Back To The Future #1
By Bob Gale, John Barber, Brent Schoonover, David Witt, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, Luis Antonio Delgado, Shawn Lee
Happy Back To The Future Week! For those that aren’t aware, this is the week that Marty and Doc arrive in the year 2015 (October 21st). That means that there’s a lot of celebrating and new BTTF merchandise to get your hands on. One of those sweet pieces of merch is a new comic book series from our friends at IDW. If that doesn’t peak your interest, maybe Bob Gale as co-writer will spice things up. You know, the Bob Gale that wrote and produced the entire BTTF trilogy (along with Robert Zemeckis). Yeah, that guy.
The issue is split up into two stories. First of all, these are two very laid back tales. Don’t expect to see Marty and Doc fighting Hitler or Dinosaurs, or Hitler with an army of dinosaurs. Instead of going for the fantastic, Gale and Co. takes things slow and focuses on character work. BTTF is full of wonderful, rich characters, so this isn’t a bad way to go at all.
The first story (written by Gale and Barber) is how Marty and Doctor Brown first met. It’s a very quick read and at first, it doesn’t appear to have much weight. However, the more you mull it over, the more you realize how much subtle character work is happening right before your eyes. This is a charming little story that brings out the very best of what we love about McFly and Brown. On the art side, Shoonover and Fitzpatrick steal the show. The style makes it feel like a creator-owned indie title, but it still retains everything that makes the BTTF franchise so great.
The second story (by Gale and Burnham) is a look into the world of a young Emmett Brown. In 1943, Doctor Brown is a professor at the California Institute of Technology. It’s wonderful to see a different time period for the character. He’s as eccentric as ever and he has quite a reputation (both good and bad) in academic circles. For this story, artist Dan Schoening is at his very best. Like his past IDW work, it has a simultaneous sense of both realism and cartoony charm. The work on Brown’s young face is painstakingly detailed, displaying a young man who still looks like Christopher Lloyd. Fans should get a kick out of it.
We have really lucked out. This is a truly great comic. Back To The Future is a sacred franchise and IDW has gone out of its way to make sure this is done right. Here’s to many more stories with Marty and Doc.