Rating: 2.5/5 – Great concept, not enough backstory on the Museum.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Lawrence Arboleda.
I picked Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird #1 on a whim because I had extra cash to spare and was in the mood for something light and fun. Plus it had the word “Disney” on it, not to mention the eye-catching cover by Michael Del Mundo. Unfortunately, what’s inside didn’t really do it for me.
Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird was inspired by the strange visions of legendary Imagineer Rolly Crump who created the concept for The Museum of the Weird in the 1960s that was meant to sit adjacent to the Haunted Mansion. Walt was in love with the idea but unfortunately with his death in 1966, the Museum failed to come to fruition. Now almost 50 years later, Rolly Crump’s outre visions finally come to life in the pages of this 5-issue mini-series with current day Disney Imagineers Jim Clark, Brian Crosby, Tom Morris, and Josh Shipley working with writer Brandon Seifert and artist Karl Moline.
The first few pages take us immediately into the lives of two teen siblings, Maxwell and Melody, as they go through the motions of their typical high school lives. Personality-wise, they are complete opposites; Maxwell strikes me as more reserved while Melody seems the outgoing tomboy type. Their lives take a weird turn as they see their parents get whisked off by strange and formerly taxidermy monsters right in the comfort of their own home. This home is curiously where the curio shop ‘Keep It Weird’ is located, of which their parents also happen to be the proprietors. Things get, as Alice would put it, “curiouser and curiouser” as more oddities and monstrosities come out of the woodwork. Fortunately for them, a strange visitor who happens to be their estranged uncle Roland come to their rescue. He gives them hints of an arcane nature as to what needs to be done to rescue their parents. However, this goal appears to be a tall order especially with all the strange monstrosities popping up from every corner.
The fast-paced narrative is entirely fitting since it creates more opportunities to showcase all the fun weirdness that is the title’s bread and butter. Most of the dialogue is sharp and witty enough to be worthy of a few guffaws. That said, I feel as if the story could have been served better if Brandon Seifert fleshed out the magical museum’s backstory a bit more. That would have given the story the context needed to give the readers something to latch onto even amidst the script’s frenetic pace. Sadly, I also found the characters to be clichéd and inorganic. There several instances in the issue where the characters’ outward displays of emotions in response to the stimuli present just felt a bit off.
Karl Moline’s art has a cartoony look to it that fits the overall tone of the comic. Aside from a few questionable decisions on panel transitions, the interiors certainly delivered in giving the comic the energetic vibe that the story calls for.
Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird has a lot of interesting concepts going for it but the debut issue unfortunately fell short of my initial expectations. While I loved the story’s humor, breakneck pace, and moments of weirdness, the characters were just too paper-thin for the issue to hold my interest. I’m hoping that the mini-series will redeem itself in the succeeding issues.
Reviewed by: Lawrence Arboleda
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