Figment #1 ReviewJune 19, 2014
One little spark. Imagination is something that belongs to all of us.
Anyone who has been to Epcot at Disney World in Florida should be familiar with Figment; he is the star of the show at their long-time attraction Journey into Imagination. For those who are not familiar, it’s a ride that centers around the creation of Figment, a royal purple dragon with two tiny wings, big yellow eyes, the body of a lizard, a nose of a crocodile, and a huge imagination. Figment is meant to be the literal embodiment of the phrase “figment of the imagination“ and his creator, Dreamfinder, teaches Figment how to use his imagination. Journey into the Imagination is one of the last original standing rides at Epcot, and it really is a credit to the strength of the character of Figment.
Now with the help of Marvel Comics, Disney is bringing Figment to life through a new comic line called Disney Kingdoms in a five issue mini-series. It’s the second entry into the series following Seekers of the Weird. The comic that has been released explores both the origins of Figment and his creator, Dreamfinder. Dreamfinder (called Blarion Mercurial in the series) is a young inventor studying at the Scientifica Lucida science academy in London in the year 1910. The faculty don’t know what to do with Dreamfinder as his ambitious and restless creativity has put him at odds with those in charge of the academy.
Blarion has wild ideas about crystal prisms, gyroscopes, magnetism, and electron beams. In a fantastic turn of events straight out of the rides famous Sherman brothers song, “One Little Spark”, Blarion conjures a figment of his imagination which results in the birth of the little dragon, Figment. While Marvel fans be reminded of another dragon, Lockheed, who fought alongside Kitty Pryde but Lockheed is more relentless warrior and Figment is a friendly, mischievous, comedic dragon, borne of childish imagination.
Figment #1 is a an absolute joyous read; beautifully drawn in a style that captures the essence of Disney while maintaining its own original feel, and taking cues from the classic Epcot ride, Journey into Imagination.
The first issue of this series is written so perfectly that the words easily jump off the page and seem to resonate in a loud boisterous voice. This first issue titled “Journey into Imagination” is just the beginning of this adventure that will leave you smiling; its a page turner that will leave you wanting more at the end of the ride. There is also a steampunk undertone to the comic and the artists do a great job in being able to bring this comic world to life.
While there are the connections to the Disney ride, there are also other references throughout, including the Future World font that is used in the comic’s title.
There are some great lessons within the first issue of Figment that will really speak to younger readers. The comic wants to get the point across that you should keep working to accomplish your goals and don’t let the obstacles in your way get you down. With the addition of Figment, there’s this lesson of continuing to use your imagination to create, which speaks well to both younger and older readers.
While visitors to the current iteration of the ride will notice that it isn’t the best it has been, the spirit of Figment is alive and well in the new Marvel and Disney comic and it’s obvious that those who created it are fans of the original experience, as there is a lot of love and care taken with the character. This second installment into the Disney Kingdoms series is even stronger than Seekers of the Weird, which will appeal to adults and kids alike with its fun blend of sci-fi and fantasy.
If you are a fan of classic Disney storytelling mixed with Marvel’s excellent art style, then this is the comic book for you. Revisit what one can do with their imagination with this classic Disney character.