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Webcomic / Diamond in the Rough (Aladdin)

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Diamond in the Rough is a Fan Webcomic of Aladdin, written by Theo Dolev and illustrated by Ophir Sheriff. The comic is 36 pages long, and is a prequel speculating on the origins of various characters. Unfortunately not much more can be described about it without spoiling some big plot points, so just know that it has Awesome Art and can be read here.

For the Touhou Project fan video series, click here.

Diamond in the Rough provides examples of:

  • The Atoner: The mage, the lamp's previous owner who's now hiding it before he or anyone else can cause more trouble with it.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: There are two uses of "what the hell" and "prick", but that's it.
  • Badass Normal: Despite not appearing to be a wizard, the guard is quite handy with his sword, and then catches his enemies by surprise at the end with a spell of his own from his friend's borrowed staff.
  • Blunt "Yes": Jafar takes shameless amusement at Iago's curse.
    Iago: You think this is funny, don't you?
    Jafar: Obviously, yes.
  • Body Horror: The mage's hands painfully turn into the Carpet's tassels.
  • Call-Forward: Just like Aladdin, the guard muses upon seeing the Cave's "gold" that just one handful would make him richer than the Sultan.
  • Canon Character All Along: The comic starts out with seemingly new protagonists, until The Reveal that they are the flying Carpet and the Tiger head of the Cave of Wonders in human form.
  • Continuity Snarl: Yes, the comic does contradict in the film's backstory bits about Genie having been locked away for ten thousand years and other such lines, but it's still a worthwhile What If?.
  • Fauxshadow:
    • The mage's long robes, thin bearded face, and association with snakes may cause one to speculate that he's Jafar. He's actually a student of Jafar; the real Jafar shows up later.
    • At one point the guard says aloud: "If I'm ever Sultan you'll be my royal vizier!" This is just him trying to encourage his friend; neither of them are, or become, a sultan or a vizier.
  • Forced Transformation: Advanced curses can transform people into other things, and the villains soon regret having taught the heroes these.
    • Jafar's fellow sorcerer Iago is transformed into a parrot. Jafar assures him he can just use the lamp to change back, but reaching it turns out to be harder than they assumed.
    • As for the mage, he gets flung back into the cave and transformed into the Carpet.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The mage wears purple robes with yellow patterns, the same patterns as on the flying carpet. As he falls when struck by spells, his burning robe envelops him until only it can be seen.
    • In addition, his staff has an ornament of a golden scarab, the same that Jafar used to find the Cave at the beginning of the film.
    • The guard wears a black breastplate with a roaring tiger. Additionally, the cave's entrance when first seen has no tiger's head.
    • One of the evil sorcerers has bright red and yellow clothes, and a bird-headed staff, before he was cursed to become a parrot.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The guard transforms himself into the guardian spirit of the Cave of Wonders at the end, so that Jafar may never enter to gain the lamp.
  • MacGuffin: The genie's lamp, though we only see the satchel it's hidden in.
  • Nameless Narrative: Nobody's name is said at any point in the comic, though there are enough context clues to figure out that the villains are Jafar and Iago.
  • No Indoor Voice: Even as a human, Iago yells as much as ever.
  • Noodle Incident: At some point before the comic, the mage used the lamp in some unspecified way. We never see what it was and only hear scant details, but apparently what happened was so terrible he decided that no one should have this kind of power and so is sealing the lamp away forever.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: As it turns out, the cave's condition that only "the diamond in the rough" may enter is in memory of his friend, who he considered to be said diamond.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: As they confront each other at the cave's entrance, Iago give the mage a withering speech about how all the disaster he wreaked with the lamp was all his own doing, since the lamp's power itself is neutral. Whether or not Iago is a reliable narrator is a different matter entirely.
  • The Reveal: See Was Once a Man.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Without his staff, the mage has to resort to enchanted knives to fight. Fortunately, his first throw hits his opponent right on the mark.
  • Title Drop: Comes up twice. When trying cheer up his friend, the guard assures the mage that he isn't so bad, saying he must have good deep down "like a diamond in the rough". After becoming the Cave's guard in his memory, the tiger head says its warning for the first time, letting Jafar know he cannot enter.
  • Verbal Backspace: The mage isn't quite honest about what desire of his he sees in the cave.
    Guard: What do you see?
    Magician: I'm... not sure. Forgiveness? Judgement?
    Guard: Sorry, lost my train of thought. What was the last thing you said?
    Magician: *sigh* Lots of magic stuff, you know, scrolls and capes and all that.
    Guard: What a nerd.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • Iago is seen as a human, being Jafar's partner dark wizard. A cursed knife from the good magician turns him into a parrot.
    • The mage is cursed at the end to transform into a carpet. THE flying Carpet, in fact.
    • The guard transforms himself into the tiger head guarding the Cave of Wonders.
  • Wizard Duel: A four-way wizard duel at the climax ensues, with the two heroes fighting their own pursuers a younger Jafar and a human sorcerer Iago.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: Implied as the mage casts magic by saying an occult word (represented by his speech bubble having a singlular symbol) for various actions, such as transformation, conjuring his staff and summoning the Cave.
  • Your Heart's Desire: According to the mage, the Cave of Wonders displays this. Inside the guard sees piles of illusionary gold, just like Aladdin, but the mage sees a crowd of spirits resembling people. Even he's not sure what that represents.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: After finding the broken staff, Jafar assumes he can just repair the ornament to reopen the Cave. Unfortunately for him, he finds that there's more now to stealing the lamp than just opening the door.