The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Comic Review

Art & Story by Shatoro Ishinomori
Published by Viz 

In the holiday season of 1991, Nintendo released a little game called the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo. In January 1992, Nintendo wanted everybody to know about Zelda by releasing a 12 part comic book series exclusively in Nintendo Power magazine. The comic spanned for a whole year to complete Link’s epic quest and after that, the story remained lost in manga limbo…. UNTIL NOW! Back in May, Viz publishing rereleased the complete tale of Link in a giant, colored trade paperback book!  Reading this book brought me back as a child waiting for my parents to check the mail (pre internet) for the next issue of Nintendo Power. The question now remains, is it as good as I remembered it?

Our hero, Link, goes on a quest to save the princess Zelda from the evils of a mysterious villain named Agahim. Agahim was a sorcerer and disciple of the heinous Ganon who plotted to send Zelda into the dark world to summon his master. Link, has voyage out to find the Master Sword, the only sword that is powerful enough to save the princess. This time though, the age old tale of Zelda has an interesting twist. Link’s adventure takes him into the Dark Realm, a world where a human turns into a beast and can easily lose themselves in their own mind. I really like how the story makes you feel as if you are playing the game. Link’s adventure forces him to explore the world of Hyrule by doing the necessity quests like finding the map to gain access to a dungeon or, retrieving an item so he will be able to get one shot closer in retrieving the master sword. Instead of investing 30 hours in gameplay, it consolidates the story in this book.   

ALttPComic-Slash-620xIf I have to describe the art in this story in one word, it would be “dated”. When you read the first page, the book transports you back over 20 years ago. Its very clear that Shatoro Ishinomori hand drew the art. I do have to say, the two page spreads  that he did in the book were amazing but, there were a lot of goofy expressions that Ishinomori put on some of the characters. There were more time than naught when you see a crossed eyed Link or a silly looking villager!

Even though the art is a little abstract, it does not pull away from the experience when you read this book. Ishinomori does a great job on progressing the story and does not veer off in the world of Hyrule too much. The book is a perfect intro for anyone who has not played a Legend of Zelda game in their life.  For the people have played Zelda in the past years, this book would be nostalgic and would make you want to play a Link to the Past again. I know I did!