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In the final moments of Back to the Future Part III, Doc Brown and Marty McFly say a bittersweet goodbye, as Doc now not only has a family with his beloved Clara, but they're still time traveling. That could have been a simple enough ending that sealed the story up nicely, but then Doc went and revealed that he and his family had already done some traveling before this last reunion, and some of it was to the future! Almost 30 years have gone by, and we never knew what those unknown adventures had entailed... until IDW Publishing decided to start a comic mini-series dedicated to answering just that.
With years of experience in telling the untold stories of Back to the Future lore already under its belt, and with the close supervision and involvement of franchise co-creator Bob Gale, Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train is the latest idea to have put fuel into the Mr. Fusion that is the heart of the series' canon. Using the adventures of Doc, Clara, and their sons Jules and Verne, this new series will go tell the story of just where the Brown family ran off to in their locomotive-style time machine around the time of the final film's finale.
And it all came about because Gale and his comic co-writer, John Barber, realized that it was what the fans really wanted. Barber explained this to THR, in the following remarks:
We ended up doing 25 issues of the ongoing series, once we'd gotten into the big story, and for the most part, they focused on Marty. Doc was definitely a part of them, but he wasn't the central character. And we were talking about it with our editor, with IDW, and the idea of doing a story about Doc, Clara, Jules and Verne -- his whole family -- it seemed like a good starting point for a good story. It picks up right at the end of Back to the Future Part III from Doc's point of view.
Of course, choosing Doc and his family as a source of comic inspiration also helped out in one other key department: It limited the amount of continuity troubles the IDW team would run into when adding to the Back to the Future universe. But even without all of the practical reasons and inspirations for the existence of Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train, it's hard not to remember the ending and start asking some serious questions.
What other adventures could have taken place within the world that Christopher Lloyd's legendary character painted as he told Michael J. Fox's Marty that he and his family had already been back to the new future they helped create? More importantly, how did the eccentric Doc get used to family life, just as he was starting to get used to being in love? You can see where this line of thinking inspires a multitude of questions, and it won't be much longer until Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train answers them for comic and movie fans waiting in the lurch. The first issue of this new series will be up for sale on December 27th.