First Appearance: Prof. Wisebottom's Time Machine (November 18, 1999)
A "time machine" in the generic sense most often refers to a mechanical, electronic, or even magical construct designed to travel either forward or backward in time or, more often than not, in both directions, at a rate far exceeding the natural progression of time. Within the GPF universe, however, "the time machine" refers specifically to one such device constructed by Nick's crackpot inventor uncle, Professor Wisebottom, under the influence of the Inventor's Gene. This device, along with its "time remote" derivatives, have had wide ranging impacts on the lives of everyone around it.
Early in the comic's continuity, Nick, Ki, and Fooker visited Prof. Wisebottom's lab at Newton Laboratories. There, Wisebottom revealed his latest and greatest invention: a time machine highly reminiscent of the one in the 1960 George Pal film The Time Machine. Despite Nick's objections about the dangers of altering the time line, the trio were soon whisked away on a whirlwind tour though the fourth dimension, first to the future, then through various periods in the past. Although Ki and Fooker escaped with little more than a severe case of Bad Hair Day, Nick suffered from "time lag" for several days following the incident, a condition that caused his sentences to come out in reversed word order. Upon their return and the subsequent retelling of their exploits, Wisebottom promised to dismantle the device so it can never be used for evil.
Empress Trudy's Time Remotes
The time machine disappears from continuity for some time until the events of Surreptitious Machinations begin to unfold. Central to the overall plot is an artificially created, self-sustaining paradox where Empress Trudy counseled her younger self and instructed her through a series of steps to ensure her eventual rise to power. The Empress accomplished this with a pair of "time remotes" developed by Doctor "O" based on Wisebottom's original time machine plans. These remotes acted as functional equivalents to the full-size machine, only with "modern" components that miniaturized the design. The Empress used one remote to travel back in time to give her younger self a final consultation, then used the other to transport the Fookinator back to frame Fooker for a series of mall shootings.
By this time, however, Wisebottom, now extremely old and confined to a motorized wheelchair, was part of the resistance to oppose the Empress. He reassembled his ancient time machine and devised a plan to send Todd back in time to prevent the Empress from completing her task. In this process, Wisebottom's original time machine was destroyed, as was the remote in the Fookinator's possession. Todd confronted the Empress in Trudy's apartment, resulting in both being sent back to the future. Todd eventually recovered the remote and traveled back into the past again, this time to rally his mother (Ki), the younger Wisebottom, and their friends to stand up against Trudy's coup d'état. The Empress, apparently using a previously unseen third remote, traveled back in time to confront Todd and prevent him from disturbing the time loop. When Trudy was defeated by her peers and the paradox broken, Todd vanished while the Empress escaped using the last remaining remote. The fate of both the Empress and the last remaining time remote are currently unknown.
The current state of the original time machine (with respect to the adjusted continuity) is unknown. It is likely safe to assume that Professor Wisebottom kept his promise to Nick and disassembled the device, storing the pieces in one or more secure locations. It will likely remain in such storage indefinitely... at least until such time when a rebellious teen might need to save all of time and space using it.