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Movies continued in comics? EXCELLENT!

By Evan Bevins - | Sep 1, 2020

While film fans are preparing to see how Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted Theodore Logan try to embrace their destiny 29 years after the duo’s “Bogus Journey,” the question has already been answered, a couple of times, in comics.

And they aren’t the only characters who lived beyond the screen and on the page.

Before Indiana Jones went on his “last” crusade or hid in that refrigerator en route to finding crystal skulls, his further adventures were chronicled in Marvel’s aptly titled “Further Adventures of Indiana Jones.” Dark Horse published limited series in the ’90s with titles like “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis,” “Iron Phoenix” and “Shrine of the Sea Devil.”

Marvel adapted the original “Star Wars” movie and kept the series going after that, with little guidance from Hollywood. That’s how we got Jaxon, the 6-foot-tall rabbit made canon in a short story in one of the more recent titles.

In 1976, the legendary Jack Kirby adapted Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” itself based on the work of Arthur C. Clarke. The series continued with original stories and the introduction of Machine Man, who later joined the Avengers and continues to pop up in continuity.

Dark Horse made its mark in film adaptations for years, expanding the stories of the “Alien” and “Predator” franchises and eventually crossing them over, a move that came full circle with the 2004 theatrical release of “Alien vs. Predator.” The properties were pitted against a host of other characters, including Batman, Superman, Judge Dredd and even Archie.

They also took on the Terminator, who came to comic book blows with Superman and Robocop.

Marvel adapted 1993’s “Meteor Man” movie in an oversized one-shot that led into a six-issue limited series where the titular hero faced new villains and teamed up Spider-Man and Night Thrasher. (Night Thrasher was big in the ’90s.)

Director John Carpenter teamed up with writer Eric Powell and artist Brian Churilla on a BOOM! Studios “Big Trouble in Little China” comic that picked up where the movie ended. In 2016, Jack Burton met up with another Kurt Russell character, Snake Plissken, in the six-issue “Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York.”

It took a while but “Ghostbusters” eventually made its way into comics, with limited and ongoing series from IDW. Crossovers have featured the movie team meeting the animated “Real Ghostbusters” and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (twice).

“Back to the Future” screenwriter Bob Gale shepherded the franchise’s comic debut from IDW in 2015, with short stories that expanded on the films. That segued into multi-part tales when the series got a warm welcome from readers.

The sequel to “Fight Club” did not come as a novel or movie but a 2015 Dark Horse series by original author Chuck Palahniuk. The weirdly meta story was ideally suited for the medium and spawned “Fight Club 3” in 2019.

I’d heard about a recent “Bill and Ted” series from BOOM! but learned their comic history reached back even further, to a Marvel adaptation of “Bogus Journey” written and drawn by Evan Dorkin. That morphed into the ongoing “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic Book,” which was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Humor Comic.

BOOM! released “Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return” in 2015, picking up five seconds after the climax of “Bogus Journey.” The guys helped out their grim reaper pal in “Bill & Ted Go to Hell” and traveled through space in “Bill & Ted Save the Universe.”

Dark Horse is releasing “Bill & Ted are Doomed,” a prequel to the new film, in September, with Dorkin returning for writing duties.