The third issue of IDW’s BACK TO THE FUTURE series once again features two stories from the numerous alternate timelines in the BTTF Film Trilogy, only, this time, neither of them features protagonist Marty McFly.

A-STORY: IN SEARCH OF CALVIN MARTY KLEIN by Bob Gale, John Barber, and Corin Howell

BTTF 3 COVERThe first story begins much like those in the previous two issues, with Doc Brown working on his time-train in the old west. When his wife Clara marches in their sons Jules and Verne and tells him they’ve been misbehaving, the good doctor once again begins reminiscing about a story from his past.

READ: Catch up on IDW’s BACK TO THE FUTURE series here!

The story transitions to 1958 (three years after Marty goes back in time at the end of BTTF Part 1) to find Doc Brown tinkering with the earliest version of the flux capacitor. He’s interrupted by George McFly bursting into his home and demanding to know where Calvin Mary Klein has gone to, as George and Lorraine are having relationship issues again, namely that she doesn’t seem to respect his burgeoning Sci-Fi career. The Doc, realizing that all the work he and Marty did would be undone if George and Lorraine broke up, begins to brainstorm on how to fix their issues. His task is made even tougher when Lorraine herself arrives.

BTTF 3 George

Lorraine to was looking for Marty, as she feels George has been swallowed up by his own ego and his writing. Doc quickly pieces together that Marty may have made his father a bit too confident in himself in 1955, leading George to a massive chip on his shoulders. After a comedy of errors aimed at keeping George and Lorraine from seeing each other, the three end up in Doc Brown’s garage. Brown, having no plan, gets George to electrify his own hair, leading George to laugh at himself in the mirror and he and Lorraine rekindling their relationship. The story ends back in the 1880’s, with the Doc telling his sons to mind their mother after they rightly point out that the story he told had little to do with their predicament.

B-STORY: JURASSIC BIFF by Bob Gale, Erik Burnham, and Alan Robinson

bttf 3 biff cover

The issue’s B-Story kicks off in the middle of the film BACK TO THE FUTURE PART 2, as the 2015 version of Biff Tannen has stolen the time machine in order to give his 1955 self the sports almanac that causes so much trouble to the timeline. Here, though, we learn here that before he got to 1955, Biff actually ended up in prehistoric time.

Realizing that Mr. Fusion (the time machine’s power generator) is low on fuel, he lands the time machine in an attempt to find some organic matter. However before he can, Biff is accosted by a velociraptor who steals the almanac. He chases after the creature with the Delorean, eventually knocking it unconscious with his trademark fist-head cane. After cruelly stuffing the creature into Mr. Fusion to use it as fuel, Biff takes off again for 1955, though the implication at the end of the story leads one to believe his journey through time is not yet over.

bttf 3 titles

After initially being announced as a three issue mini-series, an ad at the end of the issue proclaims that the BACK TO THE FUTURE series will continue as an on-going series. If the future issues are as good as Issue #3, I welcome this change of plans wholeheartedly. This is easily the best of the three issues released so far—and the only one where both stories stood out as truly good.

LISTEN: Check out podcast interview with celebrated creator Gene Luen Yang!

IN SEARCH OF CALVIN MARTY KLEIN was not only my favorite of the two stories presented in Issue #3, but my favorite of all six of the stories released so far. Seeing what happened in George and Lorraine’s lives after Marty changed the timeline has always been a bit of a pipe dream for big BTTF fans like myself, and this story didn’t disappoint. I loved the idea that perhaps Marty made George just a bit too confident in himself, and that Doc Brown had to bring him down to Earth. From a characterization standpoint, it fit beautifully with what we already know. The story even looked great artistically, which has been an issue for the series.

bttf 3 george 2

JURASSIC BIFF wasn’t quite up to the heights of the A-Story, but it was still quite good. I’ve always been fond of the 2015 version of Biff, and seeing him in the Jurassic Period (itself a bit of homage to the Universal Studios attraction Back to the Future: The Ride) was a lot of fun. The characterization was spot-on as well, showing both the film’s comical 2015 Biff while illustrating that he wasn’t above brutality to get what he wanted, as evidenced by his murder of the raptor solely to use for fuel.

BACK TO THE FUTURE #3 is easily the strongest entry in IDW’s BTTF series so far, and it’s a definite must-read for fans of the film series.

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