When Disney acquired Marvel several years back, I have to admit that I was worried about what would happen to the House of Ideas. Would Mickey Mouse team up with Spider-Man? Would one of the Disney princesses give Mary Jane Watson fashion tips?
The good news is that none of my fears have been realized. Instead, we’re being treated to quite an “imaginative” miniseries about one of Disney’s best-loved characters.
Previously in FIGMENT: “REVEALING THE ORIGINS OF ONE OF DISNEY’S MOST IMAGINATIVE CHARACTERS! An all-new steampunk fantasy story exploring the never-before-revealed first adventure of the inventor known as Dreamfinder and his famous dragon Figment! Chomped … by Chimera! Acclaimed creators Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and Filipe Andrade (Captain Marvel) give a Marvel spin to the mind-expanding attraction ‘Journey Into Imagination!’”
BRINGING THE DISNEY KINGDOM HOME THROUGH COMICS
So just who is Figment, anyway?
Here’s what Wikipedia says: “Figment, a small purple dragon, occasionally seen sporting a yellow sweater, is the mascot of the Imagination! pavilion at the Epcot theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. He is extensively seen in Epcot merchandise.
“The ‘Journey Into Imagination’ pavilion opened with the rest of EPCOT Center on October 1, 1982, but the ‘Journey Into Imagination’ dark ride did not open until March 5, 1983. In the original attraction, Dreamfinder, a jolly wizard-like scientist, teaches Figment how to use his imagination. Figment is meant to be the literal embodiment of the phrase “figment of the imagination”. He is composed of various elements Dreamfinder found in his travels including two tiny wings, large yellow eyes, the horns of a steer (or dilemma, according to a 1983 appearance on the Today Show), a crocodile’s snout, and the childish delight found at a birthday party. Figment is described in detail in the Dreamfinder’s song ‘One Little Spark’ (by the Sherman Brothers). Dreamfinder introduces him: ‘Two tiny wings, eyes big and yellow, horns of a steer, but a lovable fellow. From head to tail, he’s royal purple pigment, and there, voila, you’ve got a Figment.’”
Over the years, Figment has become an ambassador of sorts for Disney, attracting fans both young and old.
When I first learned about this book, my only question was, “What took so long?” It just makes perfect sense to portray Figment in comics format.
ZUB’S WRITING CAPTURES FIGMENT EXCEEDINGLY WELL
Look, if I were the one having to bring a beloved character to the comics, I’d be shaking in my boots. What if people don’t like it? What if I blow it big time? Well, Jim Zub, working in coordination with Disney, is doing an excellent job of making Figment live.
He’s also giving life to Dreamfinder and the other characters around Figment as well. When we first meet Dreamfinder, he’s trying to use his talents to make the world a better place, but the people he works for aren’t very interested in that happening. (Say, anyone work in a company in which that happens?)
Dreamfinder’s boss is one we can all feel like we know because we’ve met someone like that before.
Unlike many of our lives, Dreamfinder begins to literally make dreams come true, and it’s an inspiring read. It’s a job well done from the creator of Skullkickers!
THE ART MATCHES THE TONE
Andrade’s art is whimsical and imaginative in its tone. There’s quite a powerful use of color and lines in his work, and he displays both “real” life and what takes place in imagined sequences with a powerful grasp of storytelling.
I also enjoy his ability to make the characters believable and understandable. Artists can often be good at either action or emotion, but Andrade’s style in this comic covers both adventure and facial expressions very, very well.
In other words, this art brings to our homes a little of the Disney magic that Figment stands for. Nicely done!
BOTTOM LINE: This Marriage of Disney and Marvel Comics Works!
Both issues of Figment have been excellent, and I’m looking forward to seeing the entire miniseries hit the stands in a collected edition, hopefully a hardcover one. However, a trade paperback edition is more likely to be affordable to the fans of this character!
If you haven’t been reading this miniseries yet, get to your local shop immediately and get these first two issues, particularly if you have a Figment fan in your family!
Want to hear more about this book? Be sure to tune in to the 131st episode of my Wayne’s Comics Podcast, which you can find at this link! I interview Mr. Zub, who gives a lot of insight into this comic, so don’t miss it!