The Legend of Zelda is a comic book series published by Valiant Comics, which is the parent company that owned the Nintendo Comics System in 1990 and 1991. In those years, they published a number of Nintendo franchise comics, including The Legend of Zelda , Super Mario Bros., and Captain N: The Game Master. The Valiant Publishing line was founded in 1990 by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. After 1991, Valiant ceased to publish Nintendo-related comics, except for trade paperback collections of some of the series later on.
The Legend of Zelda issues ran February 1990 through August of that same year, and was penned by George Caragonne. The comics were sold at a newsstand price of $1.95 per issue. Each issue contained two 10-page stories, along with two bonus shorts, which were often times very humorous.
The comics take place after the events of the original The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link. Link lives in North Palace along with Princess Zelda and King Harkinian, where he protects the Triforce of Wisdom from Ganon. The comics are reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda TV series in that it mirrors many of the plot elements; however, it takes on a more serious tone than the cartoons, as seen in the plots of The Power and The Price, where Link is corrupted by the Triforce of Power. Furthermore, not all of the issues focus on Ganon stealing the Triforce of Wisdom, as it varies from Link helping Queen Seline recover her powers from Ganon's minions and to Bagu confronting the young hero to save his two pet frogs.
Zelda, like the cartoons, takes a more protagonist role and fights along Link, sometimes even saving him, by wielding weapons such as her Bow. Link is seen once again trying to steal a kiss from the princess any time he saves her, but they always seem to get interrupted by Ganon's minions or Zelda changing her mind. Unlike the animated series, however, the comic makes it clear that Link and Zelda love each other, as they both seem to plainly state it several times throughout their adventures.
|1||He Also Serves
Missing in Action
|2||To the First Power
|4||Thief in the Night
Queen of Hearts
It's Good to be the King (Original release only)
|5||Day of the Triforce
According to Valiant Firsts, there was an issue and a number of stories in production that were eventually scrapped for unknown reasons.
Not much is known about the contents of this issue, but based on its cover, it would have been the seventh issue and have featured a story called Small Problem.
- The Fortress - After being fatally wounded in battle, Link must locate a healer trapped within a fortress and gain her trust by risking what remains of his life before he dies.
- Kiss Me, Princess! - Link must complete a special mission in order to earn a promised kiss from Zelda.
- Point of View and Another Point of View - An earthquake spell cast by Ganon goes out of control, and Link and Zelda must stop him before it destroys Hyrule.
- Small Problem - Not much is known about this story, but it appears that its plot would have focused on Zelda being shrunken by an evil wizard unrelated to Ganon.
- Princess Zelda
- King Harkinian
- Queen Seline
- Captain Krin
- Watchman Erol
- River Man
- Iron Knuckle
- Darknut Prime
- Dark Link
- Magical Sword
- Magical Shield
- Magic Whistle
- Magic Compass
- Zelda's Bow
- Water of Life
- Blue Candle
- Silver Arrow
- Handy Glove
- Power Bracelet
- Magic Boomerang
- North Palace
- Level 1
- Rauru Town
- Midoro Swamp
- Palace on the Sea
- Island of Hyron
- King's Tomb
- Death Mountain
- Water Town of Saria
There is some debate over how many Zelda issues were actually released, as there appears to be an issue #7, while issue #6 was never cataloged. The matter became further convoluted when the comics were re-released in 1991 in book formats, where the issues were placed in different orders, and the matter was even further complicated by the discovery of a cancelled seventh issue. The reason for there not being a documented sixth issue is that there were only five Zelda issues in all. The seventh issue was actually part seven of the Nintendo Comics System line, which had nine issues in all.
- George Caragonne (Wikipedia), Caragonne agreed to all the grunt work needed for Valiant to be launched, while holding a full time job. After the company was on its feet, Caragonne wrote such titles as Captain N, The Legend of Zelda, and Punch Out..
- "It would sure help if I had a bow! I can't fire a sword blast worth a darn!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics) pg. 8 (To the First Power))
- "Hmmm... safe enough to kiss me, Princess?" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics) pg. Missing in Action)
- "Aw, heck! Something ALWAYS happens every time I'm about to get a smooch!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics) pg. 3 (The Power))
- "Link: Not WE. Just ME. You're going back to the overworld! [...] Because it's gotten too dangerous down here. Because I'm a hero, this is MY job! Because I'm going to protect you whether you like it or not! And because...because I love you." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics) pg. 3 (The Power))
- "Zelda: Because you LOVE me...and I love YOU." (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics) pg. 6 (The Price))
- "LEGEND OF ZELDA" — Unpublished, Valiant Firsts (webpage), retrieved September 26, 2020.
- "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA. Vol. 1 No. 1 Feb. 1991" (The Legend of Zelda Issue 1 (Valiant Comics) pg. 4)