The 999 Happy Haunts are at it again as the third issue of Disney Kingdoms: Haunted Mansion has hit shelves. Today, I’ll delve back into the adventures of young Danny Crowe as we left him in one of the most iconic rooms in the estate. As we continue through the halls, the story takes a bit of a twist. More importantly, we earn a few connections to the world outside the New Orleans Square manor. So, climb aboard your Doom Buggy and let’s go!
The Life Of The Party
The latest issue of Haunted Mansion shows us a little more about the situation of the ghosts trapped inside. But when last we left our hero, he had forgotten why he was inside the house and was content to party in the Grand Hall. That is precisely where our villainous pirate ghost, The Captain, discovers him.
After searching for his fabled treasure in every room but one, The Captain intends to use the living Danny Crowe to search the attic for him. But the fearsome ghost is no match for his own curse as the perpetual party of the Grand Hall has taken over the young boy. Danny just wants to continue the party with Pickwick and friends!
The Captain, however, is rather impatient. He uses his powers to mutate the Hitchhiking Ghosts and set them to terrorizing Danny. The spell on the Grand Hall still holds sway over the boy who does not flinch. But when he finds himself knocked outside of the room he begins to come to his senses and face to face with the Hatbox Ghost. Here’s where the most interesting part of the story comes into play.
Hatbox Ghost has a unique way of speaking. He seems to pause in the middle of sentences, often more than once. He also states that he doesn’t like to interfere with the other ghosts, thus initially turning down Danny’s request for help fleeing the Captain. But he gives in to the boy’s plea as the Captain approaches. Here they make a little joke about the Hatbox Ghost’s “return.”
From the location of this Haunted Mansion, its exterior, and the Hatbox Ghost, the basis for this comic has clearly been the Disneyland version. However, the Hatbox Ghost, a Disneyland exclusive, takes our young hero to the endless staircases, a Walt Disney World exclusive. The ghost explains that they are a maze and he is the only one that has figured out how to use them to travel about all the “haunted locations in the world.” This leads us to the Ghostly Materials Room, a room filled with pictures of the various Haunted Mansions around the world. Hatbox explains that the magic of the mansions spreads far and wide and that there are different types of places. One picture features the Museum of the Weird from the Seekers of the Weird mini-series that we covered earlier.
This is a fantastic little touch that allows readers to connect their version of the mansion to this book even if most of it uses elements from the Disneyland version. It also does a nice job to throw back to not only an attraction that was supposed to be part of the original concept but an earlier entry into the Disney Kingdoms line. And Hatbox Ghost then shares that it isn’t just the ghosts the Captain has trapped, but the magic. So, the quest Danny now faces is more than just helping the ghosts escape but to reconnect all the Haunted Mansions.
But Hatbox Ghost was clear that he doesn’t get involved and he leaves Danny to the library where the Captain shortly finds him with the assistance of Madame Leota. Leota claims to be threatened and worried that the Captain will smash her crystal ball. With the magic suppressed, she will be unable to reform herself if she were smashed. The Captain uses this to get a truth out of her. Danny’s grandfather is not in the mansion and she merely saw him grieving at his grave and attempt to use it to help the ghosts of the mansion. With no more use for her, the Captain smashes the crystal ball on the ground.
Seizing Danny, the Captain demands Danny go to search the one room he has left and where he can’t go, the attic. The boy counters that this is where Constance the Bride is and is faced with a choice, search the attic and risk death by Constance or face certain death by the Captain’s cutlass!
This issue, as a whole, did more to explain the true situation of the Haunted Mansion’s happy haunts than to really add to the pace or suspense of the story. We learn little bits about the world they live in and the reason why the Captain and Constance are the only ones not reveling in their place. It provides a shift in tone, from one where we get to glimpse at familiar scenery to a conflict with a climactic ending. This part will likely prove much more interesting once the rest of the story is complete. It, however, deserves some praise for giving a fun backstory to the endless staircase.
Have you been reading along with us? Let us know what you think of the Haunted Mansion so far!