Review: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #3

btmr001The third issue of this series takes a bit of a turn not only from what we expect to find from the story line but also from what we expect to find from something bearing the Disney name.  Thus far this series has been an entirely entertaining story about a young girl named Abigail, cast in the princess/anti-princess role which is common enough at Disney, as she has to settle into the midst of her father’s gold mining operation in the Old West.  The casting of Abigail as the series lead is maybe a bit of a stretch for Disney, but then so too are her princess credentials.  She is from a time in history when villains were often known as industrialists, and thus her noble status comes from the power of the dollar as opposed to a hereditary status.

Although previously introduced, it is apparent that her father is far more of a villain than it might seem.  Although he runs what appears to be a successful gold mine, he seems eager to extract every penny’s worth of the mine that is possible.  This leads to bare attention paid to his workers in what makes a comparison to a good comparison to the likes of Henry Frick.  This might be a setup for some kind of last minute switch or revelation, but this issue is so heavy on the social commentary that it is hard to believe that it is coming from such a large corporation.  Amidst all of this commentary there is also a a decent amount of action as Abigail and her cohorts are forced into various situations requiring some resolution be it a runaway horse or a flash flood.

It is likely that many have stayed away from this series because of what they might expect from it, and rightfully that is an injustice.  It does bear the name Disney and it does feature a young heroine, but there is not so much of the Disney formula apparent here.  While it is definitely rated G, it fills its pages with strong writing, and surprisingly stronger commentary, all surrounded by well written characters.   Those looking for something a bit more edgy in comics have probably overlooked this series, but those looking on for quality need not look much farther.

Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Felix Ruiz
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy