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Back to the Future #1 (comic book review)

Review by Atlee Greene
Back to the Future #1
Writer: Bob Gale, John Barber, Erik Burnham
Artist: Brent Schoonover, Dan Schoening
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick, Luis Antonio Delgado
Inker: David Witt
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 10/21/15

Through the means of artistic expression, Robert Zemeckis told the world that on October 21, 2015, Nike power laces, Pepsi Perfect, and a slew of other items would be everyday consumer products.

The Cubs have a shot at winning the World Series, but they’re currently down three games in the NLCS.

Even though we didn’t get the future promised by the famed director; writer and Back to the Future co-creator Bob Gale takes us back in time with a new comic book series that examines untold tales and alternate timelines.

This first installment takes us back to the moment that spawned everything we know about this pop culture phenomenon: the day when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first meet.

In the film, you knew from the opening credit sequence that they were friends without being given any explanation. Who else but a good friend would let someone wreck their clock-filled laboratory with a highly amplified guitar riff?

This first encounter of the time-traveling duo came together in the vein that makes the movie universally revered – simple yet clever – that is sprinkled with a unique charm. Marty faces a dilemma where he has to break into the home of that “Death Ray” building quack across town in order to procure an item.

Of course, Marty has no intention of committing a crime and hopes another way will present itself. He arrives on the property and his sudden ingenuity takes over when a non-criminal way presents itself. Doc is impressed by the kid’s inventiveness, while Marty sees that the good doctor is a kooky but good, and a friendship is born.

Little bits of Alan Silvestri’s Back to the Future Overture popped in my head while seeing Marty explore the premises. The artwork of Brent Schoonover captures the adventurous curiosity of Hill Valley’s favorite son. The character work was dull at times, however, it was easy to distinguish body language, facial reactions, and the books more animated moments.

The second story goes way back to Doc Brown’s younger years where he is recruited to work on the Manhattan Project. Erik Burnham’s script is very effective in making the reader believe the story is going one way and then have it take an immediate, satisfying turn that made full use of the mythos that encapsulates the character. Dan Schoening’s illustrations are detailed, expressive, and provide the feel of a preceding period in time.

Bob Gale stated there will be no reboots or no re imagining here and he has embraced the characters and concepts fans adore about the films. Canon isn’t something that applies here like it does with Star Wars, however, if it did, this first installment would fit in quite nicely with the awesomeness that is Spaceman from Pluto.

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