Comic writer Ian Flynn is currently heading up the IDW Publishing Sonic series, and also writes for Mega Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. If Flynn had his way, he would have written for the Mario franchise as well, and he actually pitched a project way back in the day. Unfortunately things didn't pan out, which is why Flynn has taken to Twitter to share what his story plans were. You can read the full details on the never-greenlit project below.
So since I can’t talk about unused Sonic plans (yet), and I’m 99.9% sure it’s dead, let’s talk about the Super Mario Bros. pitch I did for Archie Comics instead.
The springboard was for a 4-part mini that would hopefully turn into an on-going. It had the same approach as Archie!Sonic & Archie!MegaMan at the time: narrative-driven adaptations of the games with stories bridging the canon. It would adapt the original Mario Bros. game
It started off with Mario & Luigi being summoned to Peach’s castle for a plumbing job. Luigi was excited for the career-defining contract, Mario less enthused – a job’s a job & he’s bored of their career. They arrive just after Bowser has ransacked the Mushroom Kingdom.
With literally no one left to save the princess, Mario jumps at the call to adventure. Luigi less so. They stock up on what power-ups are left after the invasion and embark on a journey through Worlds 1-8, burning through their provisions since they’re novice heroes
They reach Bowser’s Castle in W8-4 and Luigi calls it quits. This is suicide. They’re PLUMBERS, not heroes. Mario refuses to give up – too many are counting on them. They part ways, Mario storming the castle.
Mario makes his way past the traps and firebars to his first showdown with Bowser. The King of Koopas wants to know who’s been causing so much trouble for his troops and it’s…this pudgy guy? Oh well. Anyone who challenges him meets the same fate.
It’s a knock-down, drag-out fight on the bridge over a magma moat. Mario is too nimble for Bowser to land a solid hit, but Bowser is too tough for Mario to actually hurt. They’re at a stalemate when a scream is heard, building from deep in the hall…
It’s Luigi, screaming in blind terror, running thru the castle as fast as he can. Over the bridge. Past the baffled combatants. Into a wall. Which knocks loose the decorative axe. Which cuts the bridge.
Mario bounces off the falling Bowser to safety. Mario and Luigi reconcile – yeah, Mario may have gotten in over his head, but Luigi could never abandon his brother. Together they rescue Peach who shares a bashful love-at-first-sight moment with Mario.
The trio returns to the Mushroom Kingdom and begin to rebuild. Peach names Mario & Luigi royal plumbers. Luigi is overjoyed – they’re set for life now! No more adventures! Cut to the stinger ending of Bowser crawling out of the magma moat.
From what I heard thru the grapevine it was well received at NoA, but stalled out at NoJ. Looking back on it now it’s not how I’d approach a Mario project today – too much drama, not enough whimsy. Still, I thought some of y’all might get a kick out of it.