Bill & Ted Save The Universe bounces back with an entertaining, quirky issue which also hits many of the right emotional notes at all the right times.
The Wyld Stallyns – Bill S. Preston, esquire, and his most excellent friend “Ted” Theodore Logan – successfully overcome the trial of whether they’re culturally relevant with flying colours, thanks to their good friend Rufus and an impromptu jam session. However, their future legacy of bringing peace and harmony to the universe doesn’t extend as far as their own families. Their parents can’t stop arguing about what bad jobs each other did as parents, while Ted’s brother Deacon becomes further alienated by the success of the band. As for Bill and Ted themselves, a difference in opinion over the band’s future may jeopardise the fate of the universe itself…
While there’s some initial silliness, it’s still perfectly in keeping with the classic Bill & Ted style so it’s easy to just go along with it – especially since Rufus acquits himself after being made to look like a complete tool in the last issue. The family dynamic works a lot better this time around too, and while (to quote Doctor Who) we don’t do domestics it makes sense for Rufus to hand out blame equally.
The real highlight, astonishingly, comes from Deacon’s story. It’s understandable and tragic, and he’s come a long way over the years since Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Often overlooked since then, it’s obvious that he has a key role to play and his story is far from over, and it’ll be interesting seeing where it leads.
As for Bill and Ted themselves, they’re back in excellent form. While the argument about their cultural relevance breaks the fourth wall and is resolved in a way Monty Python would have appreciated, the bigger issue about the band’s future comes back in to play. While Bill and Ted debate the pros and cons, Ted emotional outpouring is almost poetic and its touches like this which make them clearly different and not interchangeable. Both believe they’re doing the right thing, but have different outlooks on life and it’s fascinating to see that being played out.
If there’s any flaw here, it’s that the initial concept of whether the Wyld Stallyns’ music is actually against the evolutionary process of the universe is overlooked again. Still, hopefully it’ll return soon.
The writing here offers up dumb fun, a sly intelligence and a whole lot of heart. Matching that wonderfully is the art, which balances the cartoon-like nature with some well-timed restraint during the more personal scenes.
In short, as issues go, Bill & Ted Save The Universe #3 truly is excellent.