Hello, my friends. Though our trip through these time circuits may take a heinous turn from “Excellent” to “Bogus”, there will still be a rockin’ good time at the end of this escapade. As such, I welcome you back to a most joyful & informative time in this special known as…
Last time, we got to taste the many differences that DC took when adapting the inaugural time-traveling venture of two young dudes from San Dimas who looked to pass their final history report in order to secure their rockin’ future. This time around, that future isn’t exactly looking so bright as someone is looking to shatter their harmonious world with his own right-handed control. To see what I mean, let’s proceed my fellow “Dudes”.
Thanks to the financial success and mainly positive feedback from its predecessor, a sequel was made called “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” which came out on July 19, 1991 and saw the feature-film directorial debut of Peter Hewitt. Made on a budget of $20 million, it only grossed a modest take of over $38 million and had more of a mixed feedback from critics. This time around, the utopian future has spawned a devious uprising within the year 2691 A.D. as a potential conqueror named Chuck De Nomolos (played by Joss Ackland) looks to undo the peaceful society and create one within his own image. As such, he has villainous automatons disguised as Bill & Ted use a Time Booth to go back in time and kill off our familiar protagonists. In a quest that takes them to Hell and Heaven, our rockin’ duo will gain a few allies along the way as they attempt to rejoin the land of the living, save their princess girlfriends, stop their automated doppelgangers and prepare for the upcoming Battle of the Bands.
This time around, Marvel was given the task of adapting the film into comic book form. Evan Dorkin handled both writing & penciling duties, while Stephen DeStefano, Marie Severin and Ron Boyd took the job of inking with Robbie Busch tackling colors. Released in 1991 (at least one month after the movie came out), this also contains some scenes that were ultimately omitted from the final film. As such, come join me as we discuss the major differences that the comic has with the movie.
Our first notable change happens past the opening scene within the future and more in the film’s present day when Wyld Stallyns is auditioning for the Battle of the Bands contest. Here, we have the character of Ms. Wardroe who commends the ladies for their actual abilities to play their respective musical instruments (Joanna on Drums & Elizabeth on Keyboard), but Bill & Ted haven’t made much progress on their guitar skills since the initial entry. Despite that, she allows them to take part in the competition as the final entry. In the film, she was played by Pam Grier. However, Ms. Wardroe is drawn here as a white woman. It’s just as bizarre as Marvel gender-swapping Linda Garcia into a man for their adaptation of RoboCop 2. Otherwise, the scene mainly plays out the same way.
Next up, there’s a brief moment at the apartment complex when Bill & Ted’s families have gathered for Joanna and Elizabeth’s 521st birthday party (yes, seriously). Anyway, the movie ended this scene with our foursome mildly joking about Bill’s recently-divorced Dad. After all, Missy broke up with him and ended up getting engaged to Capt. Jonathan Logan (I’m not kidding). In the comic, there’s a brief moment where Missy gives the young ladies a book called “Past Lives, Past Lessons” and even jokes about being Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb in a previous life. I bring this up because it does give a minor foreshadow to her eventual dabbling into the spiritual realm via a séance, even though she doesn’t give too much of a mention towards it. Speaking of the eventual séance (in which our creators cameoed in, with Matheson as the “Ugly” Séance Member and Solomon as the “Stupid” Séance Member), Missy mentions about contacting Ty Cobb to her group in the movie. In the comic, it’s Judy Garland.
Now, we’ve come to the point where Bill & Ted were thrown off the top of Vasquez Rocks to their doom (right after being called that same familiar f-word, groan) by their automated selves. It’s at this point that their met upon by the Grim Reaper a.k.a. Death, wonderfully played by William Sadler (a.k.a. Col. Stuart in Die Hard 2 and U.S. President Matthew Ellis in Iron Man 3). This one is more of an artistic difference and it’s by no means a disservice to what the character looked like in the film. There, Sadler’s make-up design combined with his costume is simple, yet effective and works for the role. The comic gives the Grim Reaper a skeleton body within his robes which is just as solid. Either way, both designs properly suit their respective mediums.
Next up, we’ll skip the scenes where Evil Bill & Evil Ted convince Joanna & Elizabeth to break up with their fiancees and when our heroes possess both Capt. Jonathan Logan & Deputy James in an unsuccessful attempt at convincing their fellow police officers to arrest the villainous robot duplicates. Now that Missy and her séance group have accidentally sent Bill & Ted to Hell, we’ve reach a major difference in the form of a deleted scene. If you listen very carefully while watching that moment, there’s a tortured woman in the background who yells out “I’m working as hard as I can!” before showing several more condemned people on their own individual rock. Originally, our heroes are met upon by a Demon Guard who gets them to start smashing some rocks. During the scene, the Demon Guard pulls a rat from his mouth after Bill dim-wittingly asks how long they have to do this job (which was asked by Ted in the comic). Instead of being sickened by it, they’re both amazed. Then in a moment you would only notice if you saw the trailer, Ted ultimately exclaims how they remember a time when a guy in San Dimas got a rat in his bucket of fried chicken (which is uttered by Bill here). Afterwards, they see a tortured soul getting hurled towards the Lord of Darkness himself: Satan. In the movie, it would have had that tortured soul on top of his boulder as the devil himself uses a mechanism to drag its chain into a gargoyle structure where that person ended up destroyed. Instead, it cuts from Bill saying that the look of Hell isn’t like what their album covers depicted before cutting to a gargoyle construct crushing a boulder. It’s possible that it was the end result of what happened within the deleted scene. Either way, it proves that despite their situation, they’re far too positive, happy-go-lucky and personally-focused with getting back to life in order to save their ladies than to let the looming threat of eternal torment get them down. Afterwards, they get to talk to Satan and ask if they can leave. In a minor tweak from what ultimately came out in the movie, they briefly mention Missy and that the step-mom role has changed between them, to which the devil ominously states “I Know”. Other than that, the scene in the comic pretty much plays out how it did in the movie.
Briefly, let’s get to the part where Bill & Ted have been sent by Satan into their own personal Hell. In the film, the interior layout is an endless series of metallic hallways with various compartments containing their own haunting dreads & fears. In the comic, it’s essentially a vast cavern with several cave entrances that takes them to their own personal horrors.
During the scene where Bill & Ted play several board games with the Grim Reaper in order to return to the land of the living (which includes Battleship, Electronic Table-Top Football and Twister), the second game that they play is Clue. Here in the comic, Bill wins the game when he correctly accuses Col. Mustard with the Candlestick in the Study. In the movie, Death tries to win the game with that guess, but he loses as it was Prof. Plum instead. A odd choice to swap dialogue, but it’s not the only time here. More on that later on. Before I close on this topic, let me quickly state that in the final game (Twister), the Grim Reaper loses when he’s unable to place his “right” foot on a green spot while the comic sees him unable to do so with his “left” foot.
