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Comic Book / Disney Kingdoms

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When Marvel decides to take on the Magic Kingdom

Disney Kingdoms is a Marvel imprint/series based on the attractions of the Disney Theme Parks and the first major collaboration between Disney and Marvel after the buyout. Shortly after the merger, Joe Quesada attended a baseball game with a group of Disney Imagineers to discuss possible projects and the possibilities of looking to Disney attractions for comic ideas came into discussion. Marvel writers and artists would collaborate with the Imagineers on creating these stories, starting off with one of the biggest examples of What Could Have Been for the parks: The Museum of the Weird.

Though standalone stories at the moment, editor Bill Rosemann has revealed these stories all share a "Disney Earth" setting and that these connections will become more apparent as the imprint goes on.

Unfortunately, the imprint would get Quietly Cancelled in 2017 due to the poor sales of Enchanted Tiki Room.

Disney Kingdoms titles include:

  • Seekers of the Weird (based on Museum of the Weird) - January 2014-May 2014- by Brandon Seifert and Karl Moline
    • Two siblings, Mary and Max Keep, work in their parents' occult curio shop in New Orleans. When their parents are kidnapped by an evil secret society, they must travel to the Museum of the Weird with the help of their Uncle Roland, to find a sinister object known as the Coffin Clock to exchange for their freedom.

  • Figment (based on Journey into Imagination) - June 2014-October 2014 by Jim Zub and Philipe Andrede
    • The origin story to Epcot's beloved characters Dreamfinder and Figment. Originally known as Blarion Mercurial, the story of the Dreamfinder begins at the Scientifica Lucida, a science academy in Edwardian London. When experimenting with a device that brings thought into form, he brings Figment to life from childhood memories. Wanting to tap into the power of the imagination further, the two end up creating a portal to an alternate realm, taking their first journey into imagination. While they are gone however, something emerges from the portal in the form of a sinister robot known as The Singular, who plots to bring absolute order to London and the rest of Earth with his Clockwork Control armies.

    • Figment was enough of a breakout hit that it received a sequel series, Figment 2: Legacy of Imagination, running September 2015-January 2016. Picking up where the first story left off, Figment and Dreamfinder find themselves at the Academy's new Florida campus about a century after their original adventure. Besides having to adapt to the modern world, the duo are confronted with quite the legacy they have left behind on the academy. Soon a new threat emerges from Dreamfinder's doubts of his own relevance: A shadowy nightmare known as the Doubtfinder. Figment's left on his own to go find help in the form of a young girl inventor and Dreamfinder's great-great-great grandniece: Capri. Now they must brave the twisted academy and exorcise the Doubtfinder before things get much worse.

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - March 2015-July 2015
    • Abigail Bullion, daughter of the Big Thunder Mountain Mining Company owner, Barnabas T. Bullion, moves to Big Thunder after the death of her mother to find her father in an obsessive battle with nature as the mountain becomes more protective of the gold within. Abigail must pick a side before her father's greed and nature's wrath destroys the town.

  • The Haunted Mansion - March 2016-July 2016
    • A teenager named Danny finds himself drawn into the home of 999 Happy Haunts, called there by Madame Leota and the spirit of his deceased adventurer grandfather. The vengeful spirit of a pirate has placed a powerful curse on the Mansion that prevents anybody from leaving or moving on, trying to make the residents as bitter and hateful as he is. Only a mortal can break this spell, but while Danny will receive help along the way, many will seek to kill or use him.

  • Enchanted Tiki Room - October 2016-February 2017 - by Jonathan Adams and Horacio Domingues
    • A Fantasy Island-esque ensemble story set on an island of talking birds and Tiki Gods playing host to visitors from around the world that in some way work through their different issues while on their stay in the Polynesian wonderland.

Tropes in this series include:

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    Seekers of the Weird
  • Artifact Collection Agency: The Wardens, which includes the Keep parents among its ranks, use the Museum to protect dangerous magical objects.
  • The Big Easy: Serves as Seekers of the Weird's setting, based off of the attraction's planned inclusion into Disneyland's New Orleans Square.
  • Catchphrase: Roland's "Obviously" and "Execrations."
  • Cool Chair: The Walking Chair, which as the name implies, is a legged chair that follows basic commands.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Uncle Roland owns a pair of "St. Louis Specials", guns that shoot skeletal ghosts. However, they don't work if the ghosts are friends of the things you're firing at.
  • Fake Defector: Roland. He and his brother realized the Shadow Society could only be beaten in the Museum of the Weird so he devised a plan to lure them in by offering them the Coffin Clock. However, the Wardens rejected his plan so they did it without their permission.
  • Genius Loci: The Museum's Library is sentient and will turn the books into a book golem if threatened.
  • The Heavy: The Reaper King is the Big Bad, but Despoina is the one most directly responsible for the events of the story.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Max gains a skunk stripe in the process of sealing the Reaper King.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Taxidermied chimeras serve as the Shadow Society's minions
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: The primary setting within the Museum of the Weird.
  • Ring of Power: Max is armed with a "shifter ring" that can take many forms, including a sword.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Reaper King inside the Coffin Clock.
  • Trick Bomb: Melody is armed with magical grenades that resemble Fabergé eggs which she can throw with her lacrosse stick.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Shadow Society succeeds in freeing the Reaper King but he's angry at them for taking so long so he deprives them of their immortality.

