Review: Figment #1
I’m what you’d call a fanatic of Walt Disney World. I’ve been almost 30 times in my life and plan on going many more. So yeah, Figment #1 was the first thing I was going to read this week no matter what. And I was pleasantly surprised at how charming it was.
Figment #1 uses the Journey into Imagination ride from Epcot as inspiration for the series. The original ride is long gone but a spiritual successor, called Journey into Imagination with Figment, is there now. Jim Zub takes bits and pieces from the ride and builds on them while also doing his own thing with the Dreamfinder and Figment. It’s not necessary to have background knowledge in the ride to enjoy the issue. The story is similar to the other Disney Kingdoms series, Museum of the Weird, in that it wastes no time in getting into the plot. This is a slight burden as the issue speeds along scenes that could have used some deeper explanation. Zub zips along Blarion Mercurial’s, the Dreamfinder, motivation for building this machine and why he specifically went for imagination as an energy source instead of something more traditional. The issue still works, but I’d like to see Zub explore these aspects in the next issue. The constant time shifts don’t have any weight to them beyond trying to get the plot moving quicker. Zub needs to make Blairon and Figment’s relationship a priority in future issues. Their relationship should be the driving force for this mini-series.
Figment #1 is very faithful to the original ride without being a slave to it. The Dreamfinder is a younger man, but we can see aspects that will turn him into the fan favorite at Epcot. The subtle nod to the song Dreamfinder sings while making Figment in the ride was perfect. Zub gives a wink to older fans while also giving Figment a bit of characterization before he’s even arrived on the page. Figment himself is exactly how I’d want him in a comic. He’s scatter brained but full of fancy, much like the Dreamfinder’s imagination. Zub’s gave nods to the Imagination Institute help give some backstory to Blairon ambition. I actually enjoyed this version of the Institute more than the one at Walt Disney World Now. Disney, use this for remaking the Figment ride.
Filipe Andrade’s artwork has improved quite a bit since his work on Captain Marvel. The exaggerated features have been toned down in favor of more lifelike character models. Figment looks great and his personality oozes off the page. Andrade uses the Dreamfinder’s original costume very well while adding his own changes onto it. The weird hat that activates the machine didn’t pop out as a reference to the Dreamfinder’s hat, but dawned on me when looking at pictures of the character in the ride. Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s colors use the original color scheme beautifully without it being overbearing. Figment’s colors are always there but blend into the background nicely, and get bolder after the appearance of Figment.
Figment #1 gets 4/5.
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