In a tiny bit of scene rearrangement, the comic then decides to show the villainous robot versions of Bill & Ted trashing our heroes’ apartment, instead of taking place after the scene in heaven where our protagonists get help from God. In the comic, Evil Bill is able to dunk his own robot head while Evil Ted is about to do so before De Nomolos contacts them again. In the movie, it’s actually Evil Ted who dunks his head. Evil Bill tries to follow suit, but gets his head caught on the ceiling fan due to the size of the apartment. From there, the scene plays out like normal as De Nomolos gets in touch and orders them to continue with their plan, where they ultimately get the idea to “trash their relationships”. Before I conclude on this section, this is where another piece of a deleted scene was supposed to happen. Originally, there was going to be a far-more aggressive destruction here, ranging from Ted’s goldfish flushed into the garbage disposal to the landlady getting thrown from the second-floor balcony & into the swimming pool. Out of fear that the younger viewers would get influenced into emulating these devious pranks, they were ultimately cut out.
Getting back on track, let’s meet up with Bill, Ted and the Grim Reaper up in Heaven. While this mainly plays out the same way in the film, there are a few changes that were made here in the comic. First, we have an omission where our protagonists use the main refrain to the Poison song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” in order to answer the gatekeeper’s question of “What is the meaning of life?” and enter the pearly gates. Second, there’s an addition that the comic has where after our heroes learn about whom they can turn to in order to help them make their own robots and properly combat their evil selves. After getting their answer, Bill then feels the need to make a reference to the show Dallas and ask the age-old question: “Who Shot J.R.?”. Thankfully, the movie never has this moment and keeps on chugging.
Following the aforementioned apartment trashing scene, we get to another part of Heaven where our heroes look for the universe’s most brilliant scientist. The only major difference here is how they come across this intellectual pair of geniuses. In the movie, they’re playing charades with several people, including Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. Here, Einstein is playing chess with someone as he points our heroes towards Station. Other than that, the comic decides to add an extra part where Evil Bill & Ted are done with trashing the apartment (and even doing prank phone calls, apparently) and decide to “grab the females & book to the concert”.
Now that our main pair are alive again and they’ve headed towards Builder’s Emporium in order to create heroic robots, we’ve now reached a scene that was altered from what ended up in the final film. After Evil Bill & Ted fly through Missy’s window in order to take Joanna and Elizabeth to the Battle of the Bands concert, Evil Bill takes out Missy. However, how he does it was altered. In the film, it’s his bad breath that makes her unconscious. Originally and also in the comic, it’s a punch that knocks her out. Also, the way in which the princesses faint was also changed from the original scripts into what became the final movie. Originally and also presented within the comic, Evil Bill & Ted were wearing skin suits in order to look like each other and that’s the shock that sends the ladies into unconsciousness. In the film, they open up their chests to reveal their robotic innards which causes the ladies to pass out from stunned shock. Before I close, there’s also something else here that was ultimately cut from the final cinematic product. In the film and following the phone call with our heroes, Evil Bill & Ted are contacted by De Nomolos and get ordered to “initiate the final plan”. Here in the comic, Chuck somehow knows that our protagonists are alive (unless he somehow overheard their phone conversation) before ordering his robots to begin their “emergency plan”. This leads into the deleted portion where Evil Bill & Ted open their metallic bodies and pull out three cylinders to leave behind as they become active and lead into another deleted scene which I’ll get to in the next section.
Now, we have our heroes driving towards the Battle of the Bands competition while the combined Station is building the good robot versions of Bill & Ted. On the way, they’re confronted by the three forms that came out of the aforementioned cylinders. It turns out to be the same terrifying trio that our duo came across in their personal Hell (Col. Oats, the Easter Bunny & Granny S. Preston, Esq.), but they’re now more vicious than ever. Those beings proceed to chase our heroes all the way to the San Dimas Auditorium where Granny Preston spins around the van in her wheelchair and ties up the doors so that our protagonists can’t escape. Ultimately, Bill & Ted decide to face their fears. As such, Ted calls up his young brother Deacon and admits to stealing his Easter candy from a decade ago, thus defeating the Easter Bunny. Meanwhile, Bill finally gives his grandmother a kiss, which makes her disappear. Afterwards, they team up and actually invite Colonel Oats to their tea party. This gets him to calm down and eventually open up as to why he’s a strict stick-in-the-mud before he’s ultimately vanquished. All of that was left out of the final film as Station simply builds Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted out of the materials that they got from the Builder’s Emporium and arrive at the competition with no hassle.
We’ve now reached the Battle of the Bands, but we’ve also got an altered climax than what we ultimately got in the movie. Originally and in the comic, Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted charge in the wrong direction, leaving just Bill, Ted and the Grim Reaper to take care of the situation. While Death keeps the audience entertained with an improvised rap, Bill & Ted fight their robotized doppelgangers, only to get the crap kicked out of them. Afterwards, Death gets knocked offstage by Evil Bill (while Evil Ted does this in the novelization). From there, Bill & Ted allow their mechanized selves to kill them with microphone stands. It turns out that Bill was confident all along as the four victories over the Grim Reaper come into full effect here. Since their wins in Battleship and Clue allowed our duo to become alive again the first time around, it was time for Death to repay our heroes again due to their triumphs in electronic table-top football and Twister. After getting resurrected a second time, Bill & Ted sneak up to their robotized foes and rip their heads off. Meanwhile, Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted run in at just the right time to save Joanna and Elizabeth from falling to their deaths. Shortly afterwards, Chuck De Nomolos arrives via a Time Booth and prepares to gun down our heroes (using a ridiculous, ’90s-style gun). Just then, Ms. Wardroe shows up from backstage and tells our duo to “use your heads”. As such, they use Evil Bill & Evil Ted’s metal skulls as shields against De Nomolos’ massive gunfire. Afterwards, Bill & Ted notice a self-destruct mechanism within their mechanized doppelgangers’ heads as they proceed to activate them and toss them towards Chuck, taking him out with a big bang. As for how the film handles its climax, our main duo immediately confront Evil Bill & Evil Ted and send their mechanized selves up against their villainous doppelgangers. The good robots take out the evil robots by uppercutting their heads off before punching their bodies with enough force to make them explode. Afterwards, the two Stations lower the girlfriends down from the rafters as they reunite with our duo. However, they have little time to celebrate as De Nomolos arrives in a Time Booth. From there, he zaps Channel 12’s TV cameras in order to access the global satellite and broadcast his speech to the entire world. From there, Bill & Ted reuse a Deus Ex Machina from the previous installment by stating that they’ll go back in time and arrive a day before the concert in order to set up some things. As such, a sandbag disarms Chuck before a cage drops in on him. However, De Nomolos is able to play their game as he states that once he gets around to killing our heroes, he’ll go back in time and give himself a key that’ll help him get out of their cage. Not only that, but another gun that he can use in order to execute our duo. Fortunately, Bill & Ted were confident. After it’s revealed that he had a prop gun, they explain that only the contest winners were able to “go back and set things up”, thus they were the ones who gave Chuck the actual key and the fake gun. Afterwards, the Grim Reaper gives De Nomolos a Melvin before Capt. Jonathan Logan arrests him (thus completing his own redemption arc, I guess?).