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Action Girl: Abigail and Onawa
  • Badass Native: Onawa
  • Canon Welding: Merges elements from several versions of the attraction: Rainbow Ridge and the mountain as seen in Disneyland, Barnabas T. Bullion and Cumulus Isobar from Magic Kingdom, Jason Chandler from the original "Discovery Bay" tie-in plans, the father-daughter conflict from Paris's Frontierland backstory, and the inclusion of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Willikers, who is perfectly willing to sacrifice miners to keep the mine running.
    • Barnabas is a downplayed example. He's willing to put his miners at risk but is genuinely reluctant to do so.
  • Creator Cameo: Like he is in the attraction, Barnabas T. Bullion is pretty much just a caricature of Imagineer Tony Baxter, who created the ride.
  • Genius Loci: Onawa believes Big Thunder Mountain to be alive and angry at the miners.
  • Heel Realization: Barnabas realizing the town is more important then the gold.
  • The Hero: Abigail
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Onawa to an extent. She had been adopted by the Bullion Manor staff when she was orphaned as a child, but her resentment as she grew made her a key asset to the gang's plans. And at the same time, that grudge makes things more dangerous.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Chandler's robber gang focuses on benefiting the welfare of the miners and townspeople, who have been suffering from Bullion getting all the wealth.
  • Like a Son to Me: Barnabas says Onawa was like a daughter to him, never realizing how much she resented him for stripping her of her culture and turning her into a maid.
  • Mythology Gag: Several references to the ride.
    • The very first page of the first issue features the famous dynamite-chewing goat from the ride.
    • Abigail describes their final escape from the collapsing mine as "The wildest ride in the wilderness."
    • The train is menaced by dinosaur bones and bats, much like in the ride.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Abigail's miner disguise gets her in the front door, and even gets her assigned work, but falls apart the second that either Chandler or Willikers looks at her.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Cumulus T. Isobar, though now he has a more striking resemblance to the one in Pete's Dragon (1977).
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Abigail disguises herself as a man to infiltrate the mine.

