Two tiny wings, eyes big and yellow, horns of steer…. We know what Figment is made up of, but we know very little about Dreamfinder. In the second series under Marvel’s Disney Kingdom banner, we get to learn more about Epcot’s version of Santa Claus. While the series is named Figment, the first issue focuses on Dreamfinder, which in my opinion, was the right way to go.
Do yourself a favor. Don’t try and make the comic fit the continuity of the classic Epcot attraction. There are nods to the experience, but focusing on how the book fits in to the attraction will only distract you from the charming story.
This comic would be a fun read even if it was devoid of the Disney connection. It does not rely on the Disney connection to tell a good story. Much like the previous installment Seekers of the Weird, the story is a fun family friendly adventure story that fits the graphic storytelling form quite well. If Disney Kingdoms does nothing else, it allows Marvel to tell fun stories that don’t focus on super heroes.
There will be some that complain that the story answers questions that were never meant to be answered. Much like Seekers of the Weird, the book is not meant to be taking literally by the Disney faithful. It is a fun story, spun out of the mythos and themes of Disney attractions which allows the story to keep the same magical sense of wonder that personifies the classic Audio-Animatronic adventures that were once a hallmark of Disney storytelling. The characterization of Figment is spot-on. With Dreamfinder we meet him at a much earlier stage in his life. He keeps his wide-eyed sense of wonder, but lacks the sage characteristics he exhibited at Epcot. While it is still early to say, I imagine we will see the character evolve and get set on the course that will make him the Dreamfinder that we all know and love.
The mix of the Victorian era setting and the prevalence of industrial revolution science will have some label the story as “steampunk” But the optimism that flows through the story counteracts any negative connotation. This is writer Jim Zub’s first Marvel work, but I hope it is not his last. He gracefully creates emotion while somehow easily explaining ideas that may not be straightforward. I would love to see him continue his Disney Kingdoms work, but perhaps expands into the main Marvel Universe or even the world of Star Wars comics.
Comparing the two Disney Kingdoms series is difficult as I enjoyed both while they each had their own tone. I am happy to see Marvel, not only finding new Disney stories to tell instead of just retreading previous material, but also doing it exceptionaly well. Many times these off-brand titles get the short end of the stick when it comes to quality. I am happy to say that this is not the case with Disney Kingdoms.
Figment is a fun ride (no pun intended). For those of us that remember the original version of the attraction, the comic also comes with some nostalgia. For those that never had a chance to experience the attraction, the comic is a much better than average issue. I am really enjoying Disney Kingdoms. I hope this opens the door to more Disney comics.
Figment #1 is available at comic book stores, Marvel.com and the Marvel comics app. It is written by Jim Zub with artwork by Filipe Andrade and a cover by John Tyler Christopher
FanBoy is a Disney dweeb who has worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World