The internet is a wonderful tool. The information contained within it can be a source of inspiration, invention, joy, and knowledge. Unfortunately, like most tools, it can also be turned into a weapon of destruction. Bullying and shaming are just part of the seedy underbelly of something that also brings great joy. As Disney fans, we have all seen this. People love to go on social media and tear down what is popular. The optimism inherent in the stories of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and the like clashes with a worldview that embraces pessimism.
That is why Disney Kingdoms Figment 2, which is now collected in a hardcover edition, is such a wonderful breath of fresh air. The book tackles the doubt that lives in all of us, but shows that the power of imagination and optimism are always more powerful in the end.
Reading the first Figment isn’t required, but encouraged as it is also a fantastic story. We find our hero Blarion Mercurial (a.k.a. Dreamfinder) and his pal Figment in modern day Florida. They crash land and the modern home of the Academy Scientifica-Lucidous. The Academy is the modern version of Dreamfinder’s former institution, which happens to be housed in a building that resembles the Imagination pavilion at Epcot.
Dreamfinder is bewildered by the modern day which relies on microchips more than mechanics. His growing self-doubt, when combined with one of his inventions, proves to be a powerful adversary. Luckily, he has friends both old and new who are willing to help him defeat negativity and restore imagination.
Ramon Bachs’ artwork is superb as he finds a way to bring style to both the power of imagination and the darkness of doubt. The characterization is strong in the art while also including many visual nods to the legacy of the classic Walt Disney World attraction.
Jim Zub once again hits a home run for Disney fans. His storytelling fits right in with the spirit of classic Disney storytelling. He found a way of pleasing fans while also delivering a compelling story that doesn’t just follow a simple path.
As a special bonus, the hardcover includes some development artwork of Journey into Imagination from the Walt Disney Imagineering Art Collection. It is neat to see these pieces from various stages of the attraction's development.
This positive story can’t help but bring a smile to my face. Figment 2 is more than just a story about Dreamfinder in Figment, in many ways it goes to the heart of what makes The Walt Disney Company special. Disney tells stories that show the fullest potential in humanity and that with a bit of inspiration and a dash of determination, anything is possible. Perhaps that is why Figment and Dreamfinder remain so popular with Disney fans. They are the embodiment of the spirit and optimism of Walt Disney and all those that have followed in his footsteps.
Right now, I am optimistic that we will get to see Figment 3. For now, pick up Figment 2 at comic book shops and other retailers.