I’m starting this series, half way through as I have no read the first one, but it follows the story of Aladdin who is a poor boy in a large city in Arabia who comes across a lamp, which has a genie inside it that gives him 3 wishes. One of which he uses to become a prince to win the heart of the princess. The evil Qassim who works for the king is trying to get his hands on the lamp to take control of its power.
The beginning of this comic is a lot like the Disney Aladdin, then it gets grim as Qassim turns the king into a pig then turns the guards into killer dogs. Aladdin barely escapes and the princess is captured and Qassim gets the lamp. Aladdin does take off Qassim’s hand, which was kinda awesome, it’s also depicted in the cover art. Unfortunately the hand grows back, which is unfortunate. It’s pretty easy to decide who you like and who you don’t in this comic.
I’ll admit I don’t have much exposure to the original Aladdin story, I think I read the story when I was a kid, but that was ages ago. To my surprise Sinbad shows up to help Aladdin, which didn’t happen from what I remember. Sinbad is another classic Arabian character and perhaps a timeless one too. I’m only half convinced that there isn’t a scifi Sinbad, I’m just saying Sinbad is awesome despite that silly TV show that was on back in the day. The show was still kind of cool, I still remember him shouting “Firouz, do something!” Anyway back to the comic, Sinbad helps Aladdin by taking him to the Mantis Queen, an old flame of his. Yes Sinbad got it on with some freaky girls. She makes a trade with Aladdin for his soul so that he can get a magical tracking device on Qassim, not a good trade if you ask me.
By the end of the comic a crazy tentacle monster shows up along with band of misfits and attacks Sinbad’s ship as they approach Qassim’s floating castle. The floating castle is awesome by the way. The band of misfits are destroyed, but Aladdin calls upon a genie (I presume a genie) from a ring of Qassim that he captured to get the genie to kill the tentacle monster or at least I think that’s what’s going to happen as the genie’s arrival comes exactly at the end of the comic.
The artwork in this piece is very textured, with fantastic detail, especially the scene with the Mantis Queen. The artwork in the first few pages looks shaded and drawn, whereas later on it looks more like a photograph that’s been played with by computer graphics as they have this pseudo real feel to it. This is especially true with the close up pictures of their faces in the Mantis Queen scenes. There are also great detailed work on the flying griffon/hawk man thing. It’s nicely drawn even if I’m not entirely sure what it is.
All in all the comic is pretty good, it’s a different take on a traditional story, but I thin it works well in this day and age. We have a more compelling cast and a lot more opportunities for action and suspense. Not knowing the other 2 issues makes it difficult to truly understand the context of his piece, but its good for what it is. Your local comic book store may have it, but you can also buy it online and download it too.