocks. Her characterization is wonderful. This issue, with the exception of the Starship Hunter IV description, was written by Brian D. Leys. He has redeemed himself for "A King of Shreds and Patches" with this story! It rules! I would have left out the final scene with Duke and the Flame-Chip, though. It would have been more interesting if we didn't know the truth about whether or not Samus was guilty of kidnapping King Charles. And why can only Duke understand the Flame-Chip, and humans can't? In the end, "When Friends Fall Out" is a great story - possibly the best in the entire series!


Comic VS Cartoon (10:00 PM - 11:02 PM)

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

A King of Shreds and Patches VS Mega Trouble for Megaland / Once Upon a Time Machine

Both "Mega Trouble for Megaland" and "Once Upon a Time Machine" deal with time-travel better than "A King of Shreds and Patches", because they don't deal with travel back into the main characters' past, thus avoiding time paradoxes. Of course, "A King of Shreds and Patches" has a better plot than "Once Upon a Time Machine", and its description of how Mother Brain takes over Videoland makes more sense than what we're forced to accept in "Mega Trouble for Megaland". All three stories knock each other senseless, and none of them win.

Videoland Guidebook: Garbageworld VS In Search of the King

The comic book story offers more info than the cartoon episode does (the cartoon episode offers none), so "Videoland Guidebook: Garbageworld" wins.

From the World of Metroid: Samus Aran's Starship Hunter IV VS Metroid Sweet Metroid / Gameboy / The Trouble with Tetris / I Wish I Was a Wombatman / Misadventures in Robin Hood Woods

Five appearances over three seasons, and the cartoon writers never explained the origin or functions of the Warp Wagon, yet one comic writer was able to offer a lot of details on the Starship Hunter IV and still keep things interesting in a two-page story. "From the World of Metroid: Samus Aran's Starship Hunter IV" easily wins.

Videoland Guidebook: The Locker VS Videolympics

Both stories show a place where people of a certain profession hang out. "Videolympics" has Punch-Out, where boxers hang out. While the scene is fun to look at, it doesn't give much info. "Videoland Guidebook: The Locker" gives plenty of fascinating info on what bounty hunters do in their free time, a lot of which was, sadly, never featured in a longer story. "Videoland Guidebook: The Locker" wins.

When Friends Fall Out VS Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain / Simon the Ape-Man / The Lost City of Kongoland / The Invasion of the Paper Pedalers / The Fractured Fantasy of Captain N / Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street / The Feud of Faxanadu

The first five cartoon episodes that I've listed are ones where at least one member of the N Team gets possessed and fights at least one other member of the N Team. I bet you didn't think there were that many. "When Friends Fall Out" beats all five, because its conflict between two team members is real, not artificially created. "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street" has Simon being an ass and going unpunished. "The Feud of Faxanadu" has Kevin and Simon causing trouble by getting into a stupid competition while stranded on a video world. "When Friends Fall Out" gives genuine emotional depth to Lana and Samus' fight, handles it a lot better, and clearly wins.


PAUSE (11:06 PM - 11:22 PM)

From the back cover of Captain N #2 or #3:

PAUSE

Let's say you're dragged into your TV...by weird tendrils of energy. Let's say you're transported via the Ultimate Warp Zone into a bizarre universe that's entirely alien, and yet as familiar as a game you've played a thousand times. Once you're there, the good news is that you meet someone wonderful (and your first words upon meeting that someone are, "I'm in love"). The bad news is that an extremely gross brain-in-a-bottle is going to hurl her armies at you until they're all blown to pixels or you byte the dust. Go for the love and glory, right? But, come on, now. Think about it. You may not see your friends and family again for a long time. Maybe never. You can't hang out at the mall. You can't take a vacation - this is war, baby. And, you can't even play video games, because you're in one. So what's it going to be? Stick around, or head home? Of course, they are counting on you here in Videoland, and, if you go home, you do have to clean up your room. Hmm. Looks like a no-brainer. Bad news for the bad guys. This is gonna be excellent!

