BOOM! Studios

“Party On, Dudes!”: A Bill & Ted Comics Retrospective, Part 3

Hello, my friends.  After some exciting chords, mellow ballads and air guitar-shredding fun throughout this franchise, we’ve finally reached this encore performance.  On that note, welcome to the final chapter of…
Our Title Card!

Under the eyes of the “Big Two”, our favorite rocking duo have passed their history class, traveled to both Hell & Heaven, get placed on trial by the Chronological Order, meet some universal embodiments, gain new friends & allies and even travel across various points of time & space.  For our last look at the dudes’ run throughout comics, we now turn our eyes to a smaller company that we’ve previously come across around here.  RoboCop had his turn with them, but now it’s Wyld Stallyns’ time to shine on this stage.

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Following the conclusion of a short-lived, live-action TV series on August 9, 1992 (not to mention the “Excellent Comic Book” series), the franchise would lay dormant throughout the rest of the decade and even during the 2000s. Then in 2010, the series would start to gain some traction as it was announced that the script for a third film was being worked on. Throughout the decade, the process would see Chris Matheson & Ed Solomon fine-tuning their screenplay, fend off any claim that it would be a reboot and acquire a proper finance in order to actually work on the movie.

While the third film’s script was being worked on, BOOM! Studios would pick up the series’ comic license and begin a trio of mini-series. First up, we have “Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return”. Written by Brian Lynch, drawn by Jerry Gaylord (who would ink the comic alongside his wife Penelope) and colored by Whitney Cogar, this six-part tale was released from March to August 2015. With this being the bodacious duo’s first piece of action in 23 years, what adventure will our electric group face for their comeback tour? Let’s rock on and find out.

We open in 1991 immediately after the Battle of the Bands contest from Bogus Journey as Wyld Stallyns ended up winning the competition. After a college newspaper reporter asks them on what they plan on doing for a follow-up, Bill & Ted are given support from their bandmate wives Joanna and Elizabeth on their musical future. From there, Chuck De Nomolos is being escorted out by Capt. Jonathan Logan as Rufus informs the young guys that he’ll take the fiend back to his time period in order to proceed with proper incarceration.

We then cut to the next day as a rabid fanbase has developed outside of the group’s apartment complex. The group agrees in the fact that they need to find a different place to live and raise their baby boys. After the Grim Reaper gives Bill & Ted a grooming session, the band sees a newscast covering about them having already spawned a cover group despite their infancy and continuing their speculation on what our protagonists will do for their second song. From there, Bill and Joanna go to check up on the baby boys having trusted Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted with rocking them to sleep. However, they were air guitaring instead as the young babes are more energized from the motions.

As Ted and Elizabeth are about to check up on Station, they suddenly hear a scream from their bedroom. While the wives protect their babies, Bill and Ted ultimately catch up to what Death is witnessing: a group of future civilians checking out their living quarters. It turns out that this is a group of students from San Dimas High School in 2645 as they’re on a field trip being run by a teacher named Danitra Armijo. She tells them that she teaches Bill and Ted 101 back in her time period. Our main dudes then tell them that while they appreciate their interest in learning about them, they can’t really stay because of the small space. From there, the Grim Reaper shoves them all back into their Time Booth and sends them on their way while the duo agrees in the fact that they have to work on their second song.

As Ted comes up with some lyrics for a song called “Girl (Why’d You Build Those Robots)”, they’re suddenly approached by the arrival of Rufus who informs them that Chuck De Nomolos has been brought back to his proper time period. Afterwards, he says that he’s aware of our duo’s current case of writer’s block and decides to give them an article. He explains that this article was from an underground music magazine as it covered the Beatles’ inaugural gig and it rips into the group. He tells the guys that no matter how grand they’ll become, there will always be somebody who doesn’t appreciate their musical contribution, so just focus on those who genuinely like them. From there, Rufus sets them out on their own path before taking his leave with his Time Booth.

The young lads ultimately decide to go to the future and ask the Bill & Ted 101 students about their second song. However, they don’t have their own Time Booth. Fortunately, they still have access to Station. As such, they place their babies next to their wives while their alien technical genius builds them their own booth. Afterwards, the dudes arrive in 2645 San Dimas as their apartment complex has been turned into a museum. From there, Bill & Ted take some clothes in order to draw less attention upon themselves. Afterwards, they ask a young guy when the bus is arriving. However, he explains that this particular mode of transportation has been mostly replaced by Crosstown Water Slides. Thinking that our main duo are regular guys wearing Holo-Faces, he demonstrates his own before pointing them out towards the nearest bus stop. From there, Issue 1 ends with Bill & Ted discovering that not only is Chuck De Nomolos currently attending San Dimas High, but he’s also described as “the biggest loser”.

Issue 2 begins with our bodacious dudes overseeing the youthful De Nomolos’ miserable day of school. No one wants to be his partner for a science experiment, he struggles with his air guitar yoga and he even gets called out by his Bill & Ted 101 teacher just because of his adult self’s villainous actions back in 1991. Disheartened by Chuck’s misery, Ted says that they should improve his situation by becoming his friend. Bill questions this decision since it’s not why they came here to begin with, but Ted explains that this could help prevent De Nomolos from eventually becoming their adversary. After all, they could serve as their own version of Rufus and guide him on the right direction. In the end, they decide to follow through on this idea.

