By Brian Lynch Jerry Gaylord, Penelope Gaylord, Whitney Coger, Ryan North, Ian McGinty & Fred Stresling
The Bill and Ted movies are a cult favorite. They’re fantastic films that perfectly capture the feelings of an entire subculture. That subculture has been lost to the sands of time, but that’s probably for the best. This poses a problem for this series. Do they try to bring in new fans that will have no reference to what Bill and Ted is all about?
Fortunately, writers Brian Lynch and Ryan North have completely embraced the Bill and Ted universe and refuse to apologize for it. The issue is split up into two stories, the first one being the main continuing story and the second is a one-shot. Brian Lynch writes the first story and immediately throws you into Bill and Ted’s crazy world. It takes place right after the events of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Bill and Ted have become a sensation in their own time with one hit song and now must figure out how to write their second. That leads to the duo time traveling (again) to the future to discover what their next hit will be. This plot point raises many questions, but Bill and Ted have never been about making scientific sense. All of their allies from the movies are there, including Rufus, Death and the robot versions of themselves.
Lynch gives the reader a lot to process at a very fast rate, but by the end of the story, things start to clear up and it becomes a much easier read. The humor and sense of adventure is engrained in the story, which makes up for the early clutter. For a first issue, Lynch does a respectable job.
The second story is written by Ryan North. Since the premise has already been established by Lynch, North’s story can just naturally flow, allowing for a more pleasant story. Bill and Ted’s robot counterparts have downloaded viruses from emails and naturally, Bill and Ted have never heard of this and have no clue how to deal with it. It’s neat to see Bill and Ted approach an accurate version of the future. For them, it’s still 1991, so there’s 24 years of technology and history to explore.
The art is fantastic. Jerry Gaylord and Ian McGinty both have their own styles to bring to the table. Gaylord’s work is cartoony and a blast to look at. McGinty’s art for the second story is very reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim and that’s never a bad thing. The only complaint is that the colors might be a little too bright and really doesn’t capture the style of the Bill and Ted movies. It’s still great work, though. The writing does enough to balance things out, but the color choices shouldn’t be such a nuisance.
For a first issue, Bill and Ted’s Most Triumphant Return makes a solid case for reading the other 5. It can’t be recommended to everyone, but fans are finally getting their due. I can’t wait for issue 2.