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Back to the Future

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Back to the Future: Continuum Conundrum (Part 1) Back to the Future
"Continuum Conundrum" Part 1
Back to the Future #6
Story by John Barber and Bob Gale
Script by John Barber
Art by Marcelo Ferreira
Inks by Marcelo Ferreira & Athila Fabbio
Colors by Diego Rodriguez & Jose Luis Rio
Letters by Shawn Lee
Cover by Dan Schoening
March 2016


Marty feels lost and lonely with Doc having disappeared through time from his life.


Read the story summary at Futurepedia


Notes from the Back to the Future chronology


This issue opens on March 3, 1986, a little over four months after the end of Back to the Future Part III.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Marty McFly

Lorraine McFly

Linda McFly

Dave McFly

Biff Tannen


Needles' gang

George McFly

Jennifer Parker

Doc Brown

Western Union deliveryman



Clara (mentioned only)

Jules (mentioned only)

Verne (mentioned only)

Goldie Wilson, Jr.

Goldie Wilson, Sr. (mentioned only)


Didja Notice?


On page 5, Linda says she's starting her first day of class to get her M.B.A. The M.B.A. is the Master of Business Administration college degree.


Marty's skateboard is missing the stickers on top that it had in the movies.


On page 6, Marty's house appears to have a basketball hoop set up that was not seen in the movies. We don't see how it's mounted, but it's away from the house and garage, alongside the driveway, so it may be a pole on a movable platform.


On page 7, a student at Hill Valley High School is wearing what appears to be a Megadeth t-shirt. Megadeth is an American heavy metal band active since 1983.


On page 9, Marty is telling a little kid the story of his showdown with Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen from Back to the Future Part III. He seems to avoid telling the boy how Buford said, "Time's up, runt," catching himself and just saying "Time's up." It seems that even though Marty isn't so susceptible to overreaction for being called "chicken" anymore, he does have some hang-ups about being seen as short.


    On page 11, George is on the phone with his agent, Jack, who has told him that "the Romancing the Stone" guy wants to turn his novel A Match Made in Space into a movie. A Match Made in Space is George's first novel which we saw had just been published at the end of Back to the Future. Romancing the Stone was a hit 1984 film directed by Robert Zemeckis who, of course, also the directed the Back to the Future movie trilogy. In the novelization of Back to the Future Part II, Marty sees an advertising poster in a video store window for the A Match Made in Space movie in 2015, but no indication of who directed it.

    George doesn't seem impressed that the director of Romancing the Stone wants to adapt his novel, but Marty remarks that he likes Romancing the Stone.


Page 11 implies that Marty has told his parents that Doc moved away in order to explain his absence since the end of Back to the Future Part III.


On page 12, Marty's history teacher is talking about a popular athlete who rose to political power as Caligula. Caligula was the third emperor of Roman Empire, from 37-41 AD, known for a tyrannical reign.


On page 12, the Western Union deliveryman says his supervisor told him about a similar message delivery from the Old West to a time decades later when he was young. The supervisor must be referring to (or be the man himself) the Western Union man who delivered Doc's letter to Marty near the end of Back to the Future Part II.


Jennifer's friend called Tiffany on page 13 may be Biff's daughter, who is mentioned (as Tiff Tannen) in "It's About Time".


On page 16, the "keep out" sign at Doc's secret lab is spelled as "keyp out". In "When Marty Met Emmett", the spelling of Doc's "Know Entry" sign is what allowed Marty to figure out the password to the gate on the day they met.


Marty and Jennifer discover a second DeLorean hidden at Doc's secret lab.


On page 19, Jennifer remarks she was kind of hoping to find a time phone in Doc's secret lab. This may be a reference to the time-travelling phone booth in the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, but it wasn't released until 1989!


    On the last page of this issue, Doc stumbles into the lab wearing an old diver's suit and asks Marty and Jennifer, "...who in the name of Nicolaus Copernicus are you?!" As mentioned in previous studies, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Prussian astronomer and mathematician and the namesake of Doc's dog, Copernicus, in 1955.

    When Doc stumbles into his lab, he inadvertently sets off a net trap, just as happened to Marty at Doc's main lab in "When Marty Met Emmett".


DeLorean Time Machine: Doc Brown's Owners' Workshop Manual Notes from the DeLorean Time Machine: Doc Brown's Owners' Workshop Manual

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, hardcover edition, published 2021)


Doc mentions the purchase of his secret lab in 1982 on page 21. He purchased this property as a place to conduct his nuclear experiments in order to protect Marty. This lab is said to be located at 2240 Industrial Drive. He purchased the property through Armstrong Realty, which was one of the businesses seen in Courthouse Square in 1955 in Back to the Future. The realtor was Joe Wilson (any relation to Goldie Wilson?). On page 22, Doc writes that since the building was formerly a garage, it's also perfect for his automotive work. So, this all pretty much explains how he was able to keep his time machine a secret from Marty for 3 years while the boy worked for him.


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