Now, we’ve reached the conclusion of our tale. In it, we have the part where Ms. Wardroe reveals that she was actually Rufus all along. Here, it’s just a simple surprise before we get to the finale. In the movie, Rufus explains that Chuck De Nomolos used to be his gym teacher. It’s a short explanation, but at least it fills in on that particular teacher-student relationship (albeit briefly). Afterwards, the scene plays out like normal as Bill & Ted realize that they still haven’t perfected their guitar skills. As such, they take their royal fiancees into the Time Booth and spend 16 whole months practicing their guitar skills (with two of those weeks spent on the honeymoon in Medieval times). They arrive back at this particular night in time with their baby boys (Bill & Joanna’s son named Little Ted and Ted & Elizabeth’s son named Little Bill). Shortly afterwards, they give an epic performance to the crowd. From there, the comic ends with an added epilogue where De Nomolos wakes up in Hell and finds out that he’s trapped for eternity alongside Evil Bill & Evil Ted, forever forced to smash rocks.
Finally, there’s an odd decision that was made throughout this adaptation. It’s not even an isolated moment, since it’s just something that happens at multiple times during the comic. Whether it’s the heroic Bill & Ted or their mechanized and evil doppelgangers, it bizarrely chooses to have their dialogue swapped between them. That’s right, there’s lines that were uttered by Bill in the movie but are spoken by Ted here and vice-versa. There are some moments when either Bill or Ted properly say their line from the film, but it’s an utterly bizarre choice to have our heroes and their evil robot versions speak each others lines, especially since I watched the comic alongside its cinematic source material. What ever the mindset Dorkin had when he made that choice is beyond me.
After getting the job of adapting the sequel from editor Fabian Nicieza, Evan Dorkin would go on to write and draw the follow-up series called “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic Book”, which ran from late 1991 to fairly late 1992. Believe it or not, it was actually nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication. Within the forward to the series’ archive collection (released in 2015), Dorkin exclaims that he was given freedom to write whatever he wanted, which should make this trip through these 12 issues fun to go through. The only one that he didn’t work on was the eighth issue, which I’ll elaborate on when we get there. Essentially, he began his venture during the franchise’s run with Marvel as someone who was grateful just to get some work and ended up with an admiration for these characters. Needless to say (as of 2015), he’s never seen the series’ inaugural film. Either way, let’s begin with a two-part opening arc featuring the formation of a holy union between our bodacious dudes and our royal princesses.
We begin our inaugural issue (titled “Party On, Dudes” by the way) with our bodacious duo hosting a massive party that’s being attended by friends, family and several familiar historical figures. The most notable absent figure though is Rufus since he’s back in Medieval times acquiring a minstrel group in order to provide era-appropriate music to the liking of the princesses’ parents. It turns out that they’re going to have a more proper wedding, since Bill & Ted married Joanna and Elizabeth in private following the events of “Bogus Journey”, though they’ll now present a more proper ceremony for all of their loved ones. Even the Grim Reaper is taking advantage of his day off by joining in on the festivities, especially since he managed to get himself drunk.
Meanwhile, Rufus has traveled back to 15th Century England to pick up a minstrel group for the party. Unbeknownst to them however, two bitter young men named Linus and Geoffrey have kidnapped a pair of lutenists, tied them up and took their clothing. It turns out that they were originally going to marry Joanna and Elizabeth (through their own “Devil’s Work”) and now they look forward to reclaiming their ladies.
Back at the present party, Socrates gets asked on where he could find our duo, but is scared off as the asking figure turns out to be a thumb-shaped robot (who’ll become important as the series progresses). After Ted introduces Little Bill to his younger brother Deacon and Bill introduces Little Ted to Granny S. Preston, Esq., Rufus arrives with the minstrel group, though the lead musician isn’t entirely pleasant towards our main duo. Meanwhile, Linus & Geoffrey have slipped away from the pack as they look at the festivities with disgust before heading out to find the princesses. During the party, Genghis Khan stuffed himself with one too many tiny Hot Dogs. As the thumb-shaped robot tries to ask him on Bill & Ted’s whereabouts, he gets vomited on by the Mongolian conqueror before taking his embarrassing leave.
Over in the dressing room, the two Stations have helped Joanna and Elizabeth with their wedding dresses. Just then, Linus & Geoffrey burst in with the intent on taking them back to their proper time period. However, the two royal ladies laugh at them. Despite Linus’ attempt to lure them away from “this mad, frenzied display of debauchery”, Joanna and Elizabeth explain that they already married our main duo and that they’re going to renew their vows for this ceremony. Linus & Geoffrey become angered as they move in to carry out their plans, during which we learn that they used to be the ladies’ friends until their father forced his daughters into marriage before the two rapscallions killed the “two old men” that were originally set up to marry Joanna & Elizabeth in order to take them as their own. Fortunately, the princesses are quick to defend themselves as they smack their headpieces (which were made of metal, apparently) at the two royal goons before heading out towards the ceremony.
With Bill & Ted fitted into their tuxedos, they realize that Rufus is somehow absent. With them pressed for time (since the hall is booked for an eventual monster truck show), they decide to have Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted serves as their Best Mans as the proper wedding commences. The ceremony proceeds as normal until the minister gets to the part where he asks for anyone to speak up in the event that they feel that this holy unionship shouldn’t happen. Sadly, Linus & Geoffrey had woken up in time as they speak up and challenge our heroes to a sword duel. After Joanna informs our duo that Linus & Geoffrey were “murderers” in their time, Bill & Ted make fun of their accents before declining their challenge since they don’t have swords. However, Genghis Khan and Napoleon force them into it by offering their blades.
