BTtF When Doc Met Marty
When Marty Met Emmett
Part of: Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines
Issue number(s): 1
Page count: 14
Writer: Bob Gale, John Barber
Inker: David Witt
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Editor: Tom Waltz

When Marty Met Emmett was the first of two stories printed within Issue 1 of Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines printed by IDW Publishing in 2015.

In Japan, it was published by Takarajimasha, both in the Back to the Future: Untold Tales trade paperback and for a limited time as a webcomic that was viewable on Takarajimasha's website.

It was based on the background concept of the meeting between Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown — where Marty had sneaked into Doc's lab out of curiosity and had been hired as his assistant after showing interest in the things that he possessed. The version of the story presented within the comic was slightly divergent from this pitch, but still kept the basic concept of the story intact.

Publisher's Summary[]

“Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines,” part 1: BttF creator/screenwriter Bob Gale returns with all-new tales from the twisting and turning timeline that made Back to the Future a, well… TIMELESS pop-culture phenomenon! Take a trip back to 1985 and be there when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first meet, and then jump even farther back, to 1945, to witness Doc’s involvement in the super-secret Manhattan Project.


In 1890, Dr. Emmett Brown is attempting to generate the amount of electricity needed for time travel. However, after only generating 0.04 jigowatts of power, he deemed his experiment a failure. His wife Clara, and their sons Jules and Verne arrive immediately afterward, and Emmett begins to tell them tales of the future.

He shows them an empty plot of land that will house the Brown family mansion, where in 1915, a young Emmett will conduct an experiment by tying a teddy bear to a rocket.

He then goes on to tell them of the events of November 5, 1955, when he invented the flux capacitor after hitting his head after slipping off a toilet, which he explains to his sons, is like an indoor outhouse.

Then he tells the story of the events of August 1, 1962, when the mansion burned down, leaving only the garage, which was untouched. The cause of the fire was officially declared undetermined, however there were debates among the residents about whether the fire was accidental or due to arson. By the 1970s, most of the property was sold to land developers, and the immediate vicinity was housed by the fast food restaurant that would become a Burger King by 1985.

Doc was the only person who used the garage, until October 2, 1982. Douglas J. Needles was scheduled to play with his band, The Tabascos, that night. However, the interocitor tube in his guitar amplifier blew. He tried to steal one from Marty McFly, but it broke. Needles and his gang instead took Marty's guitar and told him he would not give it back until he got him a new tube.

Marty went to a music store and tried to buy one, but was told by the shop attendant that all of the stock was sold to E.L.B. Enterprises. Marty left to go to the garage to ask for one, but the attendant warned him that Dr. Brown was a real nutcase.

Dr. Brown had set a series of traps which Marty had to overcome to gain entrance to the garage. After getting an electrical shock after using the keypad on the electrified gate around the garage, a recording stated that he was not "one to foresee" that happening. Realizing that the wording was unusual, Marty picked up that it was a code, and punched in 1-2-4-C on the keypad. He tried to knock on the door, but no-one answered. After deciding not to break the window, he attempted to find more clues and found a key underneath an unusual KNOW ENTRY sign. Once inside, he set off elaborately set up series of objects that caused chain reaction resulting in him being captured in a net. He pushed his skateboard at the reset switch, which then released the net.

Einstein, Dr. Brown's dog, then playfully jumped up on Marty, and Dr. Brown himself then entered to greet his guest. He told Marty to call him Doc, as in "What's Up, Doc?", and asked him if he was here to apply for the assistant position that he said he had advertised. Marty told him that he had, and Doc told him that he was impressed that he made his way through the traps, especially his decision to release the net with his skateboard.

Marty then admitted that he hadn't come to apply for a job, but had instead come for an interocitor tube. After Marty assured him that he hadn't intended to rob him, Doc admitted that he had never put out an advertisement for an assistant, but offered Marty the job anyway.

Doc told Marty that he threw out all of the tubes, as he only wanted the box for his Static-O-Matic electric hair chair. Marty then grabbed the tubes out of the box, and went back to Needles. He gave Needles one of the tubes, and told him that he had stolen the tube from Dr. Emmett Brown. Needles was then scared, as he knew that Emmett Brown worked on the atomic bomb, and there were rumors that he was radioactive.

Back in 1890, Doc states that he never knew why Marty needed the tubes, meaning that the framing parts of the story with Needles weren't part of the tale he told his family. He then states that no matter the reason, without meeting Marty, he would never have met Clara and had his sons. Doc then sees that two-year-old Verne has fallen asleep during his story, and tells Clara that he has a million tales to tell, and all the time in the world to tell them.