Review by Wolfen Moondaughter
Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost
Street rat Aladdin has had things rough of late, but things start looking up when he, after aiding a treacherous wizard named Qassim, gains control of a djinn and, with it, riches and the interest of a princess. Things start sliding downhill again, though, when Qassim snags the lamp and the princess. Aladdin enlists the legendary captain Sinbad and other wondrous beings to help him get back the girl — oh, yeah, and stop the wizard from destroying the world!
The art in the first half of the book is done by Patrick Reilly. He has a strong sense of contrast and a nice, painterly style, but at the same time, the pages were so dark and the characters rendered a bit vaguely, so I often felt my light wasn’t on and I wasn’t wearing my glasses or something. Things improved for me with the second half of the book, when Stjepan Sejic took over, getting much brighter and crisper. His work seemed strongly realistic at first glance and, fascinatingly, very impressionistic upon closer inspection. There is a bit of a downside to his work as well, though: it seems like it’s very detailed, but the details are hard to see shrunken down like they are to fit the pages. I have a feeling that some fine work is lost here.
As for the writing, the dialogue is great, and there’s a lot of action, with many monsters and other fun, magical elements. The story is pretty solid, fairly well developed in both plot and characterization, enough to make it engrossing and give it a satisfying ending — though there’s a bit too much last-minute exposition going on, more telling than showing than I would like, regarding Sinbad, Qassim and his ex, and the djinns. Granted, in order to show instead of tell, it would have had to have been a much longer series, but that would have suited me just fine. I really like these characters and want to get to know them better!
Well, okay, at first, I didn’t like Aladdin much at all — he was a greedy, whiny brat — but that just made him all the more appealing later; when he charmed the princess, who likewise detested him at first, he charmed me as well. He proves himself to be admirably clever, as well. Even so, I find the kind, wise and somewhat world-weary Sinbad even more appealing. I also rather like Alexandria, a lady djinn who isn’t afraid to stick up for herself; her husband and other djinn seem weak in comparison. In fact, this book is packed with four regal, commanding, brave women — three of whom have a wonderfully scary dark side.
This volume collects the entire run of the story — or rather, this particular story arc. If it does well, according to an interview in the back, there may be more. Here’s to hoping we get more adventures with Aladdin and Sinbad; while this is a great book, with a fresh take on the famous characters, I feel like it’s barely scratched the surface of what could be done with them. Besides the interview, there’s also a lot of concept art, and I am very enamoured of the pieces done by Clayton Crain, love his character designs; I really hope, if the series continues, that he works on the next one!
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