As such, the duel commences as our heroes put up a decent fight, but are ultimately disarmed by their foes. Fortunately, Billy the Kid intervenes by firing a shot into the air and escorts the fiends away from the ceremony. As the wedding is about to resume, Rufus arrives with the King of England. The main monarch explains that he saw the duel from afar and commends our main duo for their valiant act. From there, the ceremony is allowed to continue as Bill & Ted renew their vows and properly marry the princesses.
From afar however, Linus and Geoffrey refuse to let this matter go as they arm themselves with their rapiers and make their way through the crowd. They arrive at their target and proceed to strike, but it turns out that they attacked Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted by accident as they get fatally (yet comically) shocked to death. However, it turns out to be the last straw as the Grim Reaper notices that a fatality happened during his day off as he drunkenly sneaks off. From there, Rufus informs our group that Death has taken the Time Booth and left his scythe behind with a notice of his resignation from his job. As such, Issue 1 ends with the revelation that there’s now no one around to “keep the dead in check”.
Issue #2 (“Death Takes A Most Heinous Holiday”) opens with the Grim Reaper traveling through time and telling various people throughout history how they’ll meet their grisly end before it’s revealed that he’s on his own vacation. He’s currently witnessing the infamous eruption at Pompeii, taking in the vast destruction and getting his own snapshots before taking his leave.
Back at the Wyld Stallyns’ house in present day San Dimas, Bill & Ted learn that they’ll have to get the Grim Reaper back since he’s more favorable towards them. Rufus is unable to do so since he needs to return the historical figures to their rightful time periods. As such, he shows them a prototype version of the Time Booth that Death took for himself. It was made after De Nomolos caused havoc last time as this one is able to track the other booth’s calls, allowing our heroes to follow after their skeletal friend. When Bill asks why they should go after the Grim Reaper, our heroes are immediately met upon by the recently-deceased Linus and Geoffrey.
Not only that, but they’re also approached by other newly-deceased beings. With their wives also against the idea of having “animated corpses” as house guests, Bill & Ted hop into the prototype Time Booth and head after the Grim Reaper, who at this moment is taking in the Hindenburg’s tragic explosion.
Meanwhile, Bill & Ted begin their own time-hopping venture, starting off with Greece in 399 B.C. as Socrates has been imprisoned by “the state” and forced to choose where his allegiance lies. As he ponders about how he could escape, our familiar duo pop in and inform him on their present situation before asking for what they should do. However, Socrates begins to freak out as our protagonists apologize for spooking him before heading out. From there, the scene ends with Plato popping his head through the window and telling him that he and his followers have come to save him. Unfortunately, all of this sudden shock is too much for Socrates as he collapses and dies.
Meanwhile, Bill & Ted arrive in Pompeii as it gets covered in lava. Bill tells his friend to get them out of here, but Ted suddenly discovers that this Time Booth has a rotary phone. As such, he meticulously dials a number while the lava slowly approaches them. While Joanna and Elizabeth have certain deceased people (including Linus & Geoffrey) helping around the house while they wait for the Grim Reaper to return, Bill & Ted managed to escape Pompeii’s lava in time as they continue to follow their skeletal ally’s trail for a while before they finally catch up with Death in “Earth’s First Age”. However, he refuses to return and starts to run away while mentioning that he’s going to time-travel to the Big Bang. Bill & Ted chase after him before they realize that the water they’re running across is actually ooze as a primordial monster emerges. Fortunately, they manage to reach their Time Booth and escape in time.
From there, they try to catch up to the Grim Reaper, but it turns out that he mislead them on purpose as he actually arrives at Cleveland, Ohio in 1973 to get his film developed and get new rolls for his camera. Fortunately for Bill & Ted, they manage to leave their viewing of the Big Bang with no harm. Back in present day San Dimas, Joanna & Elizabeth continue their oversight upon their household clean-up. Just then, the thumb-shaped robot pops up and tries to ask about Bill & Ted’s whereabouts, but Joanna mistakes him for another dead figure and instead puts him to work. As he cleans the window, a squid named Thurston pops out of the robot to inform him that he got a message and that they have to go.
Meanwhile, Bill & Ted arrive in the Cretaceous Period as they’ve caught up with the Grim Reaper again and beg him to come back, since no one is able to enter Heaven or Hell without him. Not only that, but the deceased keep showing up at their house. However, Death is still bitter about losing those particular games to them since the various embodiments of Mother Nature, Chronos, War and Fate refuse to let him live it down. Just then, a Tyrannosaurus Rex pops up as our duo once again beg for him to return, but the Grim Reaper still refuses to budge.
Just then, Bill & Ted are running around trying not to get trampled by various dinosaurs as Death informs them that an incoming meteor is about to smash into the planet, wipe out the dinosaurs and bring about an ice age. Our heroes once again beg for him to return, but the Grim Reaper says that he’ll only come back if he gets a proper rematch on Monopoly, best four-out-of-seven. Bill & Ted agree to his terms, even letting him start off with Baltic Avenue, a hotel and letting him be the dog. As such, they take their leave and eventually arrive back in their time period. With their house completely cleaned up, Death approaches Linus & Geoffrey in order to finally take care of their trip to the afterlife. As such, Issue 2 ends with the Medieval guys ending up in Hell, forced to share and work on the same rock as De Nomolos, Evil Bill and Evil Ted.
For Issue #3, we have a singular venture in which it’s time for the band to head out and perform to the world. However, those that they bring onto their team could potentially get them into hot legal waters in a tale called “Wyld Stallyns: The Disaster Tour ’91”.
We opens in a vast chronal space as a familiar being is discussing a case file with a superior. This figure is Time Thumb, a case defense worker and Investigator as he says that they shouldn’t be trying to pursue our familiar duo over their actions. However, his two-headed, singular superior named Now & Then isn’t willing to go against procedure since Bill & Ted have several preliminary charges for their actions across the time spectrum. From there, the two-headed, six-armed figure tells Time Thumb to make sure that they serve their summons or else the “Hands of Time” will be used. Over at the Wyld Stallyns household, the band is currently playing host to J.C., his camera man Stinky Eddie and their Heavy Metal cable TV show. As J.C. gives his interview, Bill & Ted realize that they haven’t signed a record deal nor have they begun any plans for a concert tour. Despite that, J.C. & Stinky Eddie show no signs of worry for them and proceed to head out. Afterwards, it turns out that Rufus was visiting them at that moment as it’s time for him to take his leave. Before he departs, he gives them a Time Booth as their wedding gift before he heads back to his time period.