Following his school day, the youthful Chuck is approached by our bodacious dudes who reveal themselves as the genuine articles. De Nomolos gets excited to see them as he enthusiastically unleashes a light show that explodes and states “Wyld Stallyns Rules!”. Just then, they notice a glowing red bead light on them as it turns out that Chuck was using his bright display as a means of distraction in order to try and blast them out of existence with his specialized gun called the De Nomolator.

As he holds our heroes at gunpoint, De Nomolos expresses his anger at the alienation that he’s been forced to deal with due to his eventual evil acts. Not to mention, he has his own ideas on how the planet should work, but they’re being shoved to the side since he’s unable to plan out his “ideas to music”. Just as he’s about to shoot the two dudes, Chuck sees someone special to him as he floats away in love. It turns out to be a young lady named Claudia as he tries to talk to her, but gets next to no response. As Ted tries to tell him to praise her song, De Nomolos argues with him before noticing that Bill has taken his gun. Not only that, but Claudia has walked away. Ultimately, Chuck allows the duo to help him out as he asks them to follow him.

That night, Bill & Ted find themselves having dinner at the De Nomolos household. Unlike Chuck, the rest of his family members have radically different personalities. As his mother looks forward to Bill & Ted helping out her older son with making some friends, Chuck casually mentions about him having done so. Not only that, but they’re nearly complete and are stored within his closet. However, she just casually shakes that statement off as she simply exclaims “Boys and the artificial life”.

Ted notices that Richie wasn’t at San Dimas High, to which Mr. De Nomolos explains that the family’s youngest kin attends a “school for geniuses”. Chuck explains that it’s only because of our duo’s “musical teachings” that makes his younger brother seem like a genius due to his sweet nature and his water-sliding skills. Despite that, Ted promises to not only help the elder son make friends, but confidently talk to young women and help him improve his schoolwork. Later that night, Bill & Ted lie awake as they feel homesick for their respective families despite looking forward to help their eventual enemy. However, Issue 2 ends with Chuck reading about his villainous robot versions of Bill & Ted killing our familiar duo over on Vasquez Rocks (which is called Bill and Ted Memorial Gorge in this time period). He initial questions why he would commit such an act, but he ultimately decides to have them help him out before using his own Half-Bill/Half-Ted robot to take our heroes out. 

Issue 3 opens with our bodacious duo and the youthful De Nomolos sneaking into the duo’s previous apartment complex (now preserved as a museum) in order to reach the Time Booth. As they travel through the Circuits of Time, Chuck gets assigned with the task of nicely talking to five random strangers. First up, they arrival at the inaugural Woodstock concert in 1969. Ted then presents two lovely ladies for De Nomolos to talk to, but he immediately screws up by telling them to “stop being a leech on society” and even mentions a foul odor as well.

After Chuck admits to feeling that no one likes him due to the negativity he’s had to suffer through back in his own time period, Bill & Ted then decide to take on a “side trip” as they arrive in New Mexico 1880. The young dudes proceed to watch a saloon brawl as Billy the Kid gets a timely assist from De Nomolos. The youthful outlaw then explains that thanks to Bill & Ted’s influence, he doesn’t “shoot to kill” anymore. Instead, he only robs trains and spends some vacation time with Socrates. From there, Ted tells Chuck that because of the positive influence, Billy is planning to fake his own death, assume the identity of Herman and flee to the year 2000 in order to run his own Western-themed chapel in Las Vegas. Not only that, but De Nomolos is told that he can move away from the dark path that lies in front of him.

From there, the group makes one last stop in San Dimas 200 millions years ago. Through music, Bill & Ted will make Chuck feel much more confident by teaching him to play a guitar. Not only that, but to play without being affected by outside distractions.

Afterwards, they arrive back in San Dimas 2645 just as Claudia finished presenting her report to her classmates. De Nomolos emerges ready to present his speech while unbeknownst to our main duo, his Half-Bill/Half-Ted robot detects their presence and flies off on its lethal mission. Despite the historical prophecy of what’s to come, Chuck admits to his teacher and his classmates that after being taught by Bill & Ted on their peaceful ways, he looks to change his future and stray from his murderous path. Just then, the menacing robot (know as BillTed 1.0) flies in with the intent to slay.

After admitting to having built the murderous automaton, De Nomolos grabs a guitar from a nearby student and begins to play a rocking tune that impresses Claudia. This disorients BillTed 1.0 long enough for our main duo to hop in their Time Booth and plan their course so that it crushes the two-headed mechanized fiend. Afterwards, Chuck hugs the two dudes in absolute thanks. While he does so, he stealthily dials a particular number before sending Bill & Ted on their way as they take their leave, unaware of what he did.

Later, they arrive back at their apartment as they look forward to spending some time with their family. When they head inside however, they start to notice that something isn’t right. First, their family is nowhere to be found. Second, they find out that they’re in 1993. However, the biggest surprise comes from a newscast that’s celebrating the two-year anniversary of a particular band’s triumphant performance. As such, Issue 3 ends with the reveal of Chuck De Nomolos fronting a band that also consists of Claudia, his younger brother Richie and his robot BillTed 1.0. The main duo grimly discover that De Nomolos has taken their song and their entire rock band identity as well.

Issue 4 begins with Bill & Ted viewing the newscast in order to learn how Chuck’s devious plan was carried out as he took everything that he learned and memorized their success in order to bask in his own glow at the expense of our duo. With our dudes having realized that he messed with the Time Booth in order to get a proper “head start”, they decide that they can use it to undo this scheme. When they head outside however, they discover that the Time Booth has disappeared. Bill realizes that De Nomolos would know where they ended up, so he had someone take the booth while they weren’t looking. Just then, Ted gets hit over the head by a guitar as our main duo discover that their attacker was an alternate Bill who quickly calms down and lets the two guys in.

