102: Back to the Future
|Back to the Future|
Title text: He's kind of an asshole, when you think about it.
This comic is a reference to the "Back to the Future" film series (specifically the first film) in which the protagonist, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels back from 1985 (present day for him) to 1955 and accidentally interferes with his own parents' first meeting. He must then arrange for them to fall in love before he ceases to exist from the paradox of his own parents never having children. An unintended side-effect of the way events occur is that his dad gains self-confidence in the past and becomes "less of a loser" in the present.
Cueball (who seems to have hair in the first two frames but perhaps that is just an inking error) has a very similar experience, and suggests that the aforementioned changes to history are what he really needed to do. After a frame of awkward silence, Megan reminds him that her father was in the World Trade Center North Tower – implying that he died (along with several thousand others) in 1 World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 at the time the tower collapsed due to a terrorist-flown passenger jet crashing into the building. Megan is therefore implying that that saving her father's life (and perhaps the lives of the other 9/11 victims) might have been something else of importance he "needed" to do - perhaps something of significantly more importance. He seems oblivious to what she is trying to suggest, which as the title text notes, makes him kind of an asshole.
As a side note, for the comic to make sense, the current date must be 2006 (or at least later than September 11, 2001), and not 1985 as it is in the movie. Since no dates are mentioned, probably Cueball went back to 1976, when his own parents met.
- [Megan and Cueball are standing, talking to one another.]
- Cueball: This weekend, my professor friend built a time machine out of a DeLorean and I went back in time! I helped make sure my parents got together and helped my dad to be less of a loser.
- Megan: Wow! Do you still have the time machine?
- Cueball: Nah. But I did what I really needed to do.
- Megan: Uh huh.
- [Neither says anything.]
- Megan: Okay, you remember that my father was in the WTC North Tower, right?
- Cueball: Yeah...why?
- Megan: I...nothing.