Reading the first issue of Radical Comics’ new take on the Aladdin story, Legacy of the Lost, I had a moment where I flashed on the brief faux controversy arising from the Disneyfied musical take on the story. As originally released, the 1992 animated musical contained a song with a lyrical ref to severed ears (“Where they chop off your ear if they don't like your face”), but the offending line was replaced after the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee publicly complained. In the new comic book Aladdin, scripter Ian Edginton includes a scene where our young thief hero is caught trying to cheat at dice and nearly gets his hands lopped off — a variation on the yarn that inspired the original Howard Ashman/Alan Menken lyric. Don’t see Radical recalling and re-lettering their comic, though.
That times-have-changed moment noted, on the basis of the first in this three-issue mini-series, Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost looks to be a fairly straightforward remake of the story of a boy and djinn. First ish is primarily devoted to establishing the villainy of wicked sorcerer Qassim and to getting our hero into the cave that contains the magical lamp. As murderous weapons, Qassim utilizes a pair of toothy sand-dwelling monsters (bring on the disposable lackeys!) which prove suitably impressive, while the cave itself contains its share of Harryhausen-esque menaces (giant scorpions!) that’ll warm the bloodthirsty cockles of every creature-crazed young boy’s heart.
Patrick Reilly’s painterly renderings of the proceedings, separated with thick black spaced ‘tween the panels, make even the outdoor market of Arabian city Shambhalla look cavernous at times — or perhaps like the studio bound world of an old exotic fantasy starring Maria Montez. The women all have bigger breasts, of course, but then you knew that would be the case, right? All part of the Whole New World of modern American comics.