Alternative Bill explains that because Wyld Stallyns played right after Chuck’s band, no one paid too much attention to their performance due to the song that De Nomolos played being outstandingly good (ie, the song that our duo originally performed at the end of “Bogus Journey”). Bill then realizes that because Chuck didn’t kill them, he and Ted never met the Grim Reaper, God and Station as a result. Alternate Bill then explains that because Rufus’ original prediction never came to pass, Joanna and Elizabeth were also returned to Medieval times, thus also preventing Little Bill & Little Ted’s existence. As such, Bill & Ted look to reclaim their fame and family. As such, they convince Alt-Bill that his proper life was taken before asking about the fate of this universe’s Ted.

Because Wyld Stallyns didn’t win Battle of the Bands, Ted was shipped off to Oats Military Academy in Alaska. Alt-Bill tries to call his friend, but he’s in the middle of some push-ups and is unable to answer. Afterwards, Bill says that they have to get into De Nomolos’ upcoming concert. Alt-Bill says that he can get them in since he works at the Pretzels ‘n Cheese stand over at the San Dimas Civic Center. However, his wife has possession of the van for the day as he asks her if she can give them a ride. To Bill & Ted’s surprise, they find out that his wife is Missy herself. One ride later, they arrive at the concert and make their way inside while Chuck subtly reads from a transcript containing our duo’s original speech in order to keep the crowd in his band’s favor.

Bill & Ted soon discover the Time Booth, but it’s locked up in order to prevent it from being stolen. On stage, De Nomolos takes this opportunity to ask Claudia to marry him. Just then, BillTed 1.0 detects our duo’s presence and flies off. Chuck follows after him while Richie keeps the crowd busy. As the bodacious dudes struggle with the lock, they’re approached by the fiends and are forced to take cover from the automated fire. De Nomolos then proceeds to explain that he followed their songbook and melodies in detailed fashion before he manipulated time in order to work things out in his favor. Unfortunately for him, Claudia was standing nearby to hear his confession as she now knows why they started up their band in 1991 instead of in their own time period. As such, she rejects him entirely and quits the band. However, BillTed 1.0 has grabbed our bodacious dudes and prepares to kill them.

Fortunately, they get some timely help as this universe’s Ted arrive and jams his military rifle into the fiendish robot before explaining to his fellow Bill that he hitched a ride on a jet to get here. However, Chuck then transforms his guitar into a gun and prepares to deal with our heroes himself. Fortunately, Alt-Bill and Alt-Ted manage to fend him off while Bill & Ted hop into the Time Booth in order to undo De Nomolo’s damage. When they arrive however, it turns out to be “Sideways Eight, Sideways Eight, Sideways Eight, Sideways Eight AD”. After they step out into this world, the Time Booth collapses from the extensive gunfire strain as Issue 4 ends with our heroes discovering that they’re in a future under the complete rule of Chuck himself.

Issue 5 opens in the alternate future of San De Nomolos, California as Bill & Ted look to exchange “some excellent artifacts” at a pawn store. However, the owner takes the items and throws them into the incinerator as he explains that “pieces of entertainment and/or entertainment-related memorabilia” is banned, in addition to time travel (so no Time Booths are present) as are certain phrases like “Dude”. With that plan failed, the two dudes are chased out as Bill becomes gloomy at the fact that they’re stuck in this time period. Fortunately, Ted says that they’ll figure something out, especially since they’ve accomplished some nice feats so far in their lives. As such, they raise their spirits with a quick air guitar session. However, that is also banned in this future as some drones notice this before they proceed to swoop in and attempt to gun them down.

Just then, they’re approached by a small group of armed officials who confront them for their “crimes”. As such, they prepare to execute them and a young boy (simply because he has a “homemade musical guitar”). Suddenly, they get a timely assist by the Grim Reaper as he takes out the officials before helping the group escape into the sewer.

Afterwards, they’re met upon by Rufus who’s also sheltering the remaining populace that’s resisted Chuck’s rule. After learning about what Bill & Ted did, Rufus then explains that De Nomolos parlayed his musical fame into become California’s governor. From there, he waited out the next several centuries due to his immortality and ultimately became Emperor. Ted then wonders how Chuck acquired eternal life before Death steps in to explain.

After Claudia left him, De Nomolos had his brother drive him to “the highest mountain he could find” and jumped off. Shortly after his death, he was met upon by the Grim Reaper whom he immediately challenged to a contest. As such, it was a sit-up contest (Side Note: Near the end of Bogus Journey, Rufus did explain that the fiend was a sit-up champion in a throwaway line), as he prevails before challenging Death for his job. From there, he won and thus also acquired immortality. As a result, the Grim Reaper isn’t able to “escort the dead” nor can he bring anyone back to life.

Rufus then explains that Richie was given Death’s job, but he isn’t that bright due to him forgetting to claim the recently deceased. Also, Chuck’s rule has become so strict that no one is able to even smile. Rufus then leads our group towards their “resident genius” as it turns out to be Station. However, it’s only one of the Stations as Rufus explains that De Nomolos rounded up every genius from across the vast spectrum and made them work for him, including Station. He managed to help one part escape, but the other was captured by Chuck. The lone Station has spent several years working on a Time Booth, but he’s depressed about not being with his other half and that he’s not as intelligent without it. Bill & Ted manage to cheer him up before Rufus exclaims that it’s only a matter of time before De Nomolos finds their hideout. Fortunately, his faith in our bodacious dudes has never wavered. As such, the half-Station gets to work on building something for our heroes.

