Diamond in the Rough is an unofficial comic story scripted by Theo Dolev and drawn by Ophir Sheriff based on a synopsis created by the pair of them. and inked by Kay Wright. It features the Jafar, Iago (in human and parrot form), Cave of Wonders and Magic Carpet of a parallel continuity, alongside the new characters of the Mage and the Royal Guard.
Long before Aladdin is sent on his quest for the lamp by Grand Vizier Jafar, Jafar's rebellious apprentice and a Royal Guard traipse through the Agrabah Desert, seeking the Cave of Wonders — not for the treasures to be found there, but instead to bury one more dangerous wonder in its mystical depths. Can they manage to do so before Jafar and Iago… or their own fears… catch up with them?
- Jafar's Snake Staff is matched to two other ancient magical artifacts of a similar nature, the Scarab Staff and the Parrot Staff. The Scarab Staff, broken in twain, becomes the Golden Scarab at the end of the story, showing how that artifact came to be (at least in this world).
- Though it ignores some elements from its official backstory, even as given in the film itself, for which reason it can only be considered a different continuity, the story is intended to be read as a prequel to Aladdin (1992), showing how the Lamp comes to be in the Cave of Wonders and the Magic Carpet comes to be.
Behind the scenes
This "what-if?" tribute to Aladdin was created in 2015 by Ophir Sheriff and Theo Dolev and released in one go on its own website, www.ditrcomic.com. The website has since gone down, but the comic is still available on Sheriff's DeviantArt page.