Back To The Future #23 – Review

Issue #23 of the ongoing Back To The Future comic continues the story started in the previous issue, with Marty and Marcus having travelled back to 1972 to find out just why Marty’s uncle Joey ended up in prison all those years ago.

With the DeLorean missing, Marcus has teamed up with a group of hippies to try and find the missing vehicle, whilst Marty has tracked down his uncle Joey, who is trying to impress Biff Tannen. Telling Biff that he’s the son of Calvin Klein, the identity he used in 1955, Marty is allowed to join Joey, who is about to break into the home of Doc Brown’s mother to steal a secret stash of money.

The mystery of Marty’s uncle Joey was always something that was left unanswered in the Back To The Future films, one of those small background elements that helped to flesh out the universe, but didn’t need much explanation. The fact that it’s a mystery that’s never been explained to fans, and is so closely connected with Marty, it’s a situation that’s ripe for the comics to explore.

It also means that we also get to encounter yet another version of Doc Brown, one between the two we got to know in the films. This leads to a number of hijinks during the attempted robbery, especially as Marty can’t allow the Doc Brown from the 1970’s to see his face, knowing that he’d instantly be recognised.

Over the course of this issue we learn more about Joey, and just why he ended up falling in with Biff and his gang, why he turned to a life of crime. We learn that it’s a desire to live in what he sees as a more romantic time, a time when criminals looked out for each other and had a sense of brotherhood.

As such, it’s kind of sad when Joey is betrayed by Biff, and then willingly lets himself be caught by police in order for Marty to get away. He makes the noble sacrifice, knowing that he’s doomed, because for him, there is honour amongst thieves; even if Biff and his gang have none.

The realisation that Joey gets arrested, and then spends over a decade in prison, because he was giving Marty enough time to get away is a welcome surprise, and is something that will sure to have ongoing ramifications for Marty in the next issue.

Will Marty allow history to continue on it’s path, knowing that he was meant to be there and be the cause of Joey’s incarceration? Or will he alter the future and save his uncle from years behind bars? I can’t wait to the next issue to find out.

Creators: Bob Gale (Story) • John Barber (Author, Story) • Marcelo Ferreira (Artist, Cover Artist) • Maria Keane (Inker) • J.L. Straw (Inker) • Jose Luis Rio (Colorist) • Bart Sears (Cover Artist)

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