Some moments later, Bill & Ted address the displaced civilians with an inspirational speech. When that doesn’t seem to help, Ted simply speaks the lyrics to the Sesame Street theme song as the people get fired up to help. From there, Issue 5 ends with Chuck learning about our heroes existing in his domain as he prepares for the climactic confrontation.

Issue 6 opens with De Nomolos giving his State of the Universe address as he mentions some murmurs about “certain simpletons of legend” having returned, but tells the populace to ignore such notion since those tales only mention him. Suddenly, his lieutenant learns about something approaching. After learning about something emerging from the sewers, Chuck automatically assumes an attack by our heroes. While he finds out that he is right, it’s not entirely how he expected as a pair of gigantic robots in Bill & Ted’s image emerge.

De Nomolos orders his men to fire away, but the giant mechs activate their powerful magnets and picks up all of their weapons. Afterwards, Rufus, Death and Half-Station emerge and holds the fiends at bay. From there, Bill & Ted emerge more energized than ever.

From there, they give an inspirational speech to the crowd about them overcoming their own misguided fear before they conclude with a rousing guitar ballad. As a result, the audience start to become much more positive. The Grim Reaper even gets emotional towards Richie, with even Chuck getting teary-eyed over losing Claudia.

However, he quickly recovers, takes a fellow soldier’s weapon and prepares to blow our duo away. Rufus dives in and tries to stop him, but he’s too late as Bill & Ted are atomized. Afterwards, the Grim Reaper steps in and attempts to bring our boys back to life. After a little struggle, Bill & Ted are resurrected. De Nomolos wonders how that’s even possible since he won the Grim Reaper’s job in a contest, to which Rufus explains that he never completely lost his power.

Following an emotional embrace to which even Richie joins in, he then points out where Station’s other half is, which is among Chuck’s own soldiers. With the two Stations reunited, they merge together to become one bigger Station and finish work on the new Time Booth. From there, Bill & Ted head out to fix the time stream. First up, they visit their past selves from “Excellent Adventure” (which is supposed to be 1988, not 1989). Wearing ghost sheets in order to disguise themselves, they tell their past selves to never teach De Nomolos how to play guitar and to listen to “the greatest person the world” who’s about to fall from the sky. Afterwards, they arrive back at their present time as they reunite with their families before drifting off to bed (with the two Stations and the Grim Reaper also bunking with them).

From there, the story ends in the future as our main group visits the Herman The Kid Criminal Rehabilitation Center and Spa and check up on De Nomolos. As Bill & Ted express their appreciation towards him (albeit his villainous behavior), they offer him a spot in their band. Chuck is unbelieving at first, but Rufus confirms that he’s on a couple of their songs. Not only that, but he does a duet with Claudia. As a compromise, he’s given a cowbell. However, he’s not exactly skilled at it, though Bill & Ted do admit that he’ll “get better”.

At the end of each issue, there were quick done-in-one tales. Because we still have two more series to go, I’ll give brief descriptions about each story in release order. “Bill & Ted And The Bogus Virus” sees the bodacious duo heading into the future in order to undo a faulty upgrade that’s affecting Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted. With “Missy Preston-Logan: Private Investigator”, we have Missy prepping for an upcoming exam in Professional Psychics as she summons the spirit of Albert Einstein for help, not knowing that his expertise is in physics. As she rushes to class following a cramming session, she ends up meeting Capt. Jonathan Logan in a unique way. Next, “Bill & Ted In Impetuous Rex” sees our guys accidentally taking a Tyrannosaurus Rex to America in 1903. From there, they have to return the dinosaur to its proper time period without causing any major strain to history. “Bill & Ted Save Bill & Ted” sees the radical twosome heading back in time in order to witness the “Gods of Rock” that inspired them to win their junior high Battle of the Bands. Little do they know is that these “gods” come from the most unlikely of places. In “Research Project”, a newly-deceased Italian from the early 1300s gets some inspiration within the afterlife as the Grim Reaper tags along in his venture. Finally, “Going Medieval” sees Joanna and Elizabeth preventing their bodacious husbands from a pair of seemingly-innocent female rockers.

Thanks to “Most Triumphant Return” turning in some nice sales, a follow-up mini-series was created called “Bill & Ted Go To Hell”. Believe it or not, that was the original title of Bogus Journey before it was changed due to a sensitive bugaboo that came with having that particular H-Word in the name. Producer Scott Kroopf has been quoted in saying that if they did go with their original title, then “we couldn’t advertise on TV until after 9 o’clock”. Getting back on track, we have Brian Joines handling the writing duties. Believe it or not, he was the one who wrote the “Going Medieval” backup story prior to getting the job. Joining him on this project is Sebastian Carrillo a.k.a. “Bachan” who took care of both pencils and inking duties while Jeremy Lawson served as colorist. From there, the four-part mini-series was released from February to May 2016. So what will our famed rock group face for their encore performance with this comics group? Let’s dive in and find out.

We begin in the Grim Reaper’s domain as he trains himself over various modern board games. He gets distracted by a mysterious blur before getting knocked out. The group then drags him away before noticing that he’s supposed to attend Wyld Stallyns’ practice. As such, they look to fill that void in their own devious way.

