After the success of last year's Figment run by Jim Zubkavich and Filipe Andrade, the Disney Kingdom line is looking to bring the 2000s to the little dragon that could.
Fans of Walt Disney World may remember the little, purple dragon known as Figment. During one of the updates to Epcot in the 1990s, Figment was pulled to the dismay of many children who visited the Orlando theme park. One shareholder even questioned then CEO Michael Eisner's aptitude. Soon after, Figment rejoined Epcot's stable of characters.
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In 2014, Marvel and Disney released a limited series run about the little dragon's origins. Jim Zubkavich and Filipe Andrade wrote the comic series for the Disney Kingdom series. Figment skyrocketed into publication and even went into multiple printings. Not bad for a Disney product, right?
During an interview with Nerdist.com last year, Zubkavich said that Marvel editor Bill Roseman approached the writer with an idea to “help flesh out the story for Dreamfinder, Figment, and the entire Journey Into Imagination concept.” Giving back story to a character not seen since 1998 wasn’t easy, but definitely worth it.
Stating that “the Disney Imagineering team and Marvel Editorial are very closely involved” with establishing a canonical storyline means there are some limitations, but nothing that can’t be reimagined into something new.
Earlier this month, Marvel.com spoke to the creators about what went on in the Disney Kingdom series and why it was so successful. Zubkavich, also known as Jim Zub, believes House of Mouse fans completely sold the idea.
“Longtime Disney fans, many who had never bought comics before, hunted down each issue and let us know how much they enjoyed the story Filipe and I put together. It was an absolute honor to add to the mythos of these beloved characters.”
Success is always a win-win for little known characters outside the parks. “On any project you obviously hope readers respond well, but the positive feedback and sales on Figment were beyond our expectations."
Going beyond imagination and expectation means more adventures for Figment, too. Picking up from the original series, Figment 2 will start in a different time period. After all, when you save the world and get to stay out of time for a hundred years, things change. Like no more steampunk. Just ask the Carousel of Progress ride in the Magic Kingdom.
And poor Dreamfinder's going to be quite disappointed since they're no longer in 1910. “The technological wonders we take for granted in our day-to-day lives seem like magic to our travelers from 1910, so that will definitely take some getting used to,” said Zub.
“Something as straight forward to us as a smart phone would seem like a magic box full of wonderment to someone arriving from that time period. Dreamfinder’s expectations of steam-powered science are in for quite a shock.”
And being a hero's not exactly easy—especially when “they have to try and live up to their own legend." And that's got a very real human element, too. "I really like playing with the duality of that: they’re famous, but also feel out of their depth."
Somewhere between Figment's world and a Doctor Who reference, a new companion will jump on board and a new villain will be "closer and more unexpected than even our dreamers could have imagined." Maleficent, is that you calling? Or is it Dr. Nigel Channing?
“I think readers are going to be really surprised at the twists and turns I’m throwing in Figment and Dreamfinder’s way this time," Zub teases audiences.
Artist Ramon Bachs will be illustrating the series and the writer has nothing but praise. "His storytelling and expressions are top notch. Our latest adventure is packed with emotion and exploration and Ramon’s handling it all like a pro; big sweeping locations and small character moments alike.”
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Figment 2 hits store shelves this September.