Sunday, March 18, 2018

Today in Comics History: I got to double back again, double back again

Today's Today in Comics History comics history today (well, you know what I mean) doesn't begin on March 18th, but it winds up there eventually and momentarily. Confused? then you ought to have guessed it's another time-travelling with the original DeLorean DMC-12 — accept no ready player substitutes — in yet another alternate universal twist on Back to the Future, Part II! The one with two Marties.

All-around no-good-nik Biff Tannen is poised to take over the world...well, at least, become President of the United States, and you can't even comceive how wrong time would be if we elected to that prestigious office an orange-haired butthead. It's sometime in mid-1986, and Biff has captured Marty and Doc Brown and Doc's in-between-the-realities time machine. Biff orders Doc to set the TM™ for June 1, 1996 (and now you know which panel you can expect to see in this feature two-and-a-half months from now) so he can clean up in the stock market. Doc fiddles with the knobs and Biff steps into the time machine, which looks like a refrigerator. After all, if you're gonna build a time machine, why not make it cool?


Panels from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #6 (July 2017), story and script by Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letter by Shawn Lee

Say, do you know what happened in Hill Valley, California, on March 18, 1884? me, I woulda guessed it was the date of Z.Z. Top's first single hitting the charts:


But no, it's not, and Doctor Emmett Brown knows exactly what happens at noon on March 18, 1884, as he very cleverly noted in the Biff Tannen Museum only (flips through pages in confusion) one issue before!


Panel from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #5 (June 2017), story and script by Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letter by Shawn Lee

So it's clear that Doc's actually sent Biff back in time to 3/18/(18)84 and not back to the future of 6/1/(19)96. Placing Biff squarely in the middle of...


from Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #6

So, four minutes later, when Doc's microwave pizza is done the automatic retreval system on the time machine brings Biff Tannen back (as we say) to the future...


Time travel, ladies and gentlemen. It's confusing, but it usually works out in the end. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go watch President Clinton give her weekly press conference. Join me, won't you?

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