Friday, January 17, 2014

Cap's Comics - Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird #1

I, like many other Disney fans, have been waiting patiently for Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird for months now.  I love comics, I love Disney, this could almost be as good as peanut butter and chocolate together.  And I would love for this comic title to be a hit, give us a new way to put Imagineering concepts into other platforms, and maybe get Marvel comics into the parks.  So yeah, I want this story to be good too while achieving all these goals.  

As the story opens we meet siblings Melody and Maxwell in New Orleans, very fitting since the Haunted Mansion is in New Orleans Square.  The siblings are very different with Melody being athletic and likely popular and Maxwell being brainy.  They go home to their parents' curio shop, "Keep It Weird" and their parents ask they to watch the store as they complete some work.  That work leads to mom and dad being kidnapped by a supernatural power, the kids meeting their long-lost uncle Roland, and being set on a quest to save their parents. And all of this revolves around something called the Museum of the Weird, which somehow is connected to "Keep It Weird."    

Del Mundo Teaser Variant

Overall, I enjoyed this issue #1.  Honestly, first issues can often be a mixed bag for me.  And this is especially true with stories that have to introduce not just a problem but an entire cast.  I stayed engaged, learned who my favorite characters would be, and saw enough classic Rolly Crump designs on the page to keep me reading.  My interest was kept, which shocked me since this what I would call an all-ages comic.  Since all-ages books often have to satisfy several age groups, they often do not fully satisfy any especially the adult in the room.  But again I think the tie-in to Disney history and the promise of more kept me eager to turn the page.  I did approve the issue for the Between Tween to read (there are a lot of comics I read that do not get this thumbs up).  The review I got back was that it was good but weird.  And the Tween really liked Melody because they share a passion for lacrosse.  

Crosby Imagineer Variant

Being the Disney fan I am  it was Uncle Roland, designed after Imagineer and creator of the original Museum of the Weird Rolly Crump, that I wanted to see on the page. Having read and heard his words, knowing that there is some eccentric to him, I thought the portrayal was respectful and fitting. In effect, writer Brandon Seifert has taken Crump and transformed him into an action hero of his own design.  To me Uncle Roland was a combination of steam punk swashbuckler scoundrel.  I think Crump would enjoy being described in real life in this way.  And I really enjoyed Karl Moline's representation of this hero and I want to see more of.  Honestly, I could see Uncle Roland in other solo adventures (fingers crossed).  

Crump Variant
Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird is full of fun for Disney fans.  We get to see Crump designs that we have seen concept art for like Candleman and the Gypsy Cart, but have not seen in a story. And Uncle Roland as a concept is irresistible.  This really is a unique and interesting way to see ideas that have not been included in stories before in a new way.  And I really want Disney to continue this trend with their Marvel brand.  And I like the fact that this is a title that I can share with my kids.  It is also quite a thrill to read the names of Imagineers in the credits, and the story of how Marvel and Imagineering came together on this title in the back is a fun tale if you have not heard it yet.  

With issue #1 ending on a cliffhanger I have a few questions that I look forward to having answered (at least partially) next month.  And I look forward to joining Melody and Maxwell as they explore the Museum of the Weird. This sort of title shows how having Marvel in the Disney family not just adds great content to Disney, but can aid Disney in bringing already developed content into the hands of fans.    

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