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Metroid: Volume 1 is the first of two graphic novels in a series, consisting of seven chapters (Metroid: Volume 2 finishes the story with the final nine). The manga provides early history on series heroine Samus Aran. Chapter 1 details Samus's childhood, including how she got acquainted with the Chozo and how the Space Pirates destroyed her home at K-2L. Chapter 2 details how the Chozo train Samus on Zebes, and introduces Mother Brain as a Chozo computer.
The Metroid manga borrows many characters and plot elements from the Super Metroid comic and it is widely accepted as the canonical backstory for Metroid, as many panels from the manga are used in the endings of the Japanese version of Metroid Fusion, and certain parts of all editions of Metroid: Zero Mission.
On a Terran-established Colonial Planet, known simply as K-2L; A Federation ship was bringing a supply of Afloraltite. A man named Rodney Aran was organizing the transfer of supplies. Meanwhile, his daughter Samus was playing in the woods, when one of her toys got stolen by a Rabbit-Squirrel that ran off into the canopy of the trees. Suddenly, her friends came running to her, to tell her that a new ship had arrived on the planet. Hooded creatures came off the ship and introduced themselves as Chozo and told them that they were not there to harm anyone.
By now, Samus had come out of the woods and had started talking to one of the Chozo. This was the first time that Samus had seen or even heard of the Chozo. He said that she could call him "Old Bird", or "Bird Grandpa". Another one of the Chozo, called Grey Voice, told Old Bird to get on with the reason they came there. Samus started tugging at his robes for him to come with her. Rodney said she was trouble, but Old Bird went off with her. She told him about the creature who stole her toy, and asked him if he could get it back for her. He explained that they lost the ability to fly a while ago. He explained that to get back what she wanted, she had to befriend the animal that had it. She calls it Pyonchi and it comes down to her.
After being refused what they had come for, the Chozo had to leave, and Samus was sad. Once they had left the planet’s orbit, they said that without the Afloraltite, they wouldn’t have sufficient energy. They had to stop the X Parasite cultivation. If the Galactic Federation found out, the species would spread through the universe.
Meanwhile, a Space Pirate ship was near the planet. The one in charge was none other than Ridley, a dragon and Space Pirate General. He was informed that there was a large surge of energy on the planet below, perhaps even Afloraltite. He demanded that they go there immediately. The Galactic Federation ship that had landed earlier to drop of the Afloraltite was now ready to leave. However, they couldn’t take off due to Atmospheric Electromagnetic waves that were toppling any ships that tried to leave. Rodney, who was in charge of the operation sounded the alarm and told everyone to abandon ship and prepare. He said the Space Pirates were coming.
Ridley led a massive raid in order to restock fuel and supplies and plunder, and also allowed his soldiers to cut loose and destroy whatever they wanted. Samus was playing in the woods with Pyonchi, when she saw a ship explode. The Space Pirates landed and started destroying everything they saw. While he was grinning and watching the pain and suffering, a Pirate walked up to him and informed him that they had captured their bases. Ridley praised him for his good work and sent him off. Ridley noticed a girl walking up to him. She tried to befriend him, and strangely, Ridley seemed briefly remorseful that the youth was present for the raid, but then tried to kill her. He fired his plasma breath at her but her mother pushed her out of the way of Ridley's attack at the cost of her life.
Rodney detonated his ship, with him on it, to prevent the Space Pirates getting the supplies they needed. Ridley flew over, confused why the ship just blew up. He appeared to be injured by the wreckage, but survived, but never could have imagined that he had created his own nemesis in Samus.
Ridley and a few Space Pirates landed on Zebes in secret and planted fields of Badger Clover, a poisonous plant. Ridley flew off the planet on his own. Eventually, the group of Chozo from earlier came back to K-2L, suspecting to find no one. But they found Samus alone and stranded on the destroyed colony, and seeing this young child all alone, decided to bring her back to Zebes.
When they arrived on Zebes, Old Bird had been questioned by Grey Voice on why he brought Samus there. He said that they couldn’t have left her there to die. A small flying droid, the eye of Mother Brain, watched Samus and said that because she was human, she would only last a few days on the planet. They took Samus’s body and infused her with Chozo DNA and boosted her body’s ability to adapt to the planet.
Eleven years later, Samus was outside training her skills against some Work Robots. Samus, in her Power Suit, a gift from the Chozo so that she could survive on their planet, had her arm cannon primed and ready to fire. Old Bird, Grey Voice and Pyonchi were up on a high rock, watching Samus's actions carefully. She misses and hits a rock. Old Bird tells her not to move when she shoots. She presses a button on the side of her helmet which makes her suit disappear. Old Bird and Grey Voice call her over and tell her to be more careful as she is now older and a proper member of the Chozo.
All of a sudden, Samus sprints off with Pyonchi, even though her training is unfinished. They quietly sit on a rock together. Pyonchi notices a butterfly behind them which Old Bird (now behind them) identifies as Iono Feria. They both went back inside to the main section of Zebes. Meanwhile, Old Bird sneaks away to check on the Metroid cultivation.
Samus brings Gray Voice some Badger Clover flowers and exclaims how pretty they are. Gray Voice was shocked to see them as they come from another planet. They both get away from them, and let the Work Robots incinerate them. Gray Voice asks Mother Brain how they could have been there. It turns out they were from Space Pirates that crashed there years ago. Mother Brain suddenly reported that the Iono Feria's hostility was rapidly increasing. Gray Voice told Samus to shoot them down, but she would not do so. Then the Iono Faria brought up weapons and fired at Gray Voice, but Samus jumped to the rescue in her Power Suit and pulled him out of the way. She shot each of their weapons away and then used her charge shot on the pile of weapons, blowing them up. Although the Iono Feria no longer posed a threat, Mother Brain's Work Robots still proceeded to incinerate them. Angered, Samus smashed one of the robots and then ran off.
The following morning, Samus was sitting atop a building. Old Bird appeared behind her and commented on how fast she was growing up. He said that she was ready to leave Zebes as the true protector of the galaxy.
3: First Battle
On Daiban, capital of the Milky Way, a Galactic Federation meeting is under way. The leader discusses some new information received from satellites deployed to watch over Federation planets. They receive tragic images of the events from the Ramahiya country on the planet Naishii in the Neogatta Nebula. They discover images of Space Pirates slaughtering entire countries. As of now, the number of countries taken by pirates has surpassed two hundred. The Federation decide to no longer remain silent and promote recruitment. Chairman Vogl argues with Chairman Keaton that this is a bad idea and could result in war.
They ask Old Bird on his thoughts and he agrees with Keaton. Old Bird then leaves with Grey Voice and Pyonchi. He checks up on the progress of the Metroids quickly and wishes the best for Samus.
Meanwhile, on the planet Jigrad, Samus is waging a war of her own. A small group of Federation soldiers are stationed near a forest. One of them reveals himself to be Kreatz, and another Samus. They’re spying on Space Pirates who are located not far away. They notice a building in which the Space Pirates are forcing humans to build and work for them. Samus notes that that specific lot of Pirates have been there for two months.
They are just about to return to their base when Samus spots children being used as slaves. One of them is too small, so the Pirates attempt to kill her, but Samus in her Power Suit jumps out in front the girl and protects the girl. She declares that she is with the Federation Police and is authorized to put them under arrest. They take no notice, so Samus quickly starts destroying them. Kreatz is watching and unsure what to do. He calls backup from Mauk. Mauk jumps in to the Pirate’s surprise and is quickly followed by Kreatz. They destroy all of them, and discover one survived. Samus nearly kills it, but shows mercy and places it under arrest. The Pirate has the right to be put on trial.
Later, they meet up with their chief, Hardy. He argues why they killed everyone. Before Samus can reply, the girl whom Samus saved earlier returns and thanks her. She thanks her instead, pondering over the thought that if she had killed the Pirate, she would be no better than one.
General Adam Malkovich arrives and informs Hardy that their battleship has gone to waste, and that they have now gained Samus Aran as a powerful ally.
Following their triumph, Samus and the rest of her crew expect to be applauded for taking down the Space Pirates' operation; however, they are relegated to interrogation duty. The Galactic Federation instead seizes the opportunity to declare that this victory has proven the Pirates to be "not worthy of our fear."
Watching this declaration from Zebes, Old Bird scoffs at the ignorance of the Federation. He has assembled a meeting of the Chozo elders in order to discuss the future of their race. He fears that, with the death of the Chozo race looming near, they will not last to see galactic peace. He declares the Galactic Federation their last chance, but he does not have high hopes. To the surprise of the gathered elders, Old Bird's greatest fear revolves around to the planet SR388, where he fears the exploitation of its native X Parasites. A Chozo suggests that the Federation must be notified of the existence of the parasites. This, Old Bird refutes immediately. He claims that if the X are revealed to the galaxy, they will be abused for their cloning power, replacing representatives with soldiers and bringing about an empire of violence. Old Bird declares that they "must not allow such an empire to be created." It is here that Old Bird reveals to the other Chozo the creation of their "weapon", Metroid, to combat the X on SR388. Old Bird asks for the elders' faith in both of their race's "children", Metroid and Samus Aran.
However, at this moment, the Space Pirate mothership hovers over Zebes, breaking the planet's defenses with a micro black hole. The arrival causes Metroid's containment vessel to rupture.
The Space Pirate mothership manages to successfully break through the force field surrounding the planet Zebes by using a micro black hole. Ridley scoffs at the Chozo's attempts to strengthen their planet's defenses since the last Space Pirate raid, calling it merely an "egg shell."
Meanwhile, on the planet Jigrad, Samus and the Galactic Federation begin their interrogation of the Space Pirate captured earlier. The group's attempts at extracting any information initially are fruitless. Samus steps in and attempts to win over the pirate by unifying the two of them as "humanoids"; however, the pirate merely scoffs at the notion. He then attempts to enrage Mauk by reminding him of how recently his race were admitted into the Federation and how they are discriminated against. The pirate then does the same for Kreatz, bringing up his people's oppression. He continues, claiming that the Federation is nothing more than a "puppet" controlled by the galaxy's most elite races, and its promise of freedom is merely a facade. The pirate's next target is Samus, informing her that the Federation had little sympathy for the plight of her colony. However, at this moment, Adam Malkovich interrupts, outraged that the pirate has wandered this far off-topic. The Space Pirate merely laughs, and the interrogators soon realize that he is merely a diversion to distract them from the pirates' assault on Zebes.
Immediately upon learning about the danger facing Zebes, Samus rushes out of the interrogation room to the hangar, intent on saving Zebes and the Chozo. Before she can leave, Malkovich confronts her about abandoning her duty to the Federation to follow her emotions. Samus, however, will not be stopped and aims the cannon of her Power Suit at him. Seeing her determination and sympathetic to her cause, Malkovich grants her 48 hours before the arrival of the Federation army lands on Zebes. Grateful, Samus boards her ship only to find Mauk and Kreatz already on board, ready to help her save Zebes.
Samus, Mauk, and Kreatz arrive on Zebes to find the area in ruins. Samus knows the Chozo are a peaceful race and would not engage the Space Pirates in combat. She concludes that they must have abandoned the battle, and she hopes that their fleeing means at least some of the Chozo managed to escape. Shortly after examining the corpse of a Space Pirate who appeared to have its life energy drained (most likely by Metroid), they are ambushed by a small group of pirates. Samus catches a glimps of her pet Pyonchi, and the three of them follow it into a cave. The pirates follow them but are killed by a skree.
