The wild imagination of Rolly Crump continues to come to life in “Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird” #2 by writer Brandon Seifert with art from Karl Moline and Rick Magyar. This comic book continues the adventures of Maxwell and Melody Keep as they try to process the insanity that consumed their lives and destroyed their home in the series’ debut.
Seifert’s personalities for Maxwell and Melody, as well as their estranged and strange (and now legless) Uncle Roland are all very distinct, if not very deep. The issue opens in the Great Hall of the Museum of the Weird as Maxwell and Melody Keep try to determine where they are, where to go and how to find their parents based on the drips and drabs of information their Uncle Roland provides. Roland is not keen on answering questions and chooses instead to send his niece and nephew on a quest in response to the demands of Shadow Society. Their first goal is to claim the chair with the face on it. That leads to the Warden’s Library where the books literally fly off the shelves. It’s not difficult to imagine this springing to life at a theme park, especially as the siblings incur the wrath of the Librarian.
The art from Moline and Magyar is spotty and uneven. The characters go from being extraordinarily detailed to being more gestural and animated. Sometimes Maxwell and Melody even slide into insinuated detail, with large disc-like eyes, more commonly associated with cartoonier adventures. Overall, the art in “Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird” #2 spends the entire time waffling between a Kelley Jones influence, which would work for the book and a Paul Smith style, which also works, but never really settling on one specific appearance. As such, details ebb and flow and backgrounds do too, giving colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu more than enough space to express a wide array of colors and patterns. Beaulieu’s color choices for backgrounds trend towards the bold, which emphasizes the condition of the rest of the art on the pages. This issue endures an art shift with Moline relenting to Magyar towards the end of the issue. When Magyar takes over the finishes, the lines get darker and thicker and the characters’ expressions become more exaggerated. Thankfully, the change coincides with an uptick in the action. Moline returns for the final page, giving readers a tease of what’s to come that stops just short of becoming a cliffhanger.
The choices made for the characters are what transforms this from just another story towards becoming a Disney story, embedding little bits of imagination and character into the inhabitants of “Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird” #2. One such example if Roland giving his niece a third ear amulet to enable communication between them while Maxwell and Melody are on their quest. Being a bit of a jock, rather than wear it, Melody secures it to her lacrosse stick. Seifert is leading his team in the right direction towards making this a true Disney plot, poised for merchandise and brimming with adventure, but so far the spark and true magic of the theme parks seems just out of reach. That and there are no hidden Mickeys.