Back to the Future


Wow. It has been 30 years since Back to the Future 2 depicted October 21st, 2015. While we have come a long way (I’d like to think we dress a bit better), we still don’t have our commercial hover boards and automatic sneakers (Nike, those $2,000¬†ones do not count). However, we have come to cherish the day thanks in part to Back to the Future itself.

The fantastic 1985 film directed by Robert Zemeckis has been cemented in history as a classic. Almost every scene from the original movie was iconic in its own way, and it was only logical for a comic series to eventually follow the film. Now, IDW’s take on Back to the Future is not the first; that right and holder belongs to Harvey Comics.

Today’s review will go over IDW’s newest release, a four-part series featuring Doc Brown and Marty McFly!

First off, let me say that IDW makes some incredible comics. They crafted a well-rounded, engaging Star Trek series. For the most part, they resurrected G.I. Joe from the brink of comic death. So, I highly anticipated their take on Back to the Future.

Messy panel work makes for a sluggish read.
Messy panel work makes for a sluggish read.

Wow, was it mostly unimpressive and uneventful. The comic starts off with Doc Brown working on his usual gadgetry and inventions in his garage, taking place after the events of Back to the Future III. His wonderful wife and three kids followed him from the past to the present. However, things get a bit plodded when Doc decides to tell the kids how him and Marty McFly met.

Unfortunately, what we get here is a jumbled mess of a flashback plot where Marty must steal supplies for bullies. Through events, he stumbles onto Doc Brown’s hideout. His hideout is blocked by ‘impossible’ puzzles that Marty (more through luck than actual skill) solves. Doc Brown is so impressed, he hires him on as his assistant.

Marty's dialogue is a bit off.
Marty’s dialogue is a bit off.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment lies in the artwork. Artist Dan Schoening just doesn’t seem to quite capture the Back to the Future feel. It feels a tad too cartoony in places and facial animations seem far too uneven, especially in dialogue moments. Writer Erik Burnham, with story help from Bob Gale (co-writer to Back to the Future), just doesn’t seem to get the pacing down right. For the most part, he nails Doc Brown. I could see Christopher Lloyd yelling out his dialogue. However, the rest felt flat.

I am hopeful for the remaining three issues of this series. This is a beloved franchise to so many people and even in its weakest moments, it still draws in fans. I am sure the same will apply to this comic. Unfortunately, priced at 3.99, this is a pass for me.

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