Review: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #1
If Disney is looking for a modern evolution of its princess characters, then Abigail from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad very well might be it. She is introduced as a headstrong and capable young woman, one that even refers to herself as a princess at one point, but at heart she is nothing of the sort. Although forced into conformity due to her gender at this specific point in time (the Old West) she does not let this stop her from living the life that she wants to live, a life of adventure and exploration. It helps of course that she has been sent to live with her father, a fickle though not necessarily cruel owner and operator of a potentially prosperous mine which has not yet found fortune.
It takes no longer than the first few pages to throw her into an unexpected action sequence which works to help build her character as much as it does to raise the pulse of the readers a bit. This works much better to introduce her character, as she reveals her knack for being feminine while also being head strong and inventive. The story follows her into the town, which is a place full of characters that one would expect to see in the Wild West, but the focus remains Abigail. She first sneaks into a saloon and then figures a way to sneak into the mine where she is forbidden from entering. There are a couple of things out of place (a standing dinosaur fossil) but mostly the story proceeds at a quick pace and keeps the fun going.
Of all the Disney rides expanded to a story elsewhere, this one has as much potential as Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney put a lot of resources into 2013’s The Lone Ranger, but this single issue is proof that this focus should have been placed on a concept such as this one. As it stands, this is an exciting and fun issue from the very first panel and doesn’t let up throughout, and promises a solid future of adapting theme park rides into stories, provided that the creative team thinks outside the box.
Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Tigh Walker
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy