Today, we’ll wrap up our Week Of Imagination! with the most recent story to come out of the Imagination pavilion, Disney Kingdoms: Figment 2. This is the first sequel to Marvel’s line of comic based on Disney Parks attractions and picks up the story of Dreamfinder and Figment right where the previous series had left off. The story proves to be an appropriate wrap up as it contains the creative elements of each era of the Imagination! Pavilion. So, let’s once again go on a journey with our two guides through Imagination as we discover more about their world.
Legacy Of Imagination!
The first Figment series, covered inmy review last week, gave us an updated origin for Dreamfinder and the titular purple dragon. As excited as I was to see a new version of this duo, Figment 2 took the biggest question about them: has the Dreamfinder become outdated?
As exciting as it was to see Dreamfinder flying towards Spaceship Earth at the end of the last series, it proves to be just the start of his next struggle. The Dream Machine crash landed in the courtyard of a building that resembled the Imagination pavilion in Epcot. The former Blarion Mercurial finds this to be the Academy Scientifica-Lucidus, his former employer from 1910 and relocated to Florida after his battle in London.
There Dreamfinder and Figment are looked upon as legendary figures but have a hard time finding their footing with so many technological leaps since their time. Doubt begins to fester inside Dreamfinder as he pushes himself to understand this new world. It ends up being too far when he tries to demonstrate his original Mesmonic Converter and becomes engulfed by a manifestation of his own fears, the Doubtfinder. The geodesic dome that resembles Spaceship Earth also disappears amongst the chaos.
This is where the story actually shifts more towards the titular character. Figment may have been popular but he has also always been a sidekick. This doesn’t change through the story but he is given his very first real challenge when Doubtfinder takes over the Academy.
In a desperate attempt to find help for Dreamfinder, Figment discovers a spark of creativity glowing in the night. This leads him to Capricious Harmony, an inventive little girl introduced to us in brief scenes up to this point. Oh, and she happens to be the great-great-great-grandniece of the Dreamfinder. Go figure.
The two sneak into a wildly different academy where they find the students and faculty turned into zombie-like drones. A fear fog floats through the facility that builds Doubtfinder’s power. Despite the obstacles, Capricious (known as Capri) is able to grab the Mesmonic Converter helmet and open a portal inside the Doubtfinder. Capri also creates her own little sidekick, a flying cat-like creature named Spark who speaks in funny rhymes.
For me, Spark made it a bit more difficult to get through the book. He doesn’t play enough of a factor to ruin the story but his little rhymes just seem a bit forced. But really the big issue for me is why you would need an extra sidekick when you have Figment, who’s name is on the book, still very active.
Inside the Doubtfinder, we journey into Dreamfinder’s boyhood days where a strict teacher would harshly dissuade him from dreaming big. From there, our adventurers discover a Maze of Melancholy that has our real hero trapped. When they eventually find Dreamfinder, its the inspiration that he had passed on to his descendant that returns hope to him.
But the Doubtfinder still roams free and retains control of the Academy. So, Dreamfinder faces down this more personal beast. Unlike the Singular, Dreamfinder doesn’t use his Mesmonic Converter to attack the Doubtfinder but smashes it to pieces and unleashes the dream power within.
The academy comes to life again and, in fact, begin spawning their own little imaginary friends. Soon, Doubtfinder is facing an army of dreamers. The army of dream creatures launches themselves at doubt personified and comes out the victors.
With this new academy filled with a new level of imagination and safe from the monstrous figure, Dreamfinder and Figment say their goodbyes. They rebuild the Dream Machine and set themselves about the task of hunting down the missing geodesic sphere. And even state that after they find it they intend to explore “(a)ll kinds of Neverlands and Magic Kingdoms.”
This book touched on one of the biggest hurdles for all of us: doubt. Seeing that even a master of imagination could be crippled by it sends a clear message that we all feel it at times. This could be a nice bridge to a more well-rounded Dreamfinder if there are more journeys ahead. At this time, there is no announced Figment 3.
Jim Zub returned to write this series and it shares very similar elements to his first Figment series. The main difference is that it gave more character time to new or supporting characters and less time to Dreamfinder himself, which is understandable. The art is a bit more cartoony as Ramon Bachs took over. Figment especially looks more like a cartoon character where as the last serial featured a bit crisper and more etheral art. Neither style is better than the other, giving different styles for different tastes.
In a whole, this keeps me interested in the new versions of these classic characters. I find myself very hopeful that they’ll return with a bit of fear that their story may end before they reach full potential. I personally believe there will be one more story coming our way after Haunted Mansion has its run.