We then cut to the Preston household as Bill & Ted are practicing in the garage. As they practice, we learn from Ted that Missy has broken up with Capt. Jonathan Logan before Joanna and Elizabeth come in and inform their husbands that their robot selves have put their children to bed while Mr. Preston is in a drunken fidel position as he’s still depressed over losing Missy. Just as Bill begins to wonder where the Grim Reaper is, the group is suddenly approached by the arrival of Colonel Oats. He approaches Ted with burning-eyed anger before twisting his own head around and throwing the youthful Logan into the living room. After he assaults Bill, the women jump on him in retaliation but to no avail. Fortunately, Robo-Bill & Robo-Ted come in and defeat him with a combined punch. Afterwards, Oats regains consciousness in a confused state. He tells the group that he was in town on a recruitment drive before he was confronted by someone who looked like him. Armed with that piece of information, Bill & Ted realize who got to the colonel.

We then cut to Missy’s place as she learns from the bodacious dudes that the Hell version of Colonel Oats possessed his real world counterpart. Because the Grim Reaper didn’t show up for practice, they feel that something happened to their otherworldly comrade. As such, Missy will give then an out-of-body experience in order to visit Death’s domain. She then preps the room by having her husband Chuck De Nomolos sprinkle the room with some sage in order to cleanse it of bad spirits before she then sends our bodacious duo on their spiritual way.

They arrive at Death’s Domain as they find their comrade strapped to a slab and attempt to free him. Suddenly, they’re approached by the demonic versions of not only Col. Oats, but also the Easter Bunny and Granny S. Preston, Esq. once again. It turns out that they and their “commanding officer” are looking to get into Heaven, yet Bill says that he and his friends aren’t going to help them. Unfortunately, Col. Oats proceeds to summon a significant backup for the devious cause.

The various forms of fears and people from their past are able to keep Bill & Ted distracted long enough for Oats, the Easter Bunny & Granny Preston to kidnap the Grim Reaper and take him to Hell. Our bodacious dudes try to dive in after them, but they end up back in reality as they’re apparently “banned” from said Netherrealm. They discuss how they can save their captured comrade before Ted decides to call up a certain friend for help.

Just as he’s about to do so, Rufus shows up knowing that he was going to be needed at this moment. From there, Bill & Ted explain their present situation and even mention about a “commanding officer” that Oats and company were working for. When they realize that Satan himself could be the one in charge of this devious plan, Rufus takes Bill & Ted into the Time Booth in order to gather their “crack squad”. Over the course of a two-page spread, they manage to get Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln and Billy the Kid (with Socrates bummed that he’s not going). After they arrive back at Missy’s house, Rufus exclaims that they’ll use the Time Booth to venture into Hell. Ted then adds that he, Bill, Rufus and the historical figures will be the ones who’ll embark on the rescue mission, with Joanna & Elizabeth exclaiming that they’ll join their husbands on their quest. Just as Bill questions this decision since he’s not sure if Missy and the good robots will be able to look after the babies, Capt. Jonathan Logan arrives to provide some support to the overall group. Afterwards, Missy exclaims that Chuck will also be joining the team since this can help him bond with our main boys and continue to keep him away from his villainous path. As such, Robo-Bill, Robo-Ted, Capt. Jonathan Logan and Missy stay put with Little Bill and Little Ted while Bill, Ted, Joanna, Elizabeth, Rufus, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Billy the Kid and Chuck cramming into the Time Booth to begin their mission.

Soon enough, the group arrives in Hell as they get the sneaking suspicion that something’s not right. That hunch turns out to be true as they discover Satan himself chained up to the cliffs. Not only that, but a water park has been erected here as well. From there, Issue 1 ends with the “commanding officer” revealed to be Napoleon Bonaparte himself.

Issue 2 opens with our heroes stunned to see a famed historical figure in charge of the Netherrealm as Ted asks how he overthrew the Devil himself. Napoleon explains that our bodacious dudes have constantly visited him in the past and shared their ventures. Because they’ve gone on such extraordinary journeys, his own lifetime exploits felt minuscule by comparison. As he neared the end of his life, he studied the stories about the afterlife and began to prep for his eventual decent. Once he arrived in Hell, he recruited Bill & Ted’s three greatest figures of fear into his cause and ultimately staged a coup where Satan was forcibly removed from his demonic throne. However, conquering this realm isn’t enough for him. Now, he has his sights set on taking control of Heaven itself. Bill is dismayed that he betrayed their friendship, but Napoleon says that there never was a solidified pact between them and that our dudes were merely “tools” towards bringing his plan into fruition. Then from one historical French figure to another, Joan of Arc begs him to reconsider this “affront against God”. However, Napoleon is unwilling to back away from his grand grasp at otherworldly power. In response, his hat gets shot off by Billy the Kid as he says that it’s time to stop this maniacal scheme. Unfortunately, Napoleon activates a trap door and drops our heroes into their personal Hells.

Bill & Ted arrive at a modern home in 2016, only to discover that their musical group has become outdated and elderly. For Joanna and Elizabeth, they’ve been dropped off at their original time period where the original “royal ugly dudes” named Roderick and Stefan are looking forward to marrying them immediately against their wishes. With Rufus, he’s in a dystopian future where “The Three Most Important People in the World” and his parents blame him for putting faith into Bill & Ted, only for this global catastrophe to happen. As for Chuck De Nolomos, his own eternal disaster has Missy dumping him for a more overblown, villainous version of himself.

Back with Bill & Ted, they’re bummed by the depressing outcome. Despite knowing that they have to escape, there doesn’t seem to be a way out as Bill punches the poster in anger. Fortunately, it was covering the exit as they climb out and begin to rescue their team. While Abraham Lincoln finds himself at Ford’s Theatre dodging the assassinating gunfire of John Wilkes Booth, Billy the Kid is back in the Old West as everyone inside the saloon begs with him to give up his outlaw ways. Fortunately, he doesn’t back down and ultimately finds his way out before rescuing Rufus from his eternal torture.

With Joan of Arc, she’s under mass scrutiny from an avenging angel for not slaying Satan when he was right in front of her. She tries to explain that the Devil isn’t at fault and that he was overtaken by a mortal man, buy the angel isn’t buying it & believes that she’s “turned her back on God and accepted the embrace of evil”. As such, he proceeds to attack her. Meanwhile, Bill & Ted arrive at the pretend Medieval England in order to rescue their wives, only to discover that they were more than capable of smiting their incompatible suitors all on their own. After they reunite, they ultimately bump into De Nomolos (and I think Bill the Kid & Rufus as well?) as they get chased by his overly-villainous self as well as the rest of the army of darkness.

While all of this is going on, Napoleon is observing all of this alongside the Grim Reaper. He’s willing to set the group free from their eternal torment if Death is willing to help him get to Heaven. However, the Grim Reaper explains that there’s regulations that he has to follow since it’s not that simple. As such, Bonaparte challenges him for the right to get into heaven. Death is willing to play, but only if his friends are freed from their personal Hells. When our heroes find out what’s at stake, Ted expresses his worry for the Grim Reaper’s streak of poor play. Death assures the group that Napoleon isn’t aware of modern board games and when it’s announced that he’ll be playing a game of Chess, he feels confident entering this ages-old game. Unfortunately, Napoleon was actually a skilled chess player in his life (so kudos to Brian Joines for doing his research) and thus ultimately wins.

Despite his friends begging him not to do it due to what terrible things will happen, the Grim Reaper is bound to his deal as he gives Napoleon the means to reach Heaven. As such, Issue 2 ends with the famed conqueror creating a water slide before he and his army of darkness ride it all the way up towards the transcendent realm.

Issue 3 opens with Bill & Ted trying to follow Bonaparte’s army up the water slide. However, they’re not able to slide up unlike Napoleon’s demonic soldiers. Because the group isn’t able to follow up the same way, Lincoln decides that the Grim Reaper will get them to Heaven. As such, he snaps his fingers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work since Bonaparte has blocked that ability. Rufus then has even worse news when he says that the phone number to Heaven has been disconnected. Not only that, but they’ve been disconnected from Earth. With the group seemingly trapped in the Neatherrealm, they struggle for ideas on how to escape. After a short while, Joan of Arc relentlessly decides that they should free Satan and have him help them out.

She explains that even though she doesn’t want to, they share one thing with Satan: a common enemy in Napoleon ruling over Heaven. Rufus offers a counterplan by using time travel with Ted saying that they can travel to Rufus’ time period and use them to fly up to Heaven. However, Satan breaks his silence by saying that time works differently here and thus their plan wouldn’t work. He then says that he can help them escape if he’s freed from his chains. Joan of Arc uses her sword to slash his chains before he then explains about a dimension that exists between the two famous realms: Purgatory. He’s able to give them directions, but also says that they’ll need a guide. From there, he reveals his key lieutenant in Genghis Khan himself. Satan then tells our group that they must follow the famous Mongol through Purgatory or they’ll wander through the mists forever. The scene then ends with the Grim Reaper exclaiming that he’s never heard of Purgatory, to which Satan explains that Death is bad at keeping secrets.

Following a quick scene where Napoleon’s water slide goes right through Missy’s house which results in her, Capt. Jonathan Logan, Robo-Bill, Robo-Ted and the babies vanishing from their plane of existence, we cut to Purgatory as the group heads through the realm with Genghis Khan as their guide while he carries their Time Booth. After he briefly explains that he ended up with Satan after his lifetime pursuit of power was laced with horrid things that he’s done, Chuck nearly gets lured away from the group from two possible (yet tempting) destinies. Fortunately, Billy and Joanna manage to save him as De Nomolos asks why they still care about him despite his past actions. Joanna says that he’s going through a transition since she and Elizabeth had to adjust to living in the 20th Century. Billy then explains that he understands what it’s like to fight against your own inner evil and that he needs to give it some time. Afterwards, our group manage to arrive at their destination.

When they get to Heaven however, they find the realm in absolute ruin. Despite the horrid sight, Lincoln says that they can’t let this distract them since they have to stop Napoleon. As such, he says that they should split into two teams and scrounge for any possible weapon. When he picks up a robot’s right hand, the group discovers that it’s Robo-Bill and Robo-Ted in shambles before Bill, Joanna, Ted and Elizabeth realize that their baby boys have been kidnapped (which Robo-Bill managed to scribble on the ground). Bill & Ted are about to run off in a panicked worry, but Rufus calms them down and says that they could go back to Hell and get some reinforcements. However, that plan gets scrapped when a giant slab crushes the Time Booth.

As the Preston & Logan families prepare to run off and save their babies, Chuck stops them before he decides to expand on Lincoln’s original plan and separate into three groups. One will go after Napoleon, one will fix the Time Booth and one will serve as a “critical search party”. Bill, Ted and the Grim Reaper head out to find God himself, while De Nomolos will take Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid and Genghis Khan in order to hunt down Napoleon. However, the second group is met upon by the avenging angel, a cowboy, a muscle-bound Easter Bunny and the overly-evil version of Chuck as both sides engage each other.