While the Grim Reaper takes residence with an elderly lady named Mrs. DeBussey while he’s under the alias of Mr. Thanatos (named after the Greek God of Death), our rock band family has Bill & Ted struggling with the process of changing their babies’ diapers. Just then, Capt. Jonathan Logan arrives and tells Ted that it’s time for him to pay back the money that he owes. Despite initially having $25,000, Bill & Ted reveal that it was mostly spent on covering the wedding costs, the utility bills and necessities of varying degree. It even went towards material that the Stations used to build the most epic backyard ever, complete with a roller coaster, grand TV screen, swimming pool, bowling alley, game show-themed playplace and other things like it. Stunned and frustrated with how his money was handled, he heads out while warning Bill & Ted that they should try to pay him back as soon as they can. Afterwards, the Grim Reaper calls and lets Bill know that he’s taken residence. However, William doesn’t pay too much attention as he mentions that he and Ted have to head out to a record agent meeting in Los Angeles, leaving Robo-Bill to handle the phone in its own manner.
Later, our bodacious duo arrive at Pump ‘Em Out Records and spend an awfully long time trying to find the location of their contract meeting. Eventually, they get help in reaching the right office as they meet a pair of eccentric agents named R. Flim and L. Flam. During the meeting, Flim & Flam do the majority of the talking as they unintentionally intimidate the young dudes with their incessant business talk. When Bill utters a meek “But”, the agents flip out and send them on their way in order to “think this all over”. Bill & Ted wonder what had just happened for a brief moment before they decide that they can just do loads of concerts in order to rake in the money. As shown in a quick montage however, they end up playing in the most awkward of venues to hardly any fanfare.
After he has a discussion with “The Three Most Important People in the World” (while his time travel gets observed by Time Thumb, Now and Later), Rufus shows up and warns our duo that poor business decisions can also ruin the eventual utopian future, advising them to hire a manager. As he mentions that he can’t help them in that department, Rufus tells them to bring in someone who’s experienced and is trustful. From there, it turns out that the group has chosen the Grim Reaper to be their manager. After much convincing, he ultimately decides to take the job. One week later, he got them a gig. However, it was for a funeral. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well.
One day later, the band ultimately decide that they need to hire a bass player. After three hours of failed applicants, they ultimately come across their winning bassist named Phillip (a.k.a. B.G. a.k.a. Phil). Afterwards, they get their only applicant for management with a sweating, shaking guy named Lemmy Tellya. Needless to say, he also gets hired. One afternoon later, Lemmy rambles about how the group will make it big while he handles the contractual side of business. Over in another montage however, Wyld Stallyns ends up playing in several bizarre gigs while Tellya secretly screws them behind their backs with a lady. He even tries having Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted perform at San Dimas High School’s auditorium while taped recordings of their human counterparts play inside them. However, it doesn’t go as planned.
Ultimately, Bill and Ted find out that they’re getting sued by the San Dimas High student body. As such, a court session is in order as our familiar duo are also filing a complaint against Lemmy Tellya (whose actually name is Hubert W. Thiddle). Things aren’t going in Bill & Ted’s favor until Joanna, Elizabeth, their baby boys and the two Stations burst in to present evidence recorded from Robo-Ted. As such, the playback has Lemmy originally talking to the two robots about his scamming scheme for the San Dimas High concert. With this key piece of evidence, the judge drops all charges against Bill & Ted as Issue 3 ends with Flim & Flam announcing a three-record contract for Wyld Stallyns.
Issue #4 sees our familiar group deal with a sickness that’s going to cause a multitude of problems for them as they gather aboard at the “Times² Stations”.
We begin with another taping of the J.C. & Stink Heavy Metal Cable TV Show, in which J.C. got himself a girlfriend named Micki. They venture into Wyld Stallyns’ house for a behind-the-scenes shoot until they come across the epic backyard, where Bill & Ted show it off for them, introduce their wives and even show them the two Stations who’re currently under the weather. After they present Little Bill & Little Ted for the show, the Grim Reaper comes in and gets asked to punch a giant stress-reliever doll. He does so, but ends up getting smacked by it as well.
Eventually, Bill & Ted show off a masterpiece of scientific amusement with the “Waycool Everywhen Jet Roller Coaster”. They explain that it has the principles of the Time Booth and it can take its occupants through time & space. Because the group is about to board the technologically-advanced coaster, the two Stations slam into each other to form their taller, unified self. From there, Bill, Ted, Station, Phil and the TV crew hop on as they take a ride through the space-time continuum. Unbeknownst to them, they’re being observed from afar as Now sees this as the final straw of Bill & Ted abusing their time-travel capabilities. As such, our duo have been decreed as “Time-Upsets”.
After getting done with their chronologically interstellar roller coaster ride, Bill & Ted suddenly notices that their wives have disappeared. They ask around, but neither their robot selves, their agents or the Grim Reaper knows where they’ve gone to. Afterwards, Bill & Ted notice their wives on their giant TV as they see a mechanical monstrosity kidnapping not only them, but their baby boys as well. After initially mistaking it as a lame movie, they suddenly have a brain shock at the realization of their situations and decide to ask the two Stations for help. However, the alien geniuses sneeze and suddenly end up duplicating themselves. From there, the constant amount of sneezes causes our group to get overrun by a multitude of Stations.
With their wives and sons in danger, Bill decides that he and Ted will take the Time Coaster in order to find them. Phil also explains that while that’s going on, he and the remainder of the group will gather up the individual Stations in order to get them back together and provide sufficient help. As Bill & Ted depart on their rescue mission, Phil tells the group to place the numerous Stations into the closet until further notice. He even gets Flim and Flam to help out since Wyld Stallyns’ record deal hinges on whether or not the duo gets their family out of limbo.
While Bill & Ted visit various places and dimensions without any stroke of good luck…
…Phil, Death, Flim & Flam and the TV crew go on a mad dash throughout the house (and evening getting some assistance from neighborhood kids) in order to round up every little Station. Though the multiple alien duplicates do cause some mayhem in numerous ways, every last one is gathered and stuffed into the closet. From there, they reform into one solidified Station.
After Phil informs them of the good news back at home, Bill & Ted finally arrive in the proper dimension in order to reunite with their wives & sons. They’re then met upon by a pair of odd-looking beings named Harv Friedmont and Nestor Worth. It turns out that these would-be kidnappers are actually concert & event promoters in this realm known as the Dimension of Utter Boredom. They received a transmission of their Battle of the Bands performance and received some admiration from their populace. Bill & Ted forgive them for their recent action before informing their group back home that they have an inter-dimensional tour scheduled before scoring major brownie points with their wives. From there, Issue 4 ends on a sign of things to come over in Hell as De Nomolos vows to escape and get back at our duo.
