REVIEW: Bill and Ted are Doomed #1 Rocks Out

detail shot for Bill and Ted Are Doomed C 2020 Dark Horse Comics

In the first issue of this Bill and Ted Face the Music prequel comic, much fun is had, and an intriguing plot is born.

Bill and Ted are Doomed #1

Evan Dorkin (script and cover art); Sarah Dyer (cover); Roger Langridge (letters, cover and art);
Dark Horse Comics
September 9, 2020

Have you ever wondered what happened to Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan and the Wyld Stallyns between Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey and Bill and Ted Face the Music? Dark Horse Comics seeks to fill in those blanks with the miniseries Bill and Ted are Doomed.

As the issue opens, Rufus is basking in his victories from the two previous movies when some freshly-developed anomalies in the timestream threaten to undo all of the good he’s brought to the boys’ lives. So he tries to find a way to make sure they remain on their predestined course toward writing a song that will bring about worldwide peace and harmony.

Back in San Dimas, Bill and Ted continue to fail to write their purported universe-saving song. Inter-band conflicts with Death – who still lives on their property with a mini-graveyard and yearns for his own solo career – are smoothed over by trips to fast-food restaurants. But the public at large has begun to forget the Wyld Stallyns, and they and their families have quietly gone into the red, overspending what they made off of their sole hit song while the boys have locked themselves away to write their next tune. Bill and Ted come up with a quick solution – a world tour to fatten their coffers. But will such an endeavor make them happy, put them back in the public eye, and help them write their song, or tear their world apart?

Evan Dorkin’s script, with some advisory work by Bill and Ted co-creator Ed Soloman, is what makes this issue so funny and compelling, on par with Bill and Ted Save the Universe and the new film. It pays respectful tribute to the earlier movies in the series without detracting from their worth. From the sight of little Thea and Billie picketing Death because he won’t bring Kurt Cobain back to life, to Elizabeth and Joanna wondering aloud if they should take a trip in the time machine themselves to see various rock concerts, to plots for the Bill and Ted robots (they want to fall in love!), as well as a home-hungry Station (whose scenes are just a little bit heartbreaking), the plot choices and dialogue are all inspired and delightful.

The art is fun and rangy-looking. Roger Langridge’s illustrations have a playfulness to them that’s wonderful, with a visual style that reminded me of underground comix and Buddy series creator Peter Bagge. The colors are cracking good, ranging between pristine whites for the futuristic segments and ruddy reds, oranges, and blues and greens for the present day.

The overall package is pretty consistently irresistible. Bill and Ted are Doomed #1 is an intriguing book that manages to encourage the reader to keep going with the series, a nearly flawless lead into the incredibly sweet and heartwarming Bill and Ted Face the Music.

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