When I found out IDW was publishing Back to the Future comics I was skeptical, but then I found out Bob Gale, the main writer of the films, was writing them. Then I learned they were untold tales and not some silly sequels. I’ve been on board through the first two issues, but what of #3? Is it good?
Back To The Future #3 (IDW Publishing)
Last issue we saw a time travel machine Doc made before the DeLorean and it was pretty awesome; in fact, the darn thing was shaped like a Flux Capacitor! It was the right combination of being meaningful and still loosely connected to the original films to not mess up continuity. Basically put we got to see something that builds on the experience of the films.
Why does this book matter?
If nothing above has swayed you, how about the fact that there’s the chance there’s something in this comic that will piss you off? Considering the original writer of the trilogy is behind it there must be something in here you disagree with that is now canon! Okay, it’s not canon necessarily since the comic states it’s “alternate timelines,” but still.
Still making that train eh?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The opening story centers around Doc before Marty went back to the future in the first film, which is rather neat. It’s easy to forget Doc knew he would meet Marty again years later, but he had to not only pretend nothing happened but also invent the time machine in the first place. A rather confusing bit of rewritten history. Bob Gale postulates that maybe Marty’s parents consulted with Doc to find out where Marty went to. While I’m not really sure how they know Doc at all it’s fun to see how maybe he had to keep them together to ensure Marty was born.
The second story shows us how Biff didn’t automatically jump to the past to give himself the sports almanac. This story actually ties well with the famous Universal Studios ride in some sense, although not exactly that closely. I won’t ruin it here, but it’s a bit of fun if you like your stories silly.
Both stories look good which helps sell each story. The first is drawn by Corin Howell and he nails Doc’s look. Eyeballs tend to get cross eyed here and there, but the story is entertaining even though it’s mostly characters talking and standing around.
The second story is drawn by Alan Robinson and it’s one of the best drawn stories in this series so far. It’s nicely detailed and reminds me of Chris Bachelo’s earlier work. The DeLorean looks great, and the dinosaurs too! Oops…did I spoil something?
It can’t be perfect, can it?
This issue falls flat for me for a variety of reasons. The first story runs a lot longer than the first, but the story isn’t interesting enough to sustain the page count. Essentially we’re seeing a lost tale that’s about two youngsters having a small spat. It’s boring, not only because we know they’ll get together, but also because all the dramatic tension is lost as Marty’s parents complain to Doc.
The second story is bad because it’s so damn implausible. Okay sure, we’re talking about a story that features a working time machine, but please keep the plot somewhat plausible. To see an old decrepit Biff go up against a dinosaur is flat out dumb. This is Saturday morning cartoon level silly and yet it’s drawn rather realistically. If you’re going to do a story this zany at least draw it to look like it’s for little kids!
Feeling a bit crosseyed?
Is It Good?
After a strong third issue this one falls flat due to boring, implausible and pointless “lost” stories.