I was at one of my two local comic shops this week for my usual swag of goodies, when I noticed one of the guys bagging up the new releases. What caught my eye was Radical’s Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #1. Amongst all the Big Two offerings, it stood out like a Twilight fan at Comic-Con. It’s painted cardstock cover and general handsome presentation means that it should (as it deserves to) swivel heads looking amongst the latest floppies.
That’s indicative of pretty much all of Radical’s output though, and this year looks set to be the best yet from the relatively new company. Aladdin, BTW is definitely another book you should read. It’s swashbuckling in all the right ways. And now on to Enchanted.
The perceptive would’ve seen the Legends: The Enchanted OGN in this month’s Previews. That 128 page “deluxe hardcover” book arrives in April, and this zero ish acts as a primer. Comparing the premise to Fables and the works of Zenescope is the first description that comes to mind, but like most of Radical’s books it’s set just enough apart from anything else that it’s easily its own beast. They have a brief, yet solid history of dressing up great concepts with killer looks and Legends is no different.
It begins with Jack the Giant-Killer doing what his title implies, with Conan-like machismo, simultaneously saving and destroying the humble town of Krakenfield in the process, before riding off on a mean bike. Then we’re whisked away to Pinocchio, who is fully grown and is being tortured. It seems that not everyone in this fantastic world likes these “enchanted” folk and their powerful abilities, including the handy, but painful “healing charm.” We then see Red Riding Hood slicing up some wolves in the dark woods, and then meet some ugly folk (including one wearing a shirt with the Radical logo on it) in a tavern looking to stir up trouble, but who do not go unnoticed.
Creator Nick Percival does a superb job of teasing the world he’s created. The OGN will show us darker versions of Hansel, Gretel, Goldilocks and Humpty Dumpty amongst others, and this #0 issue is a great introduction -and it’s only $1! This is a grisly world filled with bionics and mechanics as much as grotesque creatures and medieval brutality. Sure, not a lot happens here, but Radical are obviously confident that Legends will find a greater readership and if nothing else Percival’s tale is the mark of a future talent to keep your eyes upon. There’s a richness to his painting style that Radical readers would be familiar with and a boldness to the way he approaches each page. He lets each scene breathe, and though it’s obvious he’s bursting at the seams with mad ideas, he’s in no rush to tell a complete story here. There will be plenty of time for that come April, and I for one am looking to visit this crazy world then.