Back with Bill, Ted & the Grim Reaper, they make their way up the fabled stairs and ask God for help against Bonaparte. As Death admits to giving the French conqueror access to Heaven, God then berates him for placing “mere sport over the well-being of the almighty”. A puzzled Bill then wonders why God wouldn’t already know that the Grim Reaper surrendered that piece of information. It’s then revealed that even Napoleon had usurped God for his position. At that moment, Evil Oats captures Bill, Ted and the Grim Reaper as Bonaparte orders for them to beg for mercy.

Meanwhile, Joanna, Elizabeth, Missy, Rufus and Abraham Lincoln head into a rundown building where several historical figures are imprisoned. They manage to rescue the two Stations so that they can build a new Time Booth. As they try to head out, they’re suddenly approached by John Wilkes Booth, Roderick, Stefan and an even more demonic version of Grandma Preston.

As Napoleon watches this over his magic mirror, Bill & Ted tell him that they refuse to bow down to him and that they won’t give up until they rescue their boys. However, Issue 3 ends with Bonaparte having another surprise up his sleeve. It turns out that he had Little Bill & Little Ted grown up and that he’s going to have them kill their own fathers.

Issue 4 opens with Bill, Ted and the Grim Reaper caught in the crosshairs of Little Bill & Little Ted’s guns. However, they’re not allowed to fire since Napoleon says it’s better to psychologically attack them first. While Bill & Ted are emotionally stunned, the Grim Reaper says that he’s not afraid of Bonaparte’s threats. However, Napoleon says that he also “revoked” Death of his eternal lifeforce. As such, the group is forced to flee for their lives as Little Bill & Little Ted open fire upon them.

Meanwhile, Station’s group is being pursued. During the pursuit, Rufus gets captured by Granny S. Preston, Esq. while Joanna & Elizabeth get attacked by Roderick and Stefan. Upon arriving at the wrecked Time Booth, the two Stations split up into smaller versions of themselves in order to repair it. Just then, Lincoln gets attacked by John Wilkes Booth who’s now wielding a fire sword as two small versions of Station notice and decide to intervene. Over with Chuck’s group, they’re starting to get overwhelmed by the Easter Bunny’s gang. With the overwhelming onslaught closing in, the gang is forced to retreat.

Back with Bill, Ted and the Grim Reaper, they manage to hide from their pursuers in a trophy room. They’re not in the room for long before they discover Capt. Jonathan Logan’s head mounted on the wall (though he’s still alive). Just as Ted tells his dad that they’re clueless as to how they can fix this, the group then discovers that God himself has been trapped inside of a jar. Meanwhile, the Time Booth is getting fixed while the rest of the group continues to struggle against Granny’s group. Lincoln continues to dodge John Wilkes Booth’s firey sword strikes before two small Stations give him their own custom-made light sword (though it might as well be a lightsaber) so that he can properly fight back.

Back with out bodacious dudes, they learn from God that Napoleon has stolen his powers and that it’s up to them to save the day. Fortunately, the French conqueror didn’t take his Divine Enlightenment as he proceeds to use it on our duo in order to help them out. With their perceptions exponentially expanded, they’re then met upon by their grown-up sons as Bonaparte is about to give the order to shoot. Fortunately, Bill & Ted manage to talk to their boys (who’re under the false assumption that their dads abandoned them) and attempt to convince them that Napoleon is using them and asks them if their mothers still care about them.

Meanwhile, the numerous Stations have completed their repairs on the Time Booth before they assist Rufus by stuffing Granny Preston inside. He then transports the devilish hag to the Boomerang Nebula before kicking her out into the vastness of outer space. He then returns and helps out the royal wives by crushing the “royal ugly dudes” before Lincoln also mentions that he took out Booth.

Meanwhile, Chuck’s group is forced into hiding as the Easter Bunny and his cronies are searching for them. While Joan of Arc tearfully blames herself for not standing up to her beliefs, Billy the Kid comforts her by saying that at least she tried to fight back unlike De Nomolos. Chuck confirms him as he says that he hasn’t been himself since his villainous days. Just then, Joan notices someone from a nearby tower window as De Nomolos sees his wife Missy imprisoned within. When Billy says that Napoleon has taken her as his wife, Chuck gets a newfound confidence as he borrows Joan’s sword, Genghis Khan’s spear and Billy’s guns as he jumps down and confronts the Easter Bunny’s group.

Back with Bill & Ted, they tell their sons that Bonaparte has neglected to inform them of their mothers in order to emphasize the false neglectfulness of their dads. Ted then praises the royal princesses and even Johnathan gives his admiration towards the ladies turning our two dudes in “better people”. They then start to win over their sons’ favor by informing them that their moms are also here looking for them. At that moment, Napoleon orders the demonic Col. Oats to attack. Fortunately, Little Bill & Little Ted blast him from existence before the French conqueror is unwilling to let our group leave.

Just then, the Grim Reaper steps in and tells Napoleon that there’s one thing that even he is unable to conquer. Not only that, he’s confident enough to win at it. With the arrogance of his godly power, Bonaparte accepts his challenge. For this contest, the famed conqueror will forfeit his godly power and return everything to normal if he loses. If he wins however, then he gets to oversee our group’s eternal torture. It’s then discovered that it’s in a game of bowling as Napoleon has finished his session with a near-perfect score of 298. With everything on the line in this 10th and final frame, Death needs to finish with three-straight strikes and complete a perfect game (300). Fortunately, the Grim Reaper finally breaks his losing habit as he caps off the game with a turkey and the win.

