Back to the Future #12: How Needles Got Here
Part of: Back to the Future (IDW Publishing)
Issue number(s): 12
Page count: 26
Writer: Bob Gale
John Barber
Penciller: Emma Vieceli
Publisher: IDW Publishing

Back to the Future #12: How Needles Got Here was the twelfth issue of the Back to the Future comic series by IDW Publishing. It is a standalone story that details the origin of Douglas J. Needles.

The main story — which is told in flashback — takes place in 1979, however the framing story takes place in 1986, immediately following the events of Back to the Future: Continuum Conundrum. In 2017, it was included as the first story in the Back to the Future: Who Is Marty McFly? trade paperback.

Publisher's Summary[]

NEEDLES' STORY! In a special one-off event, delve into the secret history of one of Marty McFly's most persistent pests, Needles! What made that kid into the troublemaker we all know and despise?


On March 4, 1986, Douglas J. Needles is sitting in his Ford F-150, covered in eggs from the delivery truck that he crashed into when Jennifer Parker ran him off the road in the unmodified DeLorean DMC-12 that she and Marty McFly discovered in Doc's secret lab.

Two officers from the Hill Valley Police Department show up to take him to jail. The older officer, Officer Foley, knows him well, and addresses him by his first name. He lets his partner know that Needles has a reputation as a trouble maker and has a long rap sheet to back that reputation up.

The younger officer is concerned that Needles is catatonic, as he is just staring straight ahead, saying nothing and not moving. The older officer tells him that he's just mad at something, at which point Needles says a single word: "McFly".

At the police department, Needles is informed that his story doesn't add up, as no DeLorean was found anywhere at the scene, and both Marty McFly and Jennifer Parker are both at home. The delivery driver mentioned "some 1920's car with a parachute", however, since the police found a flask in the delivery van, his testimony is not admissible in court.

The older officer warns Needles to change his attitude, since he is almost eighteen, or he'll be looking at life from the inside of a cell for the rest of his life. He tells Needles to take a hard look and ask himself how he got to be in his situation.

On October 8, 1979, Doug Needles began school in Hill Valley, having just moved there with his mother from Bakersville.

His teacher, Mrs. Montgomery, tells one of his fellow students, Marty McFly, to show Doug around. Marty attempts to shake Doug's hand, but he gets nervous and throws up on him. In the boys' bathroom, Marty is cleaning up, and Doug teases him saying that it looked like he wet himself.

Outside, Tiffany and Michelle have arrived since Mrs. Montgomery told them to check on Doug and Marty to make sure they're alright. He teases Marty by loudly saying that it looks like Marty wet himself. Tiffany and Michelle aren't impressed, and Marty roughly takes him by the arm to show him around school.

As Marty is walking home, Doug apologizes for saying that Marty wet himself, and let him know that he was deflecting attention away from himself as he didn't want to be known for the rest of his school life in Hill Valley as the boy who threw up. He begins to tell Marty that he was teased in Bakersville, but switches the subject.

Marty tells Doug that he gets it, and takes him to the music store. Marty begins to use his skateboard, when Doug mentions that he doesn't have one, and quickly switches his story stating that he left it at home. Marty tells him that they will walk.

At the music shop, Marty shows Doug the electric guitar that he wants to get one day. Once they leave the shop, Marty suggests they go to the mall, however Doug states that he has to do something else, and heads home.

The next day, Marty heads to school and is surprised to see Doug with a crowd gathering around him. He has the electric guitar that Marty wanted, but he doesn't know how to play it. Marty tells him that he needs an amp to play an electric guitar, and Doug states that he left his at home.

After school, Paul and Lee join Marty to practice playing for their band, The Pinheads. Doug stops by, and sees them playing. He insults their band name, then states that they can practice in his room. He has the most expensive band equipment available, as he states that his parents purchase him anything he wants since they feel bad about the divorce.

Doug wants to change the band name to Doug Needles and the Hot Sauce. Marty's band members state that it would be better if Doug learned to play the guitar instead of thinking of band names. Doug continues ordering them around, and they insinuate that they want Marty to deal with the situation.

Marty begins to tell Doug that he can catch on to playing the guitar if he practiced some chords, but Doug isn't interested in that. He wants to egg someone's house, and is nearly run over by a red truck. He yells at the driver, but decides that he wants the truck one day.

He takes The Pinheads to Emmett Brown's garage, where he intends to throw an egg at it. Paul and Lee state that they should leave, and Marty agrees with them. Doug calls Marty a chicken, and Marty is about to physically confront Doug, but his friends hold him back. They leave, and Doug throws an egg at Doc's garage.

An alarm goes off, and Doug realizes he is all alone. Doc comes out and tells him that he has called the Hill Valley Police Department. Doug scoffs at him, and, as he turns around, Officer Foley is right behind him.

The next day, at lunch the kids are discussing Doug egging Doc Brown's garage. Jennifer Parker is surprised, as he heard that Doc Brown invented a death ray. Paul states that since the police arrived so quickly, Doc must be friendly with the police department. They all agree that Doug picked the worst place to prank.

Paul wants Doug out of the band, and he wants to keep the name, and Marty tells him that he will talk to him. Doug overheard this, and angrily confronts Marty revealing that he has a new haircut and that he wants to be addressed as Needles. He says that he has started his own band. He whispers to Marty that he was the only person who has ever been nice to him, yet he continues calling him chicken, trying to impress his new friends.

Back in 1986, the police let Needles know that they couldn't contact his mother since she was out of town, and said that no-one knows where his father is. Needles says that he is entitled to a phone call, and the police hope that there is someone out there who cares about him. Needles says that there is someone out there who cares, and calls Marty. He says that Marty is a chicken for having his girlfriend run him off the road, and has always been a chicken. Marty is unfazed, and tells Doug that it is time for him to change.

Dramatis Personae[]