Seekers Of The Weird is a five-issue comic book series, the first in the Disney Kingdoms line by Marvel comics, launched in January 2014. The series was written by Brandon Seifert, drawn by Karl Moline and Filipe Andrade, and colored by Jean-Francois Beaulieu. It is based on Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey's unused concepts and ideas from the Museum Of The Weird.
The story is about two teenagers, Maxwell and Melody Keep. With the help of their strange uncle Roland, they have to brave the dangers of the Museum of the Weird, which is a repository for the most dangerous mystical artifacts on earth. The kids have seven days to find one artifact in particular. If they don't find it in time, there's going to be dire consequences. But if they do find it in time... the consequences may be even worse!
(first released January 15th, 2014)
Maxwell and Melody Keep often find themselves working behind the counter at their family’s occult bookstore, Keep it Weird, in New Orleans’s French Quarter. Maxwell is brainy and kind of morbid, leading him to enjoy this after-school job. However, Melody hates it. She's on the lacrosse team and doesn't want anything to do with the strange stuff her family's into, to the point where she wonders if she's even more of a black sheep in the family than their estranged uncle, Roland.
That night, a crash from downstairs leads the siblings to discover their parents, Arthur and Ellen Keep, being attacked by strange chimeric creatures, revealed to be taxidermy animals brought to life. The monsters abduct the parents and vanish into the rainy night, and are about to do the same to Maxwell and Melody when uncle Roland suddenly arrives to rescue them with strange, magical artifacts. In the midst of all this, two of the monsters deliver a Candleman that erupts into blue flame, projecting the image of a woman. She demands that a Coffin Clock be delivered to her by the time the Candleman burns down or they will never see the Keeps again, and vanishes in a burst of fire that sets the shop ablaze.
Roland takes the kids and the Candleman to their parents private office, revealing a strange door inside. He asks them if they have keys and the each reveal one around their necks, before producing his own key and unlocking it. It leads to the massive and space-defying Museum of the Weird. Confused, Maxwell and Melody try to ask him questions, but he is in too much of a rush and only divulges that someone named Despoina and her Society of Shadows want the Coffin Clock and that he'll need things from around the museum to get it before taking off, leaving the kids to fend for themselves.
Exploring the museum and its curious artifacts, Melody and Maxwell talk about why they've never met their uncle Roland, wonder if they can trust him, and what they're going to do next. A romani wagon on display suddenly opens and sends ghostly energies around them, bringing many of the nearby statues to life. Narrowly escaping into another room, they find Roland crawling toward them wounded, his legs missing below the knee and green fire leaking from the stumps. He chokes out that he cannot get the Coffin Clock and that it's now up to them before blacking out.
Some time has passed and Roland is still unconscious as the siblings talk about how confused and troubled they both are. Fed up, Melody tries to leave through the door they came through, but it now opens into a white void and Melody falls through it. Roland regains consciousness just in time to throw a Grapnel Spider to Melody to pull her back in. When he scolds her, she angrily reminds him that he hasn't told them anything about what's going on, and he finally relents... after giving the Keeps each a Third Ear Amulet so they can communicate over long distances in the museum.
Roland explains that the Society of Shadows cannot be stopped until a very specific set of circumstances occurs, and that until that happens, their best bet is to play along and try and get the Coffin Clock to free their parents. With his legs gone, he can't do the task himself, and thus must rely on Melody and Maxwell. They finally agree to help, and he sends them on their first task of gathering information, both for themselves and him.
The Keeps travel to the Wardens' Library, where if they catch a book it will have to answer a question. The books literally fly off the shelves and as Melody and Max catch them, they learn that the Museum is both a training facility and a repository of dangerous magical items for a group called the Wardens, who collect these objects and protect the world from supernatural threats. Their rivals are the Shadow Society, who use the magic for selfish reasons and only seek power. Before they can ask about the Coffin Clock, the books gather together in a swarm and start attacking, shouting insults. Roland tells the siblings they need to escape with a specific armchair in the room with a face-like pattern on it. Melody fights off several of the books with her lacrosse bat while Maxwell grabs the chair, which turns out to be a walking chair that follows Maxwell on command. The siblings escape as the books form together into a monster-like heap called the Librarian.
Outside in the hall, they are confronted by a group of mummies Roland calls Husks, who try to wrap them with flying bandages. As they try to fight them off, more taxidermy animals break through the windows and start fighting the Husks. The Keeps climb aboard the Walking Chair and tell it to run.
Now using the Walking Chair as a vehicle, Roland takes Maxwell and Melody to the Wardens' Living Quarters, a relatively safe haven with food and beds (after they clear out the Mushroom People that act as janitors). After questioning by the siblings, Roland reveals that both he and their parents are Wardens, and that the armchair is part of a set of magical furniture called the "Living Room." Once all the pieces are brought together, it summons the Coffin Clock. Though the Wardens already had the objects, the Keep parents had only just discovered the information the day prior to their kidnapping.
The next morning, Melody and Maxwell set out looking for the next piece of the Living Room. Their communication with Roland abruptly cuts off, and they find their path blocked by three ghostly figures and more Husks. The ghosts introduce themselves as Wardens and say the siblings must stop what they're doing immediately before they doom the world.
Melody and Maxwell flee from the Husks and duck into what seems to be an aquarium full of ghost fish. Suddenly a trap door opens under them and dumps them into the catacombs below, where they are chased by Mushroom People. As they run, Maxwell detours into an alcove when he spots a desiccated corpse dressed in Wardens attire. Maxwell takes an amulet from around the corpse's neck. The Mushroom People close in and Maxwell tries to use the amulet on them to know avail. He tries pleading them by telling them they're looking for their Warden parents, which only seems to irritate them more. But Melody, catching on, tells them how frustrating the Wardens are for making them all work, and they start listening. Melody rallies them to their cause by saying they'll help free them from the Wardens of they help them out.
The Mushroom People take Melody and Maxwell to an exit and also bring them a walking table, another of Living Room set. Victory is short-lived though as they encounter more Husks and are promptly captured. They are taken to an exhibit where they meet Efrain Fenton Whetstone, one of the ghosts they met earlier and their parents' employer. He explains he is not a ghost at all, but a projection of his spirit from a trance outside the Museum - he and the other Wardens cannot enter because Roland stole their keys. He urges them not to trust Roland, that he wants to get the Coffin Clock to the Shadow Society, and tells them that the Coffin Clock actually holds the imprisoned spirit of the Reaper King, a powerful specter that has been trapped in the clock since his Black Death in the 14th century was ended by Enkidu Keep, Melody and Maxwell's ancestor; the clock is bound to the destiny of Enkidu's family, and cannot be opened except by the youngest in his bloodline and the black keys they find on their 16th birthdays. Furthermore, he reveals that Despoina was the Reaper King's mistress, and that his boon keeps her undying through the centuries, which she also grants to her society. She seeks to free the Reaper King so that he can extinguish all life and leave the world to the Shadow Society alone.
Melody and Maxwell refuse to give up their quest to save their parents, and Whetstone sends the Husks to bind them and keep them safely elsewhere. Maxwell recognizes the glowing amulet around Whetstone's neck and uses his own amulet to force the Husks to stop. The two grapple for control of the Husks as the Keeps escape to the Living Quarters. They confront Roland about his plan and he says the whole thing is a gambit to try and rescue their parents while still keeping Despoina from getting the Coffin Clock. He avoided telling them the whole scheme because he didn't want to worry them, and felt he could handle it on his own - now he must rely on them. In a bid to regain their trust, Roland takes the kids to the Wardens' Armory, full of magical armor and weapons, and sets about getting them equipped.
Seven days into their adventure, Melody and Maxwell barely escape a garden shed in the Museum Hothouse, using magical weapons bestowed by Roland to fight off monstrous plants and living topiary. They find Roland's missing enchanted pistols and use a "taming potion" to placate the plants before they get back to the Living Quarters, walking sofa in tow, where the Candleman has burned down to almost a puddle of wax.
Roland sets up the ritual to summon the Coffin Clock from the crawlway, the space between spaces. No sooner does the Coffin Clock appear than what's left of the Candleman burns out and Despoina and her Shadow Society burst into the chamber, along with the captive parents. She tells the kids that Roland let her in, and that he was working with her the whole time. They attempt to attack Despoina but she is armored by her own shadow, and nothing related to mortality can harm her. Unable to fight back and seeing no other choice, Maxwell and Melody use their keys to wind the clock and it starts ticking toward the twelfth hour, when the Reaper King will be freed.
Despoina bestows three-million pieces of silver on Roland for her payment, but Roland reveals the whole thing was another double-cross, as at that moment the Wardens arrive in their physical form, armed with magical weapons, their keys returned to them by Roland. Roland starts to reveal that the entire thing was a ruse concocted by he and the Keep parents to finally destroy the Shadow Society, but Whetstone won't hear it and orders him killed. Despoina, enraged, claims she will be the one to kill him for his betrayal, and a melee ensues between the Society and the Wardens over who will destroy Roland. The kids and Roland escape in the Walking Chair during the confusion.
Taking shelter in the garden shed again, Maxwell and Melody lament on the hopelessness of the situation. Melody searches the shed for something to help, but Maxwell has some sort of epiphany and realizes how they can save the world.
Maxwell unveils a part of his plan - using various herbs in the garden shed to control the Hothouse plants and get them on their side. In the shed, Roland laments that his plans have failed and he remain behind so as not to slow the kids down. He tells them he and their father discovered a prophecy to destroy the Shadow Society "in the House of the Wyrd" and knew the Wardens would not trust them with a plan that involved drawing them in, thus concocting the triple-cross with his bad reputation with the Wardens. Despoina, however, knew the youngest Keeps would have the keys and thus kidnapped the parents for leverage. The kids leave Roland to wallow as they try to save the day.
In the Grand Hall of the Museum, the battle rages. Whetstone and his Wardens have managed to seize the Coffin Clock, but it felt too easy. Suddenly, Maxwell orders the Husks to take Whetstone's amulet, and now in complete control of the Husks and with the plants and Mushroom People in tow, they make a charge for the clock. Roland also arrives on a topiary unicorn, ghost guns blazing and with a pair of animated bronze hands tied where his legs were. Melody frees Arthur and Ellen and they tell Whetstone the whole truth about their plan as they all charge for the clock.
But it is too late: the clock strikes twelve, and the Reaper King emerges from it. Angry that he has been trapped for centuries, he starts pulling the immortality he bestowed away from the Shadow Society, including Despoina. Maxwell notices the Reaper King is not completely free of the clock and runs for it with his key while Melody throws him hers. Just as Maxwell turns the keys in the clock the Reaper King dives for him and touches his head, but is sucked back into the Coffin Clock before he can do more; it leaves Max with permanent gray hairs on his head where the King touched him.
In an epilogue, it is revealed that Despoina managed to escape, though her arcane powers and her immortality are gone. The Coffin Clock was returned to the crawlway. The Keeps and Roland were pardoned by the Wardens, and the Museum was opened to the public, now the home of the Keep family. Melody and Maxwell continue their Warden training under Roland's eye, and all is well... for now.