For Issues #5, 6 & 7, we have a three-part tale that sees our heroes put on trial by a particularly higher authority while a familiar felon is looking to get out of his imprisoning realm and enact some revenge before resuming his dreams of a world under his influence. Brace yourselves for the longest story arc of the whole series.
We open Issue #5 (“Been Caught Cheating Time!”) with our bodacious dudes taking in the sights of Mars alongside the two Stations. It turns out that the alien geniuses are returning to the Red Planet, as Bill & Ted give their friends some Earthly mementos and a warm embrace before heading out. During the trip back home, we learn that the Stations had become allergic to Earth’s air, but they’ll return once they develop their own breathing system.
Shortly upon their return, they’re met upon by the Grim Reaper who demands that they finally fulfill their promise and give him his rematch. Several hours of Monopoly playing passes by until Bill & Ted eventually win their “best four-out-of-seven matches” bet. For their reward, Death has to take them to Taco Hut and a movie theater marathon of all five classic Planet of the Apes films. However, the Grim Reaper says that he doesn’t have any money. As such, Bill & Ted tell him that he has to get a job in order to acquire some necessary cash.
Later, our bodacious duo have gathered a crowd in order to debut their inaugural music video for their song “We Be Wyld Stallyns”. As the video plays, Now talks to the omnipresent leader as he accuses Bill & Ted for their time travel and wants to submit them as First Class Time Transgressors. Time Thumb tries to counter by saying that our heroes are simply ignorant of their actions, but the leader doesn’t buy it and sides with Now & Then. As such, Now decides to send the Second Hands to arrest not only Bill and Ted, but Rufus as well. At that point in 2691 San Dimas, Rufus is in the middle of his class over at Bill & Ted University when he suddenly gets the dreaded signal on his watch as he asks Professor Griph to take over before heading out.
Back with our heroes, Ted is reading a comic book containing the character of Fight Dude following the music video debut. As Flim & Flam head out, J.C. buys the comic from Bill before a kid mentions to them about some “weird dudes” over at their booth. They soon discover the Second Hand bots impounding their Time Booth and falsely think that they’re simply cute beings. Just then, the Second Hand robots shock them as they fall unconscious. Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper is back at Mrs. DeBussey’s house as they have a talk about his struggle to come up with the rent money. Fortunately, she’s completely understanding of his struggle and assures him that she’ll get the money as soon as he’s able to give it, thus sharing some kind-heartedness with him.
With our Earthbound members of Wyld Stallyns suddenly realizing that our familiar dudes have disappeared, we cut to Bill & Ted finding themselves within the House of Time. They’re then approached by Now & Then alongside Time Thumb as the Pre-Trial Briefing begins. The singular/dual prosecutor then explains that our bodacious dudes are on trial for “tampering with time” as their actions from the first film led to further alterations caused by Chuck De Nomolos.
Bill tries to counter by saying that De Nomolos’ actions were out of their hands while Ted exclaims that their sons will be upset if their mothers are sent back to their original time period. Bill even exclaims that their own actions have saved the universe and is leading towards a promising future. However, their words aren’t convincing enough as Then explains that their Time Booth has been taken as evidence since it also contains the record of their calls. With the trial set to begin once they’ve captured Rufus, Bill & Ted are then met upon by the beings who will serve as the judges: omnipresent spheres known as the Chronological Order. And so, Issue 5 ends in Hell as De Nomolos get so annoyed by his present company of Evil Bill, Evil Ted, Linus and Geoffrey that he shoves them off of his rock. Suddenly, he realizes how he can become alive again. Since Bill & Ted were able to come back to life by beating Death at simple board games, he’ll plan on doing the exact same thing.
Issue #6 (“Having A Bogus Time…Wish You Were Here!”) opens with Chuck having defeated the Grim Reaper in 10-straight games. As such, De Nomolos chooses to resurrect himself, Evil Bill, Evil Ted, Linus and Geoffrey. In addition, he also decides to enlist a sentient glowing brain from Saturn named Walter 23, a deadly beast named Fortax, Al Capone, Benedict Arnold and an insane prisoner named Alan. The group tries to come up with a name for their group, but De Nomolos shuts them up as the Grim Reaper tries to head out and warn our heroes. Just then, Chuck is suddenly called up to by a former White House budget accountant named Mitch Platz. He wishes to offer his services towards De Nomolos and help balance his books. Intrigued, the scene ends with Chuck demanding Death to play him in one last game.
Over in the future, Rufus meets with “The Three Most Important People in the World” and explains that while he did expect some form of fallout from our duo’s time travel, he didn’t expect it to be this extreme. As such, he’s granted permission to use a Time Booth in order to help our heroes. Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper has returned to his personal office after losing 11-straight games as he tries to call the Wyld Stallyns’ house and warn our heroes. However, Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted answer as they’re once again unable to properly assist him. Afterwards, Death is summoned up to his boss for all of the time that he’s missed from his regular job. Back at San Dimas, Elizabeth & Joanna are at the Logan household as they’re about to leave their sons under the watchful eyes of Jonathan and Missy while they look for their husbands. The ladies express their worry for their men, but the Logans aren’t too worried about Bill & Ted.
Speaking of which, we shift over to the House of Time where our duo is imprisoned within an hourglass cell. Because of its size, they’re squished within it and are unable to read much of their copy of Fight Dude. They’re then approached by Now who informs them that their trial will begin fairly soon. Later, Time Thumb apologizes for what’s happened to them as he then says that he feels that the Chronological Order has lost some touch with proper judgment due to their grand ages.
Meanwhile, De Nomolos and his gang have arrived at Wyld Stallyns’ home as they proceed to blast their way inside looking for our heroes. While they do come across Robo-Bill and Robo-Ted, Chuck easily blasts them apart before he and his group continue their search. Afterwards, we have a quick scene where Flim & Flam inform the royal wives that they haven’t heard from Bill & Ted.
Meanwhile at the House of Time, the trial is underway as a member of the Chronological Order asks our duo for their plead. Just then, their court-appointed lawyer named Halfpast says that they’ll plead guilty. However, Bill & Ted dismiss him as they demand for a new lawyer. They choose Time Thumb, but he tries to exclaim that his specialty is in Casework & Investigation, not as a lawyer. However, he ultimately ends up with our duo as the trial is about to begin.
From there, Rufus arrives in the present when he’s suddenly approached by a group of Second Hand robots who tie him up with an impound/arrest notice. Just then, Chuck and his gang come out of the house to confront his former pupil. After De Nomolos gets an arrest notice, Walter 23 blasts the robots with a mental attack. From there, Chuck and his group is prepared to take Rufus’ Time Booth for their own despicable way.
Back at the literal time trial, Now lists off the various time displacements that our duo has caused during their venture. Time Thumb tries to argue that his clients are being unfairly accused and that they were fated to do their respective time-travel, thus their prevention of our duo’s time-traveling use would make the Order culpable in their own way. However, that argument doesn’t hold up as our heroes are found guilty and thus sentenced to relive their personal fears for all eternity. Just then, Chuck and his gang arrive to enact their plan.
Back in San Dimas, Elizabeth & Joanna are arriving back followed a failed search when Phil shows up and warns them that something suspicious is going down at their home. As they notice Linus & Geoffrey looking over Rufus from afar, Issue 6 ends with the Chronological Order having come to a decision: time has become invalidated and thus the future is canceled.
Issue #7 (“Time Is Up!”) opens in future San Dimas as a proper figure meets with “The Three Most Important People in the World” and reports to them about the building disruption upon the time stream as she recaps the events that have occurred with our heroes thus far. Back in the House of Time, the future is only seconds away from getting wiped. Chief Prosecutor Now & Then tries to arrest De Nomolos and his group, but Fortax easily crushes him.
As Time Thumb desperately asks the Chronological Order to reconsider their decision, Bill & Ted begin to annoy Chuck over various, trivial things. Back in the present, Phil is overseeing Linus & Geoffrey keeping a eye on the captured Rufus within the Wyld Stallyns’ house. Just then, the royal wives return with some historical help via the Time Coaster: Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Billy the Kid and Abraham Lincoln.
Back in the House of Time, De Nomolos and his group are arguing with the Chronological Order. With the high-end beings ready to take out time, Bill & Ted try to sneak towards Rufus’ Time Booth in order to escape. However, Chuck and his goons notice and stop them in time. Afterwards, De Nomolos has Evil Bill, Evil Ted, Fortax and Walter 23 stay behind to keep an eye on our heroes while he takes Louis and Benedict Arnold with him. Before they can escape, the Time Booth heads out on its own and returns to the present as it’s revealed that Rufus’ captors have been taken care of offscreen. After the TV crew find the still-functioning heads of Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted, Rufus tells the royal wives to take their historical figures onto the Time Coaster in order to save their husbands while he and Phil set up a surprise with his Time Booth.
Over in the House of Time, the Chronological Order struggles with their final countdown while Chuck looks to take our heroes’ Time Booth for his own means. Bill & Ted notice and decide to stall until proper help can arrive. As such, they chat with their evil robot selves and attempt to trick them into thinking that they’re the actual good guys. Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper is struggling with his regular job of escorting the recently deceased, due to the large amount that’s built up due to his self-negligence.
Back in the House of Time, Bill, Ted and Time Thumb enact a plan in which they trip De Nomolos and give him a “Super Melvin”. Just as Evil Bill & Evil Ted are about to retaliate, the royal wives and the historical figures ride in on the Time Coaster as a massive fight breaks out.
During the scuffle, Bill & Ted try to take out Chuck in the same fashion that they did in the comic adaptation as they trick their evil robotic selves, detach their heads, activate the self-destruct sequence and throw them towards De Nomolos. However, he’s fully aware of this ploy as he hands the heads over to Fortax, causing the massive beast to get taken out instead. Just then, Rufus and Phil arrive via the Time Booth as Rufus unleashes his secret weapon: a Robo-De Nomolos.
Chuck manages to rip its head off and prepares to take out our heroes with it, but Ted distracts him by stating that his shoe is untied. De Nomolos gloats about how his boots don’t have laces, but this hesitation ended up being his downfall as the metallic cranium takes him, Benedict Arnold and Louis out with a big bang. With Now exclaiming that the Chronlogical Order has gone to sleep over too much excitment, our heroes celebrate over the fact that they saved their future. From there, Issue 7 ends with the revelation that the remainder of Chuck’s lackeys were axed off due to the fact that he cheated in his games. As such, De Nomlos and his crew prepare for an eternal party in the Netherrealm.
Now, we’ve reached the lone issue from this series in which Evan Dorkin didn’t write and draw for. In the forward to the B. & T. E.C.B. Archive, Dorkin explains that he simply ran behind schedule. For this single issue, Tom Brevoort and Mike Kanterovich served as guest writers while Steve Buccellato handled the penciling and color details. Also, this is the lone issue of the entire series that’s not in any single collection. Slave Labor Graphics published the complete series as a whole the first time around in 2005 while BOOM! Studios re-released it packaged with the adaption of Bogus Journey in 2015, but both collections omit this singular tale. As such, let’s see our bodacious duo travel into the future again in a venture known as “Bob Spelled Backwards…”.
We open with Bill & Ted watching a cartoon called “Lug Nuts” as they both find an appreciation for it before beginning to clean up their place in time for their wives’ eventual return. Suddenly, a Time Booth comes in as a figure simply named Bob steps out and claims that Rufus is his teacher. He then asks for them to help him out with his History Final, to which they accept with their signature air guitar (the first time they ever do that in this series).
Later, the group arrives in 2692 San Dimas alongside three historical figures: George Washington, Sir Isaac Newton and Mark Twain. Afterwards, Bob tells our bodacious dudes that he has to go to his history class. As such, he gives them some money to keep themselves busy. Following a bus ride, Bill, Ted and the historical figures arrive at the San Dimas Mall. Shortly upon entering however, our main duo gets bombarded by adoring fans. As such, they’re forced to go on the run. Eventually, they manage to hide from the massive rush (which actually has a distant cameo appearance from Spider-Man, I’m not kidding).
After buying a pair of sunglasses from a Circle K booth, they realize that they got separated from the historical figures. Fortunately, they find out how they can properly search for them as a “Truly Helpful Directory” supplies them with a hovering vehicle called a “People Mover”. As such, they travel around the mall as they check out Slammin’ Jam’s Music World and Slushbe-We. As this is going on, a news broadcast pops up with the fact that our heroes have been sited within the shopping center. However, this report is also being watched by a De NoMolos worshiper named Monomonop who looks to accomplish what Chuck couldn’t do to Bill & Ted: “Kill Them Dead”.
Over at the Bill & Ted University, Bob has attended his history class. Following the session, Rufus is approached by a pair of Second Hand robots who proceed to give him a citation for Reckless Temporal Endangerment. He tells the automated officials that he and his fellow people have taken higher caution since last time and that none of his students could be that foolish enough to sneak in some extra credit via time travel without his permission. Bob sees this from afar and heads out to the mall to deal with what he’s done. Over at the mall, Bill & Ted manage to find Sir Isaac Newton who’s entertaining some young ladies with his newfound yo-yo skills. As the famed scientist attempts to Walk The Dog, he accidentally smacks himself on the head and falls unconscious. From there, Bill & Ted carry him off, unaware that Bob and Monomonop are individually running around at the same time.
Later, our bodacious dudes manage to find George Washington at the Wyld World Casino playing five-card poker. Bill tries to get him away, but George is willing to stick around for one last game. However, he sneaks a key card from his sleeve in order to fix the game into his favor. Just then, security comes in and catches him. Not only that, but he believes that he’s an impostor, as well as our heroes. Even when Bill & Ted says that they’re the real deal, all of three of them and Newton end up getting arrested. Fortunately, Ted comes up with a way for them to escape. He takes Washington’s wooden teeth and rubs them together with enough friction to set them on fire. The smoke then reaches the nearby sprinkler system and sets it off, which also manages to open the cell doors as our group heads out to find Mark Twain.
As such, ol’ Samuel Langhorne Clemens voices his displeasure about this time period as Bob tries to get him down. Just as our heroes arrive themselves, they narrowly avoid a massive blast from Monomonop. Fortunately, he gets misdirected when Ted gives a “Behind You” distraction before Bill smacks him with a yo-yo.
From there, the group proceeds to hop into the anti-gravity water slides. From there, they get pursued by not only Monomonop, but also armed officials and Second Hand robots. Through a topsy-turvy series of water sliding, our main group ultimately manage to evade their pursuers.
Eventually, they manage to reach the main chamber where “The Three Most Important People in the World” are. Just as the officials and the Second Hand robots finally catch up, Bill & Ted (who’re mistaken as “Sam & Al”) once again say that they’re the genuine articles. From there, Rufus comes in and chastises Bob for his action and tells him that he shouldn’t try to imitate our duo’s success. Afterwards, Monomonop comes in and tries to finish our heroes off. Fortunately, he gets squashed by an incoming Time Booth.
It turns out that it’s being operated by a pair of youthful humans from the 88th Century and that they’re working on a term paper about “Notorious Historical Figures”. Not only that, but it also turns out that Bob is the most notorious villain in their time. However, he doesn’t have much time to soak in that notoriety as he immediately gets arrested. While the youngsters from the 88th Century head out and Monomonop also ends up under official custody, Issue 8 ends with our heroes ready to return the historical figures to their rightful era in time. Mark Twain even states that the water slide has inspired him to write a new book back in his period.
With Evan Dorkin back in the writing and artist’s seat, Issue #9 sees our group dealing with the new face of the afterlife in a tale called “It’s a Living?”.
We open with Bill & Ted out-and-about with their family. It turns out that they’re going to eat at their favorite eating establishment called Pretzels ‘n Cheese. When they head inside, they’re stunned to see that the Grim Reaper has taken a job there. He tells our gang that this is how he intends to pay off his rent and also financially prepare to pay back his debt to our duo.
After Bill & Ted place in their order, Death tries to properly operate the cheese squeezing machine. However, the manager named Jerry catches him by surprise. As a result, his scythe accidentally punctures the machine as the melted cheese uncontrollably pours out. Later, the Grim Reaper is glum that he just got fired. Just then, he gets summoned by his beeper as he calls up his boss and finds out that he’s slacking on his otherworldly duties, thus requiring him to head out and take care of it. From there, the scene ends with Bill & Ted worrying for their skeletal friend.
We then shift to an area off the coast of France as the Grim Reaper finds a newly-deceased French scuba diver who lost his life after getting picked up from the Atlantic Ocean by a fire-fighting airplane before getting dumped onto a forest fire. Just then, they’re approached by a smaller reaper named Morty who tells Death that he’s his permanent replacement.
Later, the Grim Reaper arrives back at the Wyld Stallyns’ household and shares the bad news on how he got forced into retirement. He even expresses the embarrassment of losing a job that he’s held onto since “the dawn of mankind” to an abrasive new blood. He tried to appeal to the Lord, but was shot down due to him neglecting his duties in favor of Earthbound matters. Not only that, but Morty is terrorizing Mrs. DeBussey. Looking to help their skeletal friend, the partially rebuilt Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted supply him with classifieds in order to search for a new job.
Meanwhile, Morty is enjoying his job as he takes care of a mild scumbag name Joe DeSilvaro who got snuffed due to drunk driving. Even when he gives the guy a chance to redeem himself with a game, he ends up losing as Morty takes absolute joy in sending him to Hell. From there, he continues his duties by taking care of several nitwits who died under stupid situations before taking satisfaction over his work by resting on top of a deceased wife’s grave.
Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper tries to take on various jobs, but each one ends up in pink-slipped failure, ranging from school bus driver to comic book writer & artist. Even when Joanna offers him the chance to serve as their babysitter, he politely declines before he heads out to a training session in Purgatory. After Morty mentions about a forty-car pileup that he took care of in just five minutes, Death chastises him by claiming that he’s far too flippant towards his occupation and demands for his job back.
We then cut to the next morning at the Wyld Stallyns’ house as Joanna discovers the high-end beings of War, Nature and Fate showing up alongside Time Thumb (who’s here in place of the vacationing Chronos), as this gathering will ultimately decide whether the Grim Reaper or Morty shall rightfully obtain the title of Death. As such, the Reaper declares a reaping contest. From there, Morty chooses Mrs. DeBussey as their subject as she starts to suffer from a Heart Attack. He’s far more abrasive towards convincing her to pass on and go to Heaven, while the Grim Reaper calmly tells her that he’ll guide her to the comforting afterlife. When she mentions that he was wrong about his passing comment on how she has a long life ahead of her, he asks Fate if this is her day to pass on. When it’s revealed that she still has some life left in her, the Grim Reaper chastises Morty for trying to prematurely kill Mrs. DeBussey. The little bonehead then gets literally fired by “the man upstairs” as Issue 9 ends with the Reaper winning the inquest as he tells his friends that he vows to fulfill his duty to the best of his ability.
Issue #10 sees our favorite band back on the concert touring scene, though on a bizarre dimension-hopping twist as we find out who’ll learn the vital lesson simply called “Don’t Believe the Hype”.