Pop Culture Gadabout
Thursday, May 06, 2010
      ( 5/06/2010 07:40:00 AM ) Bill S.  

“MAGIC IS TOXIC; IT ERODES THE FLESH.” Radical Comics’ reimagining of the Aladdin story, Legend of the Lost, concludes with its third issue this month. With the aid of a grizzled Sinbad (who first popped up in ish #2), our rapscallion-thief-turned-hero rescues the spirited Princess Soraya from the clutches of villainous sorcerer Qassim -- but not before we’re provided a visit to the underground city of the Aramaspi, with its Moorcockian named Tabernacle of the Dreaming Jewel. More than one magical alliance is made against Qassim (who clearly has a knack for betraying and pissing off), but in the crunch it’s a well-swung sword to the neck that saves the day. As well it should.

Can definitely see this ‘un being made into a spirited CGI-flavored movie fantasy -- just hold back on the Russell Crowe-styled bellowing, please -- as several moments in this third issue (the assault on an Aramaspi sorceress by a trio of stone titans, the high-pitched sword battle between our heroes and heroine against Qassim’s army of winged bird/monsters) cry to put in motion. First issue artist Reilley appears to have been nudged aside in #2 by the similarly painterly Stjepan Sejic: another unfamiliar name to me, though I have to admit that the transition went smoothly. As for Ian Edginton’s script, it remains admirably straight-faced -- at least until the penultimate panel where he has Soraya hearkening back to Disney by telling our hero, “There’s a whole new world to explore out there.”

That aside, I wouldn’t mind reading another one of these boyishly entertaining Arabian Knights comics. Especially if they provide Soraya more of an opportunity to show off her swashbuckling chops.

(First published as a "Review in Brief" on Blogcritics.)


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Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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