Comic Review - Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #1


Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost is a Radical Comics miniseries, written by Ian Edginton, and illustrated by Patrick Reilly. Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost is a three-part series, with each volume ringing in at 64-pages, and costing $4.99. The first issue went on sale on February 3rd, 2010.

The Story

Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost is an adaptation of the medieval Arabian tale of Aladdin, or Alāʼ ad-Dīn, from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. The adaptation works more from the popularized version of the tale, rather than the original: making Aladdin of Arabic origin, rather than Chinese; doing away with Aladdin’s mother, and making him an orphan; removing his magical ring from the story; and several other slight changes. However, compared most modern adaptations, this version of the story is a lot more dark and gritty, and feels a lot more like an epic fantasy tale than a children’s story.

The story opens in the deep desert, where two men are reporting back to a sorcerer. The men have been tasked with finding a woman for the sorcerer, but have found that the woman has been dead for 20 years. However, they discovered that she had a child, who was born in a brothel, and raised by the whores. Now the child is a gambler and a thief of some renown, going by the name of Aladdin. Once he gets the information on where to find the boy, he summons giant sandworms out of the desert, and they consume the men.

The story then shifts to the mystical city of Shambhalla, where we find Aladdin dicing on the city streets. Aladdin is on one hell of a winning streak, when the other gamblers realize that he is using weighed dice. The man he has cheated is Faziel, a notorious criminal, who would kill a man for looking at him the wrong way. Aladdin takes a good beating, and only escapes by throwing all of his stolen coins and gold into the crowd and causing a stampede.

Down on his luck, and completely out of money, Aladdin tries to get some money out of the whores he grew up with, but everyone is out of sympathy for the boy. So when a mysterious stranger (the sorcerer from earlier) offers Aladdin a fortune of treasure for a morning’s work, Aladdin jumps at the opportunity. The two travel out into the mountains, and end up at what looks like a dead-end crevice in the rock. The Sorcerer summons a strange monolith out of the ground, and commands Aladdin to place his hands on it, as his bloodline is the key to this lock. When he does, the crevice splits open to reveal a cavern at its end. The sorcerer tells Aladdin that he must go into the cave and retrieve for him a special oil lamp, and that he can keep any other treasure he finds, but that he only has 13 minutes till the cave entrance closes up.

Aladdin find the lamp easily, and retrieves himself a king’s ransom in gold. However, the sorcerer has other plans, and and summons his sandworms to dispose of the boy. Thinking quickly, Aladdin grabs the lamp back from him and escapes into the cave. In the cave he encounters giant scarab beetles, and tries to light the oil in the lamp to scare them off. There is no oil in the lamp, but when he rubs it, a Djinn appears in from of him, and offers to grant him three wishes. The issue closes with Aladdin sitting on a throne in a golden palace that has appeared just outside the walls of Shambhalla.

The Rating

Ian Edginton is well known for his adaptation work, and his work on period tales, so he’s become rather a dab hand at scripting comic book version of the classics. Edginton really works his magic on this adaptation, to deliver a much darker and more mature version of this classic tale than the one that most of us grew up with. Many Americans will probably be most familiar with the Disney version of the tale, but growing up in England, I was unfortunately exposed to the pantomime version of the story, in all its tacky glory! This version of the story is radically different in nature from those versions, and feels a lot like an epic fantasy tale, with a middle-eastern flavour, which I think is a brilliant way to take the story, and makes it feel much richer.

We don’t get to see a huge amount of the plot in this first issue, as much of the issue is spent introducing us to the key players, and establishing the the major plot points, i.e. Aladdin getting hold of the lamp, and the evil sorcerer wanting it back. I like the changes made to Aladdin’s back story, taking his mother out of the picture and having him raised by whores makes him a much more believable scoundrel. Edginton also removes the magic ring from the plot, which I think is a good decision, as it was completely unnecessary part of the original story. Edginton also provides some nice dialogue for the issue, which is pretty much in keeping with the period, and quite light on the anachronisms.

The artwork on the issue is by Patrick Reilly, and is fully painted. I think the artwork was created by traditional means, that is with brushes rather than digitally, which gives the book a very medieval look that suits the story perfectly. Reilly’s artwork is highly detailed,with some beutifully brush work, and great use of colour. His characters look like real people, with a great range of emotions and facial expressions; and his depiction of the ancient middle-east is dark, mysterious, and alluring. It’s an absolutely gorgeous looking book.

Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost is a great reinterpretation of a classic tale, which brings the story up to date for a modern audience. The story is darker and more mature than the popularized version, and the book looks breathtaking, with amazing fully painted artwork. This book is recommended for all fans of fantasy stories, and anybody whose ever wanted something more out of Aladdin than Pantomime or Disney will allow!


Related posts:

  1. Advance Comic Review - Hercules: The Knives of Kush #5 (of 5)
  2. Comic Review: FVZA #2
  3. Comic Review - Hercules: The Knives of Kush #4 (of 5)
  4. Comic Review: Dingo, Issues #1 and #2
  5. Radical Publishing Solicitations for January 2010

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!