Archie Comics' Metroid (partially found production material from cancelled comic book one-shot and mini-series based on video game; 2009)
Metroid is one of Nintendo's most iconic video game series and helped create the Metroidvania genre. Nintendo invited Archie Comics to pitch a comic book based on the series but it ultimately never came to be.
In 2009 Archie Comics pitched a comic book mini-series based on the Super Mario franchise. It didn't end up panning out, but Nintendo offered them the chance to pitch comics for three other Nintendo franchises those being, Metroid, Kirby, and Fossil Fighters. These franchises were likely chosen as they are lesser-known than Super Mario. They also all had games coming up in the next two years, with Metroid: Other M and Fossil Fighters: Champions Japanese release coming out in late 2010 and Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Fossil Fighters: Champions American release coming out in late 2011. Pitches for Metroid and Kirby comics were created, although not much about the Kirby pitch and no formal pitch for a Fossil Fighters comic was made. The Metroid pitch was written by Ian Flynn with concept art by Tracy Yardley and Steven Butler. The Metroid and Kirby pitches both ended up fizzling out with Archie successfully obtaining the rights to produce comics based off of the Mega Man series from Capcom instead.
In 2019 Flynn broke down the three separate story pitches he made in a Twitter thread.
The story would have been a one-shot that takes place after Metroid: Fusion with "over-arching themes of humanity, self-identity, and loneliness." In Flynn's own words
"The first pitch was a stand-alone & had her infiltrate a high society event on a contract to take out a weapons dealer. She used her normal appearance as a smoke-screen - just some human in a dress (Zero Suit). Thoughts of predators using natural camo. The dealer is a Shadow Broker type of alien with a thing for humans. One of his bodyguards gets tipped off it's Samus and they open fire. Samus activates the Power Suit and wipes the floor with them while the dealer runs for it. Sames gives chase. The dealer has escaped to his personal gunship and tries to blast Samus, collateral damage be damned. Samus, being the walking arsenal she is, eventually takes down the gunship and bring the deal in."
Even though Flynn thought the pitch had "a nice balance of character, intrigue, world building and bombastic action" Nintendo passed on it.
This would have been a mini-series exploring similar themes to the last pitch as well as the trademark exploration the series is known for, a "One Girl Against the World scenario." Flynn described the story as
"Samus called in to investigate unusually hostile mega-fauna on a [Galactic Federation] research world. Turns out the scientists were doing something sketchy to the wild life, Man's Hubris, yadda yadda, Samus fights man and beast alike."
The story would have featured a lot of moments to dwell on the art and setting. This pitch was also rejected as it was seen as too complicated.
The third pitch would have been an adaption of the original Metroid game, but the project fizzled out before the pitch could get anywhere.
Know Production Materials
Even though the plots for all three pitches are known, it's unclear if Flynn ever penned a proper script. In addition, a user going by Jeff Carson posted some of Tracy Yardley's concept art to ComicArtFans in late 2012. Later in 2017, Steven Butler posted some of his concept art to the Steven Butler Studios's Facebook page. It's unknown if more concept art exists.
- Archie Comics' Super Mario (partially found production material from cancelled comic book mini-series based on video game; 2009)
- Metroid Dread (lost early Nintendo DS build of Switch action-adventure game; mid-2000s)
- Metroid II: Return of Samus DX (lost build of unfinished Game Boy Color remake of game; existence unconfirmed; 1990s)
- Ian Flynn's tweet on the Nintendo Archie comics pitches (2/13). Retrieved 15 Jan '22
- Ian Flynn's tweet on the Nintendo Archie comics pitches (4/13). Retrieved 15 Jan '22
- Steven Butler Facebook post on the Archie Comics Metroid concept art. Retrieved 15 Jan '22
- Ian Flynn's tweet on the Nintendo Archie comics pitches (6/13). Retrieved 15 Jan '22
- Ian Flynn's tweet on the Nintendo Archie comics pitches (7/13). Retrieved 15 Jan '22
- Ian Flynn's tweet on the Nintendo Archie comics pitches (11/13). Retrieved 15 Jan '22
- Ian Flynn's tweet on the Nintendo Archie comics pitches (10/13). Retrieved 15 Jan '22
- Ian Flynn's tweet on the Nintendo Archie comics pitches (12/13). Retrieved 15 Jan '22