Collecting Video Game Firsts!

Admittedly I am no longer a gamer.  OK so I occasionally play Mario Run or Power Hover and once and awhile whip out the old Gameboy for some Pyramids of Ra. They do make for great toilet time killers.   Even when I was playing video games most of my nights were spent playing MarioKart,  Goldeneye or MK Trilogy. Looking for a great game that never hit big, try South Park Chef's Luv Shack with 4 people.

  You will thank me.

So I guess that pretty much dates me but I  grew out of games before Halo and the first person revolution hit and since then I just do not have the time needed to master things like Overwatch or any other expansive, online adventure.  But I do realize how popular gaming is.  So much so that Hollywood continually tries, and often fails, at adapting the best video game franchises.  Taking a break from the normal type of articles I do I thought this might be an informative special.

A word on comic appearances in video game magazines and other non comic book ephemera…if I list a magazine as a first it is because there is a comic inside featuring the character NOT because there is a cartoon or graphic of the character.  If that is important for some reason I will note it.

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POPULAR CHARACTERS

Before I get to the movies and TV adaptation here are a few of the more beloved video game characters and their firsts.  I am sure there are more you would like to see on the list.  If I forgot something you demand inclusion please fee free to suggest anything besides Kirby!

 

 

 

Mario & Donkey Kong

First appearance: Blip 1

There may be a lot of rare valiant issues featuring Mario but he first occurred in this long forgotten Marvel comic! This book also features the first appearance of Donkey Kong.

 

Yoshi

First appearance: Super Mario Kun 1

First American appearance: Nintendo Power 34

 

Wario

First appearance: Nintendo Power 44

 

The Legend of Zelda 1, 1b ( no cover price )

First appearance of Zelda and first comic book appearance of Link

Nintendo Power 5

First appearance of Link

Link appears via a Howard & Nester comic ( cameo ).  This book predates any Valiant issue.  Howard and Nester comics often spoof or insert themselves into popular games of the time so most comics they were in fall into the same category as MAD Magazine but occasionally they feature the real characters and as such must be considered firsts.

NOTE:  Nintendo Power printed Legend of Zelda comics in issues, 32-43 & 48

 

 

 

Metroid/Samus Aran

First appearance: The Best of Nintendo Entertainment System ( May 1990 )

NOTE: Nintendo Power printed Metroid comics in issues 57-61

 

 

 

Pikachu

First appearance: Pocket Monsters 1

 

 

Pacman

First appearance:  Mad 233

 

First comic book appearance: Archie 130

Thanks to Anthony Aguirre from G+ for cluing me in on this!

 

 

Kingdom of Hearts Visual Arts Collection & Kingdom of Hearts 2

First appearance of Cloud Strike

 

 

 

Halo GN HC Preview and GN

First appearance of Master Chief

 

 

 

Castlevania

First appearance Famicom Rocky 1

Rocky was published from 1985 to 1987 in Japan. It includes the Castlevania and Ganbare Goemon series.

First comic appearance: Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy 1

This entire series can be hard to find.

NOTE:  Castlevania technically appears in a Howard and Nester comic in Nintendo Power 3.  Howard and Nester provided comic relief in NP prior to the change to comics of popular characters like Link, Mario, Metroid and others.

 

 

 

Lara Croft

First appearance: Mean Machines August 1996

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CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT OR OPTIONED

These properties are in some stage of cinematic development.

 

 

Altered Beast

No known comic appearance

STATUS: Announced.

Sega announced some time ago that a number of its properties would be getting movie adaptations.  Altered Beast is an excellent choice, Crazy Taxi?  I am not so sure.  So far there has been no movement on this beyond the announcement from Sega.

 

 

Angry Birds 2

First appearance: Mad 511/ first comic: Angry Birds Awesome Con Variant 1 ( 2014 )

STATUS: In development

 

 

Borderlands

First appearance: Borderlands Origins 1 ( Gamestop Exclusive )

STATUS: It was recently announced that the Borderlands film has a writer and is in development.

There are multiple printings and a variant for this series but the hardest to find is the Gamestop reward point exclusive bagged.

 

 

Call of Duty

First appearance: Modern Warfare 2 Ghost  1,1b ( Jim Lee ), 1c 1:10

STATUS:  In development

 

 

Centipede

First appearance: Centipede 1 DC ( 1983 )

STATUS:  Optioned by Oasis films along with Missile Command.

 

 

Contra

No known comic appearance

STATUS: In development ( TV show and film )

There may have been no comic first for this popular run & gun but Eric Powell did do this limited LP released by Mondo at the 2017 SDCC.

It features music from the  NES and ARCADE games and was
Pressed on 180 Gram multicolored  Vinyl

Limited to 1,000 Copies

 

Crazy Taxi

No Known comic appearance

STATUS:  Announced only.

 

 

Doom

First comic appearance: Doom 1

STATUS:  Announced

I am probably in the minority here but I liked the first Doom movie.  What was so bad about a space horror staring the Rock and Karl Urban?  Well Universal is taking another crack at it.

 

 

Duke Nukem

First appearance: Duke Nukem Forever ( Came with game )

STATUS:  In development

Good find Clint Joslin!

 

 

Five Nights at Freddy's

No known comic appearance

STATUS:  In development, director attached.

 

 

Fruit Ninja

First appearance: There are 4 covers, rarest is the 1:20

STATUS: Announced

Ummmmmm….why?

 

 

Gears of War

First appearance: Gears of War 1,1b, Blockbuster Exc., gamestop exclusive

STATUS:  In development from Universal with writer attached.

 

 

God of War

First appearance: God of War 1,1b is a second print

STATUS: In development.  Rumored Jason Momoa attachment.

 

 

Golden Axe

First appearance: Sega Visions 3

STATUS:  Announced.

First comic appearance:  Sonic the Comic 1

 

 

Half Life

No known comic

STATUS:  In development, JJ Abrams attached.

 

 

 

House of the Dead

First appearance: House of the Dead 1 ( Promo )

STATUS:  Made in 2003.  Rumored to be getting a remake.

 

NOTE:  The preorder Game comic for the Wii's House of the Dead Overkill  is also a very hard to find comic from the franchise.

 

 

The Last of Us

First appearance: 1,1 Naughty Dog Variant

STATUS:  In development but no movement for some time.

NOTE:  There is an ashcan for the variant made available only in the game's survival edition.

 

 

Mega Man

First appearance: Nintendo Power 6

STATUS:  Announced.

There is a comic sequence in this issue and it's actually very hard to find for another reason!

For more info check this out!

https://comicbookinvest.com/2018/04/14/birth-of-the-blue-bomber/

 

 

Metal Gear Solid

First appearance: MGS 1 Ashcan

STATUS: In development

 

 

Minecraft

No known comic appearance

STATUS: In development, Steve Carell rumored attachment.

Update: Minecraft will make its first comic appearance at NYCC Comiccon in 2018

Minecraft's first comic was in the UK Minecraft Magazine 1 from 2017.

 

 

 

Monster Hunter

First appearance: Shonen Rival

Mel V from the UD podcast discovered this and boy is it rare!

First Manga appearance: Monster Hunter Orage 01

( may come with rare coinbook, scarce ) Japanese

First American manga: Monster Hunter Orage 1 ( blue cover )

First American comic book appearance: Sonic Boom 10 ( there are three printings )

First American comic cover: Sonic 275b only has the cover appearance by Malala

STATUS: In development

https://comicbookinvest.com/2017/01/16/darksabers-supernovas-marches-monster-hunters/

 

 

Rainbow Six

No known Comic appearance

STATUS: In development, Ryan Reynolds rumored attachment.

 

 

 

Raving Rabbids

First appearance: Raving Rabbids Bwaaaaaaah! ( French only 2012 )

American comics were later published by Papercutz

STATUS: In devlopment

 

 

 

Rent a Hero

No known comic appearance but it is possible that a comic appeared in Sega Visions.

STATUS: Announced.

 

 

Rise of Nightmares

No known comic outside of a digital comic release.

STATUS: Announced as an animated TV show.

 

Download the comic legally here:

http://dl.sega.com.s3.amazonaws.com/downloads/RON_Comic.pdf

 

 

Shinobi

First appearance: Sonic Yearbook 1992

STATUS: Announced.

First comic book appearance: 2000 AD 838

This incredible book has a rare Sonic mini comic attached and it features early comics for other fun Sega properties like Wonder Boy, Kid Chameleon and the first comic book appearance of Golden Axe.

NOTE: This comic also comes with an issue of Thunderbirds from the UK

First American comic appearance

 

 

Sonic The Hedgehog

First appearance:  Sega Mega Drive mini comic 1991

STATUS: In development

NOTE:  Sonic's first appeared in part in a few other publications, some of which are quite rare including Disney Adventures 1, EGM October 1991 ( rare ), Sega Visions May 1992, Superman 61 and Justice League Europe 33.

 

 

Splinter Cell

First appearance: Splinter Cell Digging in the Ashes Promo

STATUS: This one is still in development limbo. It did have Tom Hardy attached but at this point who knows.

 

 

Spy Hunter

No known comic appearance

There is a pull out illustrated poster in Nintendo Power 25.  It is always possible there is a cartoon in Blip but I cannot confirm.

STATUS: Announced.

 

 

Streets of Rage

First appearance: ( preview in Sonic the Comic 1 mini ), first full in Sonic the Comic 7

STATUS:  Announced.

