A series that’s hit or miss typically means you should drop it, but when the monthly issues are usually comprised of short stories or an anthology it’s worth checking in each month to see how the brand new stories work. So far I’ve kept reading this series as a story or two has tied into the films well, but we must answer the question: Is it good?
Back to the Future #4 (IDW Publishing)
Back to the Future is one of the best time travel films of all time because it’s so darn entertaining. It’s relevant to our time – they go to the year 2015 after all – and Doc and Marty are very endearing characters. What’s not to love?
Why does this book matter?
Back to the Future is one of the most famous science fiction films of all time, nay famous action films, nay famous trilogies! When you find out the writer of the original series scripted this comic book you must take notice! Sure the stories are “lost in time” and may or may not be canon but it’s sure fun to see pre film Doc and Marty or in this issue the year 2015!
Keep it hidden Doc. We wouldn’t want to ruin the movies!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a story drawn by Ryan Browne and written by Bob Gale and John Barber. Entitled “Peer Pressure” the story basically explains why Marty is so damn hung up on getting that new truck and also details his relationship with Jennifer and Needles. It’s a fun bit of pre-film storytelling that actually helps remind us Marty is a teenager and is influenced by peer pressure. That’s hard to fathom sometimes when watching the films since he seems so well put together.
The second story entitled “Emmett Brown Visits the Future” is written by Bob Gale and Erik Burnham with art by Erik Evensen. This story is shorter than the first, but boy is it enjoyable. If you liked the second film you’ll love this as we learn the very important information on how Doc got the Delorean retrofitted with its flying ability. It’s cleverly written with great dialogue that reads like it’s straight out of a lost chapter from the films. Heck even the art is great with a very clean and detailed look. Doc looks particularly accurate in his younger form here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The first story does run on quite long considering the story isn’t that interesting. It does detail Marty’s obsession with the truck well – and has a fun close call with a Doc invention – but it’s very run of the mill and average. Marty is influenced by bullies. Period. This could have easily run 5 pages instead of 16 pages and nobody would have noticed.
Speaking of page count this series tends to flesh out its pages with filler chapter breaks and opening and closing with Doc retelling stories to his family. The family bits are nice bookends to each issue – hopefully removed when this series officially becomes an ongoing in March – but nothing of much value is introduced. Instead we get a moment that’s rather repetitive at this point since it’s the same, “let me tell you a story” formula from the last three issues.
The formula of Doc introducing the stories to his children is getting old.
Is It Good?
Back to the Future #4 has a must read story that’s well written and illustrated which answers some interesting questions. Fans of the movies must read it!
The majority of the issue is filled with another semi-interesting story featuring Marty that feels too padded out.