Figment - Zub, Andrade, Beauilieu
Figment 2 - Zub, Bachs
If you've ever been to Epcot, you've probably seen the purple dragon flying around somewhere singing his catchy little tune, "Just a Spark". If you haven't, you're probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Well, in 1982 when EPCOT Center (now just Epcot) opened up, it was the second theme park for Walt Disney World in central Florida. One of the main attractions was Journey into Imagination and featured the characters of Figment, the purple dragon made of imagination, and his caretaker, the Dreamfinder. This attraction has undergone many refurbishments and the current state is one that Epcot purists don't particularly care for. It features Figment but Dreamfinder is gone completely.
When Disney purchased Marvel, they released Disney Kingdoms, a comic-book / graphic novel approach to some of its famous attractions. Figment was one of the first to undergo this comic book transformation and Jim Zub was at the helm.
Figment (aka Figment 1) tells the back story of the Blarion Mercurial (soon to be the Dreamfinder), an excited, ambitious scientist at the Academy Scientifica-Lucidus in London in the late 1800s. He is working on a contraption called the mesmonic converter, a device that will transform thought energy, but in the process things go wrong and a creature from his imagination appears - Figment. They are all taken to a world of imagination and forced to survive. When Blarion's superior accidentally tinkers with his device, evil clockwork creatures and the Singular are brought forward causing havoc and destruction in London. Can the Dreamfinder and Figment find their way back to save the world?
Personally, I loved this story. It had excitement, adventure, danger, peril, and everything in between. I was excited because it had appeared Disney had turned their back on Dreamfinder and Zub breathed life back into him. The story was great, the illustrations were wonderful, and all in all, this was a wonderful graphic novel that Disney fanatics (such as myself) will love.
But as good as Figment 1 was, Figment 2 blows it out of the water. Dreamfinder and Figment find themselves in modern day central Florida at the Imagination Institute (Epcot fans rejoice!) when their flying machine breaks down. Walking inside, they discover statues of themselves heralded as heroes. But the headmaster is skeptical. Showing them the giant geodesic sphere that mysteriously gives their institute energy (Epcot fans, contain yourselves!), Dreamfinder agrees to demonstrate his mesmonic converter. Unfortunately, doubt creeps in and the whole institute is taken over by evil, doubt-filled forces leaving the Dreamfinder captive. Figment rushes to find an adorable, little girl who is an inventor and dreamer. Together, they must rush back to the institute and save everyone. But are they too late?
Perfect. That's the only word to describe this graphic novel. I'm a huge fanboy for all things vintage Epcot and the team on this one captured that bright-eyed, child-like moment of awe that Epcot used to instill. Again the writing is superb and the illustrations are breathtaking. I would literally stare at them and have to remind myself to keep reading. There was nothing about this novel I didn't like.
My only concern is that there won't be Figment 3. But after reading the second one there simply has to be. If you're a Disney exec reading this, I'll jump for joy if I ever find out - but more importantly, bring back Figment and Dreamfinder. Its what the fans want.