Comic Book: Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book
Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book was a Comic Book series in the Bill And Ted franchise, published by Marvel Comics. It began as a standard Comic Book Adaptation of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, then was followed by the ongoing title, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book". The ongoing series was written and drawn by Evan Dorkin; it ran for twelve issues (December 1991 to November 1992) and was nominated for an Eisner Award.The entire run (except for issue #8, which was not done by Evan Dorkin) was finally collected in two trade paperbacks by Slave Labor Press in 2005.
This comic provides examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Death. Due to his drinking on the job in issue #1, Death Takes a Holiday.
- Black Best Friend: Phil "B.G.", the Wild Stallyns bass player, who is hired in issue #3 and is more or less a black, more laid-back and more intelligent version of Bill and Ted, pretty much slips into this role for Bill and Ted (though he tends to get moved Out of Focus increasingly often as the comic goes on).
- Continuity Snarl: Because Evan Dorkin never saw the first movie, and was working off an early draft of the script when adapting the second movie, there are a few notable changes to the canon in the series, making this a subtle Alternate Continuity. In the letters column of the comic, each month answered by a different character from the comic (such as Death, Missy and De Nomolos), the characters would explain the differences being a result of Executive Meddling — the comics portrayed events as they how actually happened, but Hollywood executives had changed around a few details:
- Socrates was perfectly friendly with Bill and Ted in the movie, and even one of the more enthusiastic time-travelers. In the comic series, he's uneasy with both Bill and Ted and the entire time travel thing, and even ends up voluntarily drinking the hemlock that ends his life, rather than accept rescue by Plato, because at least this'll get him away from Bill and Ted.
- De Nomolos dies in the Bogus Journey adaptation despite living in the movie, and the ongoing comic treats him as dead, occasionally showing him in Hell.
- Bill and Ted's sons had their names swapped — in the movie, Bill's son was "Little Ted" while Ted's son was "Little Bill." In the comic, they're both named after their fathers. This was corrected in the reprint trade.
- Joanna and Elizabeth's original fiancees are completely different. In the first movie, they are presented as older, rather stuffy noblemen (who don't even get a spoken line), while in the comic they are closer to the girls' age and are basically murderous villains.
- The end of the second movie set Death and Station up as members of Wyld Stallyns, but in the comic they're not part of the band at all (though they still have large roles, and Death ends up as the band's manager).***
- Cool Shades: Several characters wear them; most notably Rufus, Evil Robot Bill and Ted (probably to visually differentiate them from the real Bill and Ted) and Phil.
- Death Takes a Holiday: Issue #2 is "Death Takes a Most Heinous Holiday".
- Expanded Universe: The comic book series downplayed the time-travelling aspect of the movies and turned its attention to zombies, aliens, assassins, super-heroes, theme parks, and record industry executives.
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: The letter column was answered by a different character each issue. Bill and Ted themselves never answered any of the letters, but characters like Death, Missy, De Nomolos and even Station did — the latter replying to every letter with the word "Station!" while the editors tried to translate what he was saying (though they ended up spending more time arguing over how much sense it made to have a scientist who could only say his own name — "I mean, c'mon, you've got the most brilliants scientists who ever lived, and they can't even say 'eight'?! Let's be real...").
- He Also Did: Aside from Evan Dorkin, the comic featured inks from Marie Severin (of Doctor Strange and Not Brand Echh! fame) and (for one page) David Mazzucchelli.
- Kid from the Future: Done in the final issue, where the two main characters are visited by their grown-up children from the future.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Done in issue #11, when the boys finally find out that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Hilarity Ensues when they rescue him, then again when they try to send Abe back...
- May-December Romance: In a play on the original from the first movie, in the comic book Bill's father (originally the "December" part) marries Mother Nature.
- Stylistic Suck: Death's attempt at writing/drawing a comic called "Major Violence."
- Subbing for Santa: The Grim Reaper is forced into retirement (the reason given being that he's been neglecting his duty and getting too occupied with earthly matters) and replaced in issue #9. His replacement, Morty, is an in-universe Replacement Scrappy; a midget skeleton with "attitude." He doesn't last for long.
- It's revealed that Death is the only anthropomorphic personification who never voluntarily went into retirement; all the others — such as War, Fate, Mother Nature — have long since retired and been replaced by new people. Death is simply too proud (and too bad at doing anything else) to quit.
- Time Crash: Occurs in issues #5-7.
- Time Police: The Chronological Order and Time Thumb.
- Took a Level in Badass: Joanna and Elizabeth, compared to their movie selves, are a lot tougher and capable of taking control even in the wildest, most surreal situations.