One thing that Disney theme park fans have desired is the story behind attractions. In the same vein are stories that take place in the world the attractions are of. Recently, Disney has released two comic lines that do just that: Space Mountain and Figment.
Space Mountain is a high speed, roller coaster type ride in the dark. Can a comic book contain something like that?
The Space Mountain graphic novel takes place in the future around an idea with the attraction. Space Mountain is a launch site. But, what does this launch to in particular? Space Mountain is beside a black hole that allows for time travel. Sound interesting? There’s more. It begins with a peculiar place that sets the stage for it all, and in the end returns to this odd, out of time place. Just what is the mystery behind Space Mountain? That’s what this story is about.
I was a little hesitant to read through the story. Space Mountain in Disney parks is a roller coaster with not much more of a story than that it’s interstellar travel. But, the comic kept me engaged. There really was a mystery behind the Mountain, and why the space explorers were on the adventure they were on. Yes, the time travel plays a bigger factor in it all than the Mountain itself. But, it was all done well.
The art was done well, though sometimes I felt that it was hard to distinguish certain things. This is all in the Disney Comics label, not Marvel. Not that the artists are bad, it’s that I wish backgrounds were a little simpler, and characters were conceptualized more distinctly.
Story wise, I think there were a couple characters that it wasn’t clear why they were part of it all. They helped, but weren’t integral for the story. But, as the whole thing unfolded, the writers skipped ahead when it needed to. In fact, I think the writing had wit and was the right blend of adult intelligence and child understanding. All that thanks to Bryan Miller, a seasoned comic and television writer, known for his work with Smallville.
Would I recommend reading this? Absolutely…if you’re a Disney fan. There are hidden gems that nod to not just Space Mountain, but Tomorrowland and Epcot attractions. A couple nods I wasn’t too fond of, but they make up for them at the end.
The main characters are intriguing, and the villain is complex. There are twists and turns that make it like a comic roller coaster. By the end of the book I was disappointed only because it was the end. It stayed that way until I read that there would be a “Return to Space Mountain” in the near future.
Marvel Comics has tapped the imagination of Imagineers to produce a series of comics that are inspired by attractions in the park. The first was the Disney Kingdom: Seekers of the Weird, which was inspired by the Museum of the Weird. Now, Marvel is telling an origin story of one of two of the most beloved characters from the theme parks: Dreamfinder and Figment!
The series of Figment takes place in a fictional, steampunk-like age where Blair must come up with a new energy source or his family is in jeopardy. How this is connected to Figment’s birth I will not spoil. But, it makes for a very exciting beginning of a tale.
What is yet to be told is how Blair becomes Dreamfinder, and what the meaning of Figment really is. But, taking Epcot’s yesterland attraction of Journey Into Imagination is just brilliant. It has always been an attraction that someone could…well…imagine more to it. Dreamfinder, in the attraction, makes it sound like he has quite a history to his journey. This comic looks to explain that background, and maybe even explain why he is on his journey.
Figment is as innocent and impish as ever. With Space Mountain, and other theme park comic adventures, I was skeptical to how it would all be executed. But, Jim Zub and Filipe Daniel Moreno De Andrade have made Figment come to life within the pages of this comic.
Journey Into Imagination has been one of my favorite attractions. I’ve always wanted to see a cartoon series or another attraction with this duo. This comic is already living up to the expectations. I was eager to read the next issue, but have to wait until next month.
And, that is the good news! This is the beginning of Figment and Blair’s adventures! Already this series is getting the buzz it deserves. It is a comic that truly taps into the imagination. The whole setting is believable, but not any one place. The characters have great backstories that are expansive. I’m even wondering if there will be a villain to the team of Blair and Figment. Even the relationship between the two is at the beginnings that make it interesting to see how they get to be best friends.
This is a remarkable comic that should appeal to both comic and Disney fans. My hope is that evolves into an expanded universe to have more than just this limited series.
Both Figment and Space Mountain are available digitally or at comic stores. If you’re a Disney theme park fan, these are not to be missed. They are fun and expand the theme parks to new heights of enjoyment.
And, until next time, have a marvelous day!
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