Review - Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #3

One of the difficulties when adapting a story as popular as that of Aladdin is that it's hard to redefine what people think of the character. Sure, everyone knows that Aladdin is a street urchin, finds a lamp, loses said lamp to evil sorcerer, endures epic battle and emerges victorious. In Radical's Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #3, Aladdin doesn't fare any differently in the conclusion to the three-part saga. His path to that end though is where the work tends to differ from traditional Aladdin tales.

As a quick recap of the story to this point, Qassim is currently in possession of the lamp and the magical Djinn within. He's absconded with Princess Soraya and made his way to a floating castle of sorts where he plans to take over the world. One small problem though: he needs the Djinn of the Ring. Aladdin happens to be the owner of said ring, meaning that Qassim is looking to make a trade of Soraya for the ring. Caught up? Fantastic. Read on for the review of the last issue.

First off, this issue read a LOT faster than the previous issue. It could have been because there was seemingly more action in the third issue, or it could have been because this issue was about 20 pages shorter than the last issue. I suppose that would have something to do with it as well. Aladdin and Sinbad are well on their way to meeting with Qassim to save the princess while running with the Djinn of the Ring, Aysa. She knows that the team can't possibly defeat Qassim in their current state, so she advocates for a detour to gain more power.

Where does the detour take them? To a solitary prison with some badass rock sentinels, where they're guarding an Aramaspi sorcerer with great power and quite the grudge against Qassim. Aladdin learns a bit of his past and his Aramaspi ancestry as well and the trio subsequently leaves with the newfound power necessary to defeat Qassim and save the princess. Ian Edginton does a good job with the redefining Aladdin's backstory as the dialogue is pretty standard and not overly cheesy. Pairing him with Sinbad is something you don't really see that often despite it actually happening in 1001 Arabian Nights (I believe).

The highlight of the issue has to be the final battle where the world hangs in the balance. Aladdin, Sinbad and Aysa all make their way to Qassim's floating kingdom, preparing to confront him about Princess Soraya, Rhaz, the Djinn of the Lamp (and Aysa's love) and the infamous Dreaming Jewel. The final battle moves fairly quickly and doesn't really leave much to the imagination, but it's always nice to see entities with the power of the cosmos surging through them go head to head in battle. Since this is the conclusion to the series there aren't really any surprises as far as Aladdin and Qassim, and I'm ok with that.

Stjepan Sejic's art adds a great touch to the comic but I found myself at times feeling that I was reading a Witchblade or Angelus book. In a way, Sejic is plagiarizing himself, which I guess is ok right? It didn't really hurt the book in anyway; however, I worry that some readers may be a little turned off or feel like Radical is copying Top Cow. Some more casual readers may not be aware that Sejic is the artist for both and worry about similarities in art that are more than just "inspired." The lettering by Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt even reminds me of Witchblade! I should repeat that I'm not saying Radical is copying Top Cow or anything, but the team working on the book does a lot for Top Cow I believe, so there's inevitably going to be style similarities.

The series could easily be spun off into a new adventure for Aladdin that doesn't involve the lamp and I would actually laud Radical Comics for creating new property for him if they can (property rights may be in the hands of others). I know that Zenescope has a lock on a lot of the old school fairy tales and what not (with their own sexy spin put on it), but I would like to see maybe an original, ongoing Aladdin comic that puts him in new situations in his time. The Dreaming Jewel introduced in the series could be pretty awesome, giving Aladdin the ability to rewrite time. Only thing I'd caution Radical is to make sure you're not recreating Prince of Persia.

Although, a series pitting Aladdin, Sinbad and the Prince of Persia against one another in search of a certain artifact would be pretty awesome. Check out the alternate covers below (covers by Luis Royo, Clint Langley and Clayton Crain). The book hits stores this Wednesday.