Monday, February 21, 2011

Abraham Lincoln's Excellent Adventure

What would President's Day be without a nod to the most excellent adventure of the most bodacious Chief Executive dude the United States of America has ever met. In other words, it's time we check out Evan Dorkin's masterpiece, Bill And Ted's Excellent Comic Book #11.

The story starts with an example of the perfect way to spend this non-present giving holiday: A full on Planet of the Apes marathon. Say what you will about the quality of those movies, the continuity is top-notch. Call me a weirdo, but any movie franchise that you can watch in an endless loop is a one for the ages. Anyway, our titular heroes head to this never-ending film fest with Death to give him a much needed education.

It's here that the boys discover a disturbing truth (via movie poster, of course): Their friend and super cool dude Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Makes you wonder how these guys passed history... oh. Wait. I remember.

Anyway, so the boys do what any sane rock stars with a time machine would do and decide to save Abraham Lincoln. But first, they need a plan.

To quoth Mr. Preston: Those are Totally bogus plans! Poor Lincoln.

The boys, bereft of good ideas to save their long deceased history partner, opt fo the simplest, yet most effective, plan: Kidnapping.

After nabbing Lincoln from what would quite possibly be the worst performance of "Our American Cousin", the boys travel back to the future to find things have changed horribly. Without Lincoln's death to pull The Union together, it quickly descended into another, more devastating, Civil War. Worse, without Lincoln's death there would be no Wyld Stallyns, no Rufus, and no time travel (but it's best not to think of the paradox that last one brings).

Wholly devastated the boys have a total Spock-in-Wrath-of-Kahn moment and realize that Lincoln has to die, a decision that he doesn't necessarily agree with.

With Lincoln falling back into his typical selfish persona (/sarcasm), the boys prepare for a life with no music, babes, or sunday funnies. Until, that is, they look to their left and remember they have a time machine. Handy little things, those are.

In true Bill and Ted Tradition, the Stallyns travel back to stop their past selfs from picking up Lincoln in the first place. If you're thinking about the paradoxes or obvious disregard for Bill and Ted's time travel rules at this point, you're doing it wrong. Even though, I'm right there with you.

The boys don't seem to notice though, and ask the obvious question:

Violence. Is there anything you can't solve?

The past boys deterred, all that's left is for both parties to head back to the future and cry over their decision while hoarding all the five dollar bills they can. Fortunately, Death controls the booth and takes Bill and Ted to a place to put their spirits at ease:

So there you have it. Today while you're thinking about what the Presidents did for the country, good or bad, just remember that when you get to heaven, ol' Honest Abe will be waiting for you with a brewski and a good time.

I'm off to get a head start. Happy President's Day!


  1. Wow, I had no idea there was a Bill & Ted comic, much less that it was done by Evan Dorkin. I'll have to track this one down. And man, does it look a hell of a lot better than that lame President's Day special Marvel put out a couple years ago with Captain America going back in time to hear the Gettysburg Address or whatever. *gag*

  2. There's apparently a trade of it out there somewhere if you're looking. I don't know how hard it is to come by, but it'd be the way to do it. And if you're a fan of Bill and Ted, it'd be totally worth it, Dorkin writes a superb duo second only to Ed Solomon himself.

  3. Just did a little searching, and it looks like there are actually two trades! They're not too expensive either. Pretty cool...I'm a big fan of Milk & Cheese, so I'm looking forward to checking these out. Thanks for the recommendation!