Review by R.J. Carter
When I first sat down with Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost, I began to slowly feel disappointed with Ian Edginton’s story, particularly insofar as it seemed to take the Disney model and apply several layers of grit over it. We had Aladdin’s new princely persona, the greedy white-bearded sultan, the unimpressed princess, the evil sorcerer looking to get his hands back on the lamp, and the all-powerful genie; you can toss in some street violence, gambling, and a couple of prostitutes, but the story still sang to the same tune.
And then it didn’t. Suddenly, the story takes a violent turn, as the sorcerer gains possession of the lamp — but loses his ring in the bargain, itself imprisoning a genie (a bit of the original story that Disney left out, to uncomplicate things). Death makes its presence known on a grand and bloody scale, and the readers finds himself in the middle of an epic tale that reaches back to the dawn of time and a primordial race of sorcerers who failed at their greatest objective: rebooting all of creation with themselves as the ultimate masters. The backstory provides reasons for how the genies became imprisoned in the lamp and the ring, as well as delivers a unique relationship between the two all-powerful beings that gives the old tale new layers of depth. Throw in Captain Sinbad as an unlikely mentor, the demonic Mantis Queen, and a prison built just to hold an ancient sorceress, and you’ve propelled yourself into an adventure worth taking.
As the sorcerer Qassim comes closer to achieving his goal, Aladdin and his allies must race against time to save all of creation. But what chance does a wily street thief have against someone who’s had centuries of time to plan?
Ian Edginton has reimagined a swashbuckling ride, with very few lacunae so the reader doesn’t get too lost along the way when he begins to deviate from the comfortably familiar. Moreover, Edginton’s story has a closure to it, something rare in graphic novels, while still making the promise of future adventures to come. The painted panels by Stjepan Sejic and Patrick Reilly provide some breathtaking splash pages and large panels, but tend to lose their depth and emotion when bounded into the smaller spaces.
Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost also features a number of pages of painted concept art from Rudolf Herzog, Hendry Prasetyo, Fred Rambaud, and others, and includes an interview with Edginton regarding the original Aladdin myth and his fresh reimagining of the characters.
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