This is heavy! Based on the video game released by Telltale in December 2010, Back to the Future: Citizen Brown picks back up six months after the end of Back to the Future III. Citizen Brown is not a crossover from Continuum Conundrum, which is another IDW series based on BTTF that starts around the same time as this story. This is a standalone mini-series that happens in a different time stream and will have five issues.
In the first installment, we meet back with Marty and Jennifer as the DeLorean shows up with no driver and a message from Doctor Emmet “Doc” Brown. Marty has to go back again–this time to 1931–and save Doc from yet another catastrophic event. Will he make it in time? …And is it good?
Back to the Future: Citizen Brown #1 (IDW Publishing)
The art (Alan Robinson) and colors (Maria Santaolalla) are fantastic! The overall artistic expression of the comic is extremely vibrant and bright. It’s clear they tried to match the graphics of the game so the adaptation stays true to the characters. Doc himself is a tad intense–his face is all emotion and his demeanor is borderline psychopathic, which definitely fits his personality.
I’m a big fan of the BTTF movies, but I’ve never played the game. Thankfully, the narrative is placed in capable hands. Bob Gale and Erik Burnham write dialogue that is easy to follow while weaving a narrative that is still rewarding to long time BTTF fans. Along with character dialogue, Marty has an internal monologue going on throughout the book that gives you a closer look at what happens before and after certain events.
On the negative side of things, there are a few pages where the dialogue panels don’t line up just right and it’s easy to read the wrong panel first. It also follows the predictable BTTF pattern of showing yet ANOTHER reason why time travel is bad (when we all know it’s actually awesome/impossible). This visit, just like any other in Back to the Future, will lead to more events that mess up the future for Marty. It’s a predictable plot line for the franchise, but one that they (once again) do very well.
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