    The Haunted Mansion
  • Adaptational Heroism: Weirdly enough, Constance Hatchaway. Her backstory and personality are kept intact, but with some minor tweaks made to her present personality in the final two issues to better fit her role in the narrative of the miniseries. Namely, she is more interested in being rid of the Captain and preparing for another wedding than killing anyone; the moment the opportunity presents itself, she pulls a Villainous Rescue and decapitates the Captain while he's distracted, then leaves the other ghosts to their business.
  • Adaptation Expansion: A minor example with the portraits in the halls. Normally, all they do is look normal then turn menacing at the strike of lightning. Here they actually emerge from their portraits to menace Danny once they realise he's there.
  • An Aesop: Besides the stock "Face your fears" one for Danny, there is also one about not letting anger, hatred and greed consume your life and afterlife when the Hatbox Ghost explains the character flaws of the Captain and Constance and their inability to move on.
    • The death of a relative is a hard thing to get over, but that doesn't mean you have to shut your living ones out and try to deal with your grief alone. Danny realises this after mending fences with his parents.
  • Affably Evil: Pickwick. He takes a shine to Danny mostly because he's hoping he'll end up being Ghost 1000 and he's more then happy to have him forget why he even came to the Mansion. It turns out that was mostly caused by the curse placed on the Ballroom he was first seen in; outside that room he is more or less a helpful Nice Guy.
  • Back for the Finale: The Hatbox Ghost is first seen helping Danny escape the Captain, then disappears for a while due to not taking sides. During the Epilogue, it is shown he has the Captain's head stored in his hatbox to prevent him from coming back.
  • Big Bad: The Captain.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Several friendly ghosts intervene at one point to save Danny from the Captain.
  • The Big Easy: The story is set in New Orleans, much like the original Disneyland attraction.
  • Cartwright Curse: In her time, everyone assumed this was the reason all Constance Hatchaway's husbands died on their wedding nights. The reader is never left in doubt as to the real reason why.
  • Company Cross References: Danny's grandfather dies in an avalanche climbing the Matterhorn.
  • Continuity Nod: The Museum of the Weird exterior seen at the end of Seekers of the Weird appears in a picture in the Ghostly Materials Gallery.
  • Death by Irony: The Captain speculates that Constance, a five-time Black Widow, died on the night of a sixth wedding at the hands of her intended victim. He doesn't know for sure, though. He himself died drowning in the mansion's flooded basement after a long life as the scourge of the Seven Seas, the irony which he is bitterly aware of.
  • The Dreaded: Constance, whose mere name inspires fear in the mansion's inhabitants. Even the Captain himself gives her a wide berth.
  • Elite Four: Four ghosts of people who died in the Mansion's walls are able to control or influence the magic within: Madame Leota, The Sea Captain, Constance, and the Hatbox Ghost.
  • Ghost Pirate: The Captain.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Hatbox Ghost has been away from the Mansion for a long time, having spent much of his time traveling around the world, much like his animatronic being removed from the ride.
  • Liar Revealed: The Sea Captain forces Madame Leota to reveal that Danny's grandfather was never in the Mansion, she was just desperate to get any mortal to help liberate the Mansion
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The first page of the book has various New Orleans locals telling what they heard the story of the house was, including tales of the Headless Horseman and a doomed wedding as you'd find in early drafts. The villain of the story himself is a Pirate Ghost resembling concept art for Captain Gore.
    • The Hatbox Ghost's use of the Endless Staircase to travel to numerous haunted places connected to it seems inspired by Guillermo del Toro's plans for the character in his long in the works Haunted Mansion movie, where he was described as the spider in the center of a connected web of haunted mansions around the world.
    • The Hatbox Ghost says he was gone from the Mansion for a long time, traveling, which reflects the real-life Hatbox Ghost animatronic's removal from the Mansion ride.
    • Paintings in the Ghostly Materials Gallery include Phantom Manor, the WDW Haunted Mansion, and what appears to be one of Ken Anderson's 50s-era concepts for the Mansion. Reflecting each mansion's differing takes on the ride, the Hatbox Ghost notes their comic counterparts all have different natures but are unified by purpose.
  • Off with His Head!: Implied to be how all Constance's husbands died. Ultimately, she inflicts this upon the Captain when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Oracular Head: Madame Leota, as usual.
  • Parental Neglect: Danny's parents barely look at or talk to him following the death of his grandfather and mostly communicate with him via sticky notes. Turns out, they were both trying and failing to confront the grief they felt after his passing, and Danny is able to restore their family by opening up to them about his adventures in the mansion.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Hello Captain..."
    • Pickwick alludes to the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay by describing the Mansion's Christmas parties as "A Nightmare!"
  • Truer to the Text: Compared to the 2003 film, the miniseries is far closer to the spirit of the ride.
  • Villainous Rescue: Just as the Captain is seemingly about to trap Danny, his grandfather and the other ghosts of the mansion within its walls once more, Constance appears behind him and brings her axe down upon him.

    Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Appease the Volcano God: Misinterpeting scattered pieces of a break-up letter puts Chip under the impression he must do this and chooses to sacrifice his signed headshots.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Chip's unpaid volunteer status and his dealings with the wealthy Randy family come off as jokes about the Disney College Program and obnoxious entitled park guests.
  • Continuity Nod: The mystery girl reveals her full name as Saiorse Bullion-O'Callaghan, a nod back to the Bullions of Big Thunder Mountain.
  • The Determinator: Saiorse, who took a very, very long journey to the Tiki Room to bring one of the macaws to her father as a gift, Michael to be exact.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Pierre sadly allows Crystal, the bird who had a crush on him, to leave the island without her ability to speak.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Unlike previous Disney Kingdoms series, which had ongoing stories, this one is an anthology.
  • It's All About Me: Agnes sees her dog's sudden ability to speak as an opportunity to revive her own career. Chip's desire for fame and fortune lead him to wasting the Randy family's invested wealth on a hastily constructed Egopolis casino that begins falling apart shortly after it opens. José's out of control ego threatens the stability of the band.
  • Lemony Narrator: Tangaroa
  • Mythology Gag: The Orange Bird, tied to the Florida version of the Tiki Room complex, makes cameos in plushie form. He appears later on in the flesh.
  • Phonetic Accent: Just as in the attraction, all four parrots are written with an accent. José is Mexican, Michael is Irish, Pierre is French, and Fritz is German.
  • Shout-Out: Fantasy Island appears on the television inside the Tiki Birds's green room.
    • The Sea Serpent from the old Submarine Voyage ride keeps popping out of the ocean when Wally's back is turned
    • One of the monkeys from The Jungle Book (1967) appears in Wally's Imagine Spot in Issue 4.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Chip, big time.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Saiorse, who just wants some affection from her distant globetrotting father.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Agnes, who just has her dog for company.