Written by: Brian Joines
Art by: Bachan, Jeremy Lawson, Jim Campbell
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Boom! Studios
If you haven't guessed from our site's name, we here at Weird Science are big movie fans and it shouldn't shock you that we are fans of the Bill & Ted movies in particular. I don't know where you stand, but Eric and myself have talked at length about Bill & Ted and especially Bogus Journey. Both of us had a very similar love-hate relationship with it...we hated it the first time we saw it, but gradually grew to love it more than Excellent Adventure. I mention this because Go to Hell is a sequel to the Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return comic (I reviewed the first issue of that HERE) which is a sequel to Bogus Journey. That being said, this series is even more tied into Bogus Journey which is a strength, but also it's biggest weakness...at least in this premier issue. What am I talking about? Let's get on to the review and I'll explain it more...
I had a smile on my face before even opening this issue as the cover is totally kick ass, but also, Bill & Ted Go to Hell was the original title for Bogus Journey. The name isn't just to make goofballs like me smile. it is also a very fitting title for the story laid out here.
The issue opens with Death as he is practicing some Connect Four...you know, in case some challenges come about later. I'm sure it's a bit of foreshadowing, but for now we can just have a good laugh that Death has gone as far as to contact Milton Bradley for tips on winning. Besides making me giggle, the scene sets up the mystery of the issue as Death is attacked by (almost) unseen assailants who also have plans for Bill and Ted.
The story continues with Bill and Ted and while Brian Joines easily nails the characters, this is where the problems begin to arise. I shouldn't say "problems" because it really is a perspective thing...if you haven't read Most Triumphant Return and/or haven't seen Bogus Journey in a while, this issue does a good job of getting you up to speed. However, if you have been keeping up on things, this part really feels like a greatest hits retelling of both and because of that, the middle section does drag a bit. It's a necessary evil that I fully understand, but it is still an issue.
Still, we get some good stuff here...Missy's husband jumping ways, Good Robot Uses and "Hell-Dude Colonel Oats" who kind of shows up to push the story forward. It all leads the boys to Missy (and her new man!) who helps them go to Death's (front) door.
The issue picks up after they free Death and we find out who the big bads really are. I don't want to spoil it, but if you are a fan of the movies and think real hard about the scariest parts of either film, I think you will figure it out. The best part of all this isn't just a great cameo, but the fact that they have a plan and it makes total sense why they are doing what they are doing.
After the bad guys gather an army and snatch Death , Bill and Ted head off to gather their own troops and the best part? Rufus ("RUFUS!") is along for the ride. Again, this part is very similar to Excellent Adventure, but with what's going on, it is awesome. The issue ends with the gang heading down to Hell to confront Satan, but finding that there is a new head honcho in charge...a guy with a real love of water parks.
Like I said earlier, depending on where you are coming from, your enjoyment of this issue can vary greatly. I say that, but I am pretty caught up on everything and I really liked it. Why? Because I can't get enough of Bill & Ted and Brian Joines does a really good job making the characters, dialogue and situations feel right. Side Note: As a big breakfast cereal fan, I wish Joines would have mentioned Bill and Ted's Excellent Cereal (which I was not a fan of) instead of going with a Lucky Charms reference.
That extends to the look of the book as well. Bachan's art is spot on and Jeremy Lawson's colors make everything bright and fun. The book has a bit of the classic Marvel adaptation look (at least that's what I thought) which was an awesome touch.
Bits and Pieces:
This was a good start of the next Bill & Ted story. Even those who may find it a bit too redundant will see something to smile about and now that everyone is on the same page, hopefully next issue hits the ground running. Brian Joines does an "excellent" job making everything accurate and believable while Bachan and Jeremy Lawson do the same with the art. It all comes together to give fans a great book to read while waiting for the next rumor of a part three to hit the Internet.