 

 

Street Fighter

First appearance: Nintendo Power 35

See this link for more information…

https://comicbookinvest.com/2018/03/27/60232/

 

 

Tetris

First appearance: Nintendo Power 8

STATUS:  I have no idea on this one!

 

 

The Witcher

First comic adaptation: Droga Bez Powrotu ( A Road with no Return )

STATUS:  In development Netflix

The first published printings of the comics were released in 6 volumes and to my knowledge there are no first editions printings in English.

NOTE:  There is a rare video game comic insert and the Dark Horse series is worth a look.

 

 

Uncharted

First appearance: Uncharted 1b ( AH! )

STATUS:  In development, Tom Holland attached.

 

 

 

Virtua Fighter

First appearance:  Virtua Fighter 1

STATUS: Announced.

Virtua Fighter also had a preview comic here;

 

 


ALREADY MADE

 

Assassins Creed

First appearance:  Assassin's Creed 1

Preorder made available by Ubisoft.

 

Bloodrayne

First comic appearance: Bloodrayne Skies a Fire preview

This rare preview was given out only to those who preordered Bloodrayne 2 from Gamestop and EB Games.

 

Double Dragon

First appearance: Direct and a newsstand were available.

 

Hitman

First appearance:

 

Max Payne

First appearance: Max Payne 3 issue 1 ( not for resale  )

 

Mortal Kombat

First appearance:

MK also appeared in Nintendo Power 52 ( poster ) and in a comic in issue 53!

 

Resident Evil

First appearance: 1996 freebie

 

 

Silent Hill

First appearance:

NOTE:  There is also an extremely rare mini comic called White Hunter which was only available in the Japanese soundtrack for Origins.

 

Warcraft

First appearance:  Warcraft Sunwell Trilogy 2005

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OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER…

There are many magazines and cother non comic publications that may have comic appearances within.  It is very difficult to track down runs of EG Monthly, Dreamcast Magazine etc.  You may be able to find some comic treasures within so check if you held onto these publications!

 

S the Sega Magazine

Initially this was only available through purchase of subscription, warranty or given out with select game purchases.

 

Blip

Marvel's video game comic features some pretty cool appearances and some key firsts.

 

Valiant

Valiant published titles with a licensing agreement with Nintendo in the 90s.  Many are rare.

Nintendo Power

Nintendo Power featured comics, posters and other assorted items collector's are sure to enjoy.  They are often hard to find in high grade thanks to readers actually using the tips and manuals inside.

Notable issues include:

24-Battletoads comics and first comic appearance

31-Metroid comic

45-first appearance of Starfox comics

55-Jurassic Park comic

SEGA VISIONS

7,8,11-15 all have Sonic Comics.

19-Maximum Carnage early, possible first advertisement.

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If you have any corrections or things I missed please feel free to comment.

-Topher

11 comments

  • Avatar

    i’m adding a bunch of these to my list of books to hunt for, thanks!

  • Gary Nusser

    I was just wishing for a way to have all of the videogame first appearances in my pocket and lo and behold! You are truly a gentleman and a scholar, Topher… Thanks for taking the time to compile this. Now watch out for the #fact-checkers.🤭

  • Clint Joslin

    Good God Topher this is a great piece. No wonder it took a while for you to complete this. It is flat out amazing! In the search for that 1st Samus BTW! One more to add is the 1st app of Dirk the Daring and Dragons Lair outside the game is in Arcana’s 2003 mini series titled Dragons Lair

  • Avatar

    Awesome article. Fantastic job Topher. Video game comics are partly what turned me into a real comic collector (I was a Nintendo power subscriber from issue #1) and several of those I still didn’t know about.

    A couple notes you may mention in the things to remember section. The Valiant Nintendo Comics System Sneak preview. It’s quite rare and tough to find

  • Avatar

    Awesome article. Fantastic job Topher. Video game comics are partly what turned me into a real comic collector (I was a Nintendo power subscriber from issue #1) and several of those I still didn’t know about.

    A couple notes you may mention in the things to remember section. The Valiant Nintendo Comics System Sneak preview. It’s the first Valiant Nintendo publication I think. Quite rare and tough to find in high grade because of that yellow cover. Also might mention Nintendo Power 32 as it was the first transition to a serious serial comic in the magazine with Shotaro Ishinomori‘s “A Link to the Past” Zelda comic.

  • Avatar

    Great list here ! Detective Comics 639 also 1st Sonic along with the others…

  • A. J. Diesel

    Wow, this is some amazing work. Truly fantastic

  • Ben Steiniger

    1st Tetris appearance?!? Is there anyone that can boast knowing that before Topher??

    Incredible info.

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