In the cave, Samus discovers a hologram recording of Old Bird. In the recording, he details the pirate's motives. The Space Pirates attacked hoping to gain the whole of Chozo knowledge. Without the Federation backup they received last time the pirates attacked, the Chozo were forced to surrender Zebes. Old Bird contemplated annihilating the entire planet rather than give it up to the pirates, but he was unable to do so due to the pirates' meticulous attack plan. Instead, he and the other Chozo fled. Old Bird also reveals that the Metroid project has failed, and that they now have "enemies other than the Space Pirates," indicating that Metroid may have gone rogue. He concludes by reaching out to Samus, who is now the sole "child" of the Chozo, with the failure of Metroid.
The recording cuts out shortly thereafter, but not before Old Bird mentions that there are prisoners. Kreatz then declares the rescue of the prisoners to be their new mission, much to Samus's shock. She suggests that they split up, with Pyonchi serving as Mauk's and Kreatz's guide around the dangerous environment. Samus goes on alone, and fears that Mother Brain could not possibly have survived intact. She hurries to Tourian to see for herself, where she encounters more pirates. Before she can attack, Grey Voice, apparently in league with the pirates, warns her not to fire.
Samus is shocked to find Grey Voice with the Space Pirates, but he doesn't confirm her suspicions, merely saying that "we" are fixing the situation. Mother Brain is in the same room and informs Samus that they have established a "satisfactory cooperative relationship" with the pirates. Samus immediately believes that the pirates have reprogrammed Mother Brain, and she prepares to attack; however, she is stunned when Grey Voice orders them to retreat, and they obey. Mother Brain explains that the Space Pirates behave much like a colony of bees, that they obey based on a hierarchical structure with Mother Brain currently at the top. Mother Brain then asks Samus to join them as a "master" of the Space Pirates, an offer she quickly refuses.
Mother Brain then recounts the history of the Chozo. She explains how they once were the most technologically advanced civilization in the galaxy, and they did their best to spread that knowledge to all who sought it. However, they began to grow old, and with the future of the race in jeopardy, the Chozo decided that their mission was to unite the galaxy in peace. Mother Brain was created for this purpose, to be the link between the Chozo knowledge and the Galactic Federation. Grey Bird considers Mother Brain to be the greatest being in the entire galaxy and responsible for all galactic prosperity. Samus is horrified when Mother Brain declares that the sum of its knowledge has made the Chozo elders obsolete. Mother Brain plans on "replacing" the old Chozo with the Space Pirates in order to restore order and peace to the galaxy, or so it claims.
Mother Brain claims that Samus is the last remaining piece for the plan to function. However, Samus continues to refuse to join the pirates. Mother Brain counters, saying that Samus is not the "child" of the Chozo, but rather of Mother Brain itself. It goes on to say that Samus was taken on by the Chozo and trained merely for the purpose of becoming a bio-weapon. Samus is outraged at the notion, declaring that Old Bird never thought of her that way and opens fire on Mother Brain. However, her weapons are useless against Mother Brain's shield. As Samus attempts to figure out what to do, Ridley arrives and scoffs at the fact that Samus is the weapon Mother Brain told him about.
An official e-manga was made of the first two chapters of this volume. They were complete with color, animation, and sound effects. As of 2015, the e-manga is no longer available, although the Shockwave Flash files can still be downloaded via Wayback Machine and viewed on an offline Flash player.
Both e-manga chapters were only officially released in Japanese; however, a few fan translations have been done using this art. The Metroid Database has the best translated version of these, and arranged the panels into their original positions in the book. The MDb version can be seen linked here.
- Mario, or a man that looks like him, can be seen on the left hand side of the panel where Samus learns that the Chozo have arrived. The character has a hat, gloves, overalls, round nose, boots, mustache, and wrench.
Chapter 1 of the e-manga
- Chapter 1 of the e-manga (SWF download)
Chapter 2 of the e-manga
- Chapter 2 of the e-manga (SWF download)
- MDb and SnoopyCool translations
- Mechadrake E-Manga translation
- Metroidhat translation of Chapter 3-7
- Metroid Official Website