From there, Heaven is fully restored and Bonaparte gets placed in a “secure location”. Afterwards, Little Bill & Little Ted tell their dads that they don’t want to meet their moms in their current states. As such, they get reverted back into babies before the rest of the gang arrives, led by Chuck who’s successfully conquered the Easter Bunny and rescued Missy.

Later on, the gang is back in San Dimas as Bill & Ted’s “God-Vision” is fading away. With the remainder of his Divine Enlightenment, Ted sees their historical figures back in their rightful time periods, Chuck & Missy happy as a couple while Rufus is back in the 27th Century teaching a class. Little do they know is that they forgot to free Capt. Jonathan Logan from the wall. As for what happened to Napoleon, he’s been placed in Purgatory for the rest of his eternity. From there, the series ends with our dudes exclaiming that Bonaparte was never satisfied with what he had, unlike them with their family. From there, they gather together for a rock band session.

Finally, we’ve reached the most recent series from BOOM! Studios with “Bill & Ted Save The Universe”. For this five-part tale which was released from June to October 2017, Joines and Bachan return to fulfill their respective duties while Alex Guimarães joins them to take over coloring duties. With their various adventures behind them now, how will the boys of San Dimas finally work towards their utopian destiny? Let’s dive back in and find out.

Save The Universe #1-Something Must Be Done!

We begin on the planet Bolgrev as a major battle rages between two alien races. Just then, they’re approached by a pair of astronauts with a giant boom box playing Wyld Stallyns’ music. This causes the two sides to stop their fighting and just dance. Little do they know is that this is being watched by a mysterious figure named “Primary” who gives the order to his fleet to learn about the featured group.

From there, we cut to Bill & Ted on another time travel adventure as they and famed author Bram Stoker are being chased by the inspiration for Dracula himself, Vlad Tepes a.k.a. Vlad The Impaler. With him not liking Stoker’s manuscript, he pursues the group into an enclosed room. As Bill notices the chandelier up above, he reminds Ted for them to return here later on and loosen it. As such, it falls on Vlad. However, Bill accidentally bumps onto a hidden panel which opens up a trap door as the group slides down into the sublevel. Fortunately, Rufus was waiting nearby with the Time Booth as he and the group scurry inside. Just as they’re about to depart, Vlad recovers and reaches them in time before he attempts to break in.

Not too long afterwards, they arrive at the Wyld Stallyns’ house in 1994. As the Time Booth is landing, Vlad jumps off and smashes into the home as Bill & Ted head inside to protect their family. However, it turns out that it was all a part of the plan as Joanna, Elizabeth, Robo-Bill, Robo-Ted, the two Stations, the baby boys and several historical figures (including Vlad) were waiting to surprise them for their Anniversary party. While Joanna explains that Vlad and Bram were planned into providing the initial distraction, Elizabeth explains that this party is to celebrate them passing their history exam five years ago (even though, again, the events of “Excellent Adventure” took place in 1988, not 1989). With Rufus behind the master party planning while Chuck and Missy took care of decorating, Bill decides to join in on the party with Joanna.

Meanwhile, Ted is met upon by his younger brother Deacon who’s currently at a Pre-Law school in New York City. He then introduces his girlfriend named Sheena who tells Ted that Wyld Stallyns’ music has helped her out. Just then, Capt. Jonathan Logan comes in and only praises the royal wives for being a major influence on his life before showing loads of favor towards Deacon just because he took his dad’s “lessons”. Fortunately, Mr. Preston comes and drunkenly shares his admiration for his son Bill. Afterwards, he and Ted come across the Grim Reaper who introduces them to a grand personification named Fate. She then mentions that the path to their final destinies will ultimately contain some sacrifice and tragedy before she and Death take their leave.

From there, Bill & Ted notice Rufus taking his leave as Ted asks him why he didn’t just time travel them to the party in the first place. Rufus explains that he was just giving a proper distraction and wanted to give them one “big final adventure together”. Just as Ted begins to infer on that statement, they’re suddenly approached by Sheena. As Deacon is trying to look for her, he accidentally overhears her confession about using him as a means to evade her enemies just to get to our duo. She also explains that she a representative to a group that spreads Wyld Stallyns’ music in order to improve the lives of others. Suddenly, a bright beam of light shines down as she, Bill, Ted and Rufus get pulled up into the sky.

Once they’re aboard the appropriate spaceship, they’re met upon by Primary Glurm who’s the Head Enforcement Officer of the Metagalactic Fleet. He also says that they’re a peacekeeping body of the Grand Cosmic Council which oversees the majority of “inhabited space”. Sheena explains that Earth is outside of his jurisdiction and thus, Bill & Ted should be as well. However, Primary Glurm argues that the effects the band’s sound has upon the protected sectors has made them his business. From there, Sheena reveals her true alien identity to our bodacious dudes. Afterwards, Glurm tells Bill & Ted that this is only an inquiry since he’s only trying to determine the impact of Wyld Stallyns’ music, especially since it’s recently stopped a war between a pair of alien races called the Boldon and the Grevvix. Despite that, he wants to make sure if the band’s music helps out for the best or messes with natural evolution so much that the known universe will fall into chaos.

Save The Universe #1-Deacon's Anger & Death's Journey!.png

Back on Earth, Deacon tells the gang what happened. Not only that, but he expresses his anger since his girlfriend only used him just to get to Ted and he also hates his brother for seemingly getting so many breaks just because he “stumbles in”. Afterwards, the Grim Reaper heads over to the Time Booth in order to head forward in time and find out about the outcome of their current event before returning to prevent it. Chuck warns him that the device can act temperamental, but Death still proceeds with his plan.