Cool description of the series. It's neat how they keep saying "you" to draw you into the universe of Videoland. The "I'm in love" comment is the same thing that Kevin said upon seeing Lana in "Kevin in Videoland". It looks like it happened in the comic book Videoland, too. This story also seems to indicate that Kevin can't go home (or at least feels that he can't) until he defeats Mother Brain. Not being able to play video games in Videoland seems to contradict the "Video" and "Arcade" signs shown in "A King of Shreds and Patches". Of course, this short story came out before that was written. It looks like Kevin also had to clean up his room on the comic book Earth. I wonder if "excellent" was used because of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", which came out the year before. Oh, well. This is a cool story.


Loose Threads (11:23 PM - 11:45 PM)

There was an advestisement in Captain N #5 for Captain N #6. However, unlike the ads for the earlier issues, which said "On Sale in " and gave the month, the ad for #6 simply said "Next Up". The cover for #6 has Kevin defending Mother Brain from shadowed attackers. Kevin exclaims "You want her...you're gonna have to come through me!" Unfortunately, I don't have #6, and I don't know of anyone else that has it. It is listed in comic book price guides and at MileHighComics.com (although they don't have any in stock and don't have a scan of the front cover, whereas they have the first five issues in stock and scans of the front covers of those issues). Captain N #6 does exist, but it must have had a much lower print run than the first five issues.

Someone told me that he saw an ad for Issue # 7 of Captain N, where it showed that Kevin had apparently joined Samus as a bounty hunter. Can someone please e-mail me a scan of this ad (if it exists)?

There was an unpublished 1-page story - apparently a Videoland Guidebook entry - about the Palace of Power. It showed the front exterior and four inside rooms - including Princess Lana sitting on her throne, Kevin standing to her left, Samus kneeling to her right, and Kid Icarus flying above Samus' head. All I have is a scan of a black-and-white sketch of this story with no text. Does anyone have anymore info on it?

I have scans of four black-and-white, textless pages from an unpublished 10-page story called "Old Warriors Never Die". Kevin, Lana, Samus, and Kid Icarus are in it, and it seems to take place in a medieval world. Does anyone have anymore info on it?


Conclusion (11:23 PM - 11:59 PM)

The Captain N comic book stories published by Valiant in 1990 surpass Season 1 in terms of quality. The great stories kicked ass, and even the bad stories were better than most of the cartoon episodes.

Samus Aran, with one exception, was written masterfully. She has a depth of characterization that the cartoon series never came close to reaching for any character. Despite not being in every story, Samus Aran was the best character in this series.

Princess Lana was given more of an edge than she had in the cartoon series. She was sometimes downright mean. She was also given back her weapon, which DiC had yanked prior to the start of the cartoon series. Comic Lana beats cartoon Lana any day.

Kevin Keene and Kid Icarus were pretty much like their cartoon counterparts - but with some more emotional depth.

Duke - okay, I gotta give him some more credit. He was useful in a few more stories than I had originally given him credit for. Still, he didn't need to be in this series.

Mother Brain, King Hippo, and the Eggplant Wizard were a bit less stupid than their cartoon counterparts. Of course, the limited space for the stories didn't allow for much stupidity.

Uranos was a cool addition to Mother Brain's lackeys. Too bad he wasn't used much. He was more serious than the other bad guys, and I wanted to see more of him.

Altogether, there were 13 ten-page stories, 7 two-page stories, 6 one-page stories, and probably 2 back cover descriptions. Taken as a whole, they could be considered a little-known "season" of Captain N. Too bad there wasn't more.

That's it. I hate to leave comic Videoland, but I must now return to cartoon Videoland to continue reviewing it. I will return here to review the Zelda comic books and, perhaps, Captain N #6 (if I ever find it). So, for now, I'm off to Season 2.


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