FIRST LOOK: Marvel’s “Seekers of the Weird” comic to launch new Disney Kingdoms series inspired by theme parks

in Disney, Entertainment, Theme Parks

Marvel and Disney are finally ready to pull back the creepy curtains on the “weird” comic book previously teased at the 2013 D23 Expo – and we have the exclusive first look at a longterm project that’s much more than a single series.

“Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird #1” has been announced as the first comic series published under the all-new Disney Kingdoms banner. Created in close partnership with Walt Disney Imagineering, the Disney Kingdoms line will feature exciting adventures expanding upon existing beloved lands, attractions, characters, and worlds of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“Disney Kingdoms is the ultimate team-up for fans of Disney and Marvel,” said Editor Bill Rosemann. “Working hand-in-hand with the world-famous Walt Disney Imagineers, Marvel’s best and brightest creators will unleash entire worlds inspired by and built around the attractions and characters that you’ve always known—but will experience for the very first time.”

Beginning in January 2014, “Seekers of the Weird” will be the first all-new adventure inspired by Disney’s legendary – but never built – “Museum of the Weird” attraction dreamed up by famous Imagineer Rolly Crump in 1965. The Museum of the Weird was to be home to a collection of mystical curiosities said to have been unearthed from all corners of the globe, originally conceived as a spooky walk-through attraction connected to The Haunted Mansion. Crump’s innovative designs were left on the drawing board, now resurrected in comic form.

(Cover by Mike del Mundo. A variant cover by Walt Disney Imagineer Brian Crosby will also be available.)

“We’re thrilled to be part of this historic launch that taps into the immense creativity of Walt Disney Imagineering to create background stories for so many beloved attractions,” said SVP of Marvel Publishing David Gabriel. “Grounded in rich Disney history, Disney Kingdoms is a great way to link Disney fans and Marvel fans.”

The idea to develop a comic based on Disney’s theme park attractions and the Museum of the Weird dates back two years. Gabriel says the idea began when then Editor in Chief Joe Quesada was attending a baseball game with Imagineers Josh Shipley, Jim Clark and Brian Crosby, among others. “Over hotdogs and Cracker Jacks they discussed what a great idea it would be for both ‘houses’ to get together and create action packed worlds and stories around Disney attractions,” said Gabriel. Now in 2013, Gabriel received the project to begin working with those Imagineers along with Rosemann to develop ideas, one of the earliest being the Museum of the Weird.

Though Crump wasn’t initially consulted on the idea, Imagineers are meeting with him this week to review all the details with him, ensuring he’s involved with this project a long time in the making.

The new comic is written by Brandon Seifert (“Witch Doctor”) and drawn by Karl Moline (“Avengers Arena”). The story follows teens Maxwell and Melody, thrust into a thrilling race through the world’s strangest and most dangerous museum when their parents are kidnapped. Together, they join forces with their mysterious and swashbuckling uncle as they attempt to rescue their family and save the world from an evil secret society. Along the way, they just might discover the truth behind their wild and weird destiny.

A closer look at Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird will be offered this coming Saturday at New York Comic Con during the fan-favorite Cup O’ Joe panel (4pm in Room 1E).

Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird will be a 5-part series beginning this January with more Disney Kingdoms comics on the way in the future.

Which Disney attractions will be featured down the line? Gabriel tells me “It’s still up in the air as to the attractions we’ll work on next. We all have our favorites so it’s a matter of working those all out with [Walt Disney Imagineering] and seeing what works best.” But those details should be coming “soon.”

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