Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Evan Dorkin
Artwork/Letters: Roger Langridge
Consultation: Ed Solomon
Release Date:9th September 2020
The future is once again at threat and the fate of humanity rests in the hands of a certain rock group from San Dimas. The big question though is whether this will be another excellent adventure, or maybe just a bogus journey…
There’s obviously a bit of buzz around the Wyld Stallyns at the moment with the big screen release of Face the Music. For me, comic tie-ins can often be a bit hit and miss, and the added baggage of a nostalgia-laden franchise means there’s already a certain level of expectation. I wasn’t trying to be down on this before picking it up, but having been burnt before I was a tad wary.
Before diving into the phone booth of the story, we need to consider the art throughout. Langridge’s style here gives the initial impression that we’re looking at an all-ages book. I mean, when you consider we’re talking genius super alien(s?), robots, super sci-fi, and even Death himself, getting the tone right is a big thing. I’m not overly familiar with Langridge but after a few panels I was fully enamoured by the whole effect. It really does capture the irreverent zeitgeist of the source material. Everything’s clean, well rounded, and the simple style allows the focus to remain on the characters and the writing.
Ok, so it’s nice to look at, but to rely on that alone would be anathema to the spirit of this civilisation defining mega band! But let’s dial back a bit. The song that will unite humanity has still not been written, and the future is at risk in some mind-bending paradoxes that are best not thought about in too much detail. So it’s about the future? Well yes, but as we’re talking Bill and Ted, it’s also about the past!
The main bulk of the story is set in San Dimas 2000, almost ten years after that battle of the bands which saw the triumphant victory of the Wlyd Stallyns. We’ve had the tour and the albums, the fame and the money, but now the group are effectively washed up and our heroes are struggling to come up with their next big hit. Despite the help of Station, Death, and their kids, things are on a downward spiral to irrelevance with once huge stadium tours being replaced with disaffected viewers looking for something new.
For me this was a bit of a slow start, but Dorkin has worked in some genuinely humorous elements; most to be fair delivered by Death and their fondness for bass solos and collectible pocket monsters. The consultancy of Solomon no doubt helps keep the spirit of the original movies here, and whilst it didn’t quite get me rocking in the aisles, I enjoyed reading it and wouldn’t be averse to seeing where this goes.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster