Back to the Future 6: Continuum Conundrum Part 1

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BTTF IDW issue 6 cover
Back to the Future 6: Continuum Conundrum Part 1
Part of: Back to the Future (IDW Publishing)
Issue number(s): 6
Page count: 26
Writer: Bob Gale
John Barber
Penciller: Marcelo Ferreira
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publication date: March 30, 2016

Back to the Future #6: Continuum Conundrum Part 1 was the sixth issue of the Back to the Future comic series by IDW Publishing. It is the first issue of the Continuum Conundrum storyline, in which an amnesiac Doc Brown travels to 1986 without any idea of when or where he had arrived.

Publisher's Summary

An all-new, multi-issue, multi-continuum story starts here, courtesy of Bob Gale, John Barber, and Marceo Ferreira! We'd tell you more but in the words of Doctor Emmett L. Brown, 'No one should know too much about the future.'


On March 3, 1986, Marty McFly wakes up with his mother standing over him. He tells her that he had a nightmare where he came back to the present, but found everything to be boring. He discovers that it's not just a dream when his mother tells him that he is "safe and sound, back in good old 1986" and informs him that he is late for breakfast.

At the breakfast table, Marty sees his brother and sister, and asks what they are doing there. Dave informs Marty that he came by to wish his sister good luck. Linda is starting class to get a Master of Business Administration as she wants to open her own beauty salon. She teases Marty, telling him that she got the looks and the brains in the family, and Marty only got the truck.

Angrily, Marty says that he has to go as he is running late. Dave states that Marty's problem is that he has to figure out what he's doing, as the future will catch up to him, and he'll have to get on with life. Once outside of his house, Marty sees Biff Tannen washing his truck. Marty tells him that he isn't going to drive his truck. He then asks him if he ever feels that his greatest days are behind him, and Biff states that he feels that way every day.

At Hill Valley High School, Douglas J. Needles and his gang are sitting on his truck. Needles tries to egg Marty on, telling him that his walking to school reminds him of before his father bought him his truck. However, Marty just walks past him, causing Needles to give up, telling him that he's not fun anymore.

Jennifer arrives at that moment and agrees with Needles. She tells Marty that he was supposed to pick her up. Marty states that he didn't feel like driving, and Marty wonders what's wrong with him, since he loves that truck. Marty says that he doesn't find it exciting anymore, and Jennifer disgustedly informs Marty that his adventures with Doc Brown are over and that he needs to move on.

Marty angrily tells her that she doesn't know what it's like, and that she didn't see what he saw. She tells him that she isn't even sure that he knows what it's like, and wonders if he just read too many of his dad's books. Marty is surprised by her reaction, and states that she's the only one that he can talk to about what really happened. Jennifer then says that even she can't tell if he is making up some of the story that he told her.

At a playground, Marty is telling a boy about when he survived being shot by Buford Tannen by using a makeshift bullet proof vest. At that point, the boy's mother tells her son to get away from Marty, calling him a weirdo. The other parents hurry their children away as well. She admonishes Marty, stating that he's too old to be telling cowboy stories. Dejected and alone, Marty wonders whether he really is.

Back at home, George is on the phone with his agent. Robert Zemeckis wants to turn his book, A Match Made in Space, into a movie. George tells his agent that he doesn't feel that the man who directed Romancing the Stone is the right person to direct it, and tells him to continue shopping it around to other directors.

Marty tells his parents he's going to lie down, and they're concerned as it is dinner time and he states he's not hungry. They realize that he's not his usual happy self ever since Doc Brown moved away. George says that he was always a bad influence, and Lorraine reminds him that he helped them. George insists that they knew what they were doing when they were Marty's age, and Lorraine wonders if Marty needs therapy. Upon hearing this, Marty says, under his breath, that he needs a sign that Doc is still out there.

In class, his history teacher is referring to Bifficus Antanneny, a popular athlete who was instrumental in Caligula's rise to power. He's about to state that Caligula instituted a number of disastrous policies that directly led to the fall of Rome, when he is interrupted by a Western Union man. The man has a note instructed to be delivered to Marty McFly, at a location with the highest attainable level of education prior to university, on the first Monday of March, 1986. He states that it is strange, as his supervisor had a case like that when he was young.

His teacher gives Marty the note, but doesn't believe the story. He tells Marty to restrict his mail deliveries to his home address. Marty reads the note, which was written by Clara Brown in 1893. Doc had traveled to an unknown point in the future, and never returned. Clara is worried about him, and wonders if Marty might have some insight into time travel, as although she fears that only her husband held that knowledge, Marty was the only hope for her, as well as for their sons, Jules and Verne. Marty and Jennifer discuss the note. Jennifer is surprised by the letter, as they had both seen Doc arrive with Clara and the kids six months prior. Marty states that time travel is complicated, as there is no way to tell when the letter was written. If it was written after they traveled to 1985, then Doc is in trouble and needs him, if it was written before than the whole space-time continuum could be at stake. They travel to Doc's garage, but it's sealed up and there's nothing there anymore. Jennifer mentions that if Marty never saw the DeLorean time machine before it arrived at the mall parking lot, then Doc must have a second lab. They head to the Hill Valley Hall of Records and ask Goldie Wilson II for help. Marty states that he is going to become mayor someday, and he is incredulous. He states that he knows that, as he has been working his whole life towards that. Marty states that his father responded differently when he told him that, and is about to tell him that he told his father that in 1955, when he is interrupted by Jennifer. She asks if there is anything he can do, as Doc is close to Marty, and tells him that she's sure that he knows what it's like when work takes someone away from them. Goldie is then sympathetic, and wonders whether the property could have been registered under a different name.

It turns out that Doc registered the lab under his birth name, Von Braun. They arrive at Doc's secret lab, and Marty uses the same tricks he used on the keypad and sign to get into the lab when he first met Doc back in 1982. Jennifer wonders how he did that, and Marty tells her to remind him to tell her of the time when he first met Doc. Jennifer boosts Marty into the window, and he unlocks and opens the garage door for her. Inside, there are many of Doc's previous inventions including the temporal field capacitor and a second DeLorean without a flux capacitor. Jennifer states that although there is no flux capacitor, the lab has everything else. However, there is nothing that will help.

Marty writes a letter to Doc letting him know where and when they wrote the letter. This will let Doc know that they are looking for him, and he can meet them half way. Suddenly, they hear a crash in the lab. They go to investigate and find a man in a diving suit caught in Doc's net trap. The man takes off his helmet and reveals himself to be Doc Brown. However, he has no idea of when or where he has arrived, and he doesn't recognize Marty or Jennifer.

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