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Amethyst

Amethyst (2020, Vol. 1)

Amy Winston leads a double life. On her 16th birthday, she receives gifts from her adoptive parents on Earth, then heads to Gemworld for her royal birthday bash. When she arrives, she finds Amethyst, the kingdom she rules over, has been completely destroyed, and all her subjects missing. Well, except for her trusty Pegasus, Ypsilos. She wonders if Opal, the evil king of the northern lands, has anything to do with it. Entreating the other Houses for help has so far been a wash, but a Turquoise warrior named Phoss and Maxixe, Prince Aquamarine, join her quest. Out of ideas, they follow a crystal healing book Amy got as a gift from her adoptive parents, opening her third eye chakra – and allowing Amy to see that all her subjects, including her birth parents everyone assumes to have died – have been trapped in amethyst. Can they figure out how to reverse the spell before it’s too late?

I read and highly enjoyed Amethyst’s too-short New 52 run and the ’80s omnibus (must not have gotten around to reviewing it for the blog, on the to-do list!) and. This reboot has so far been the least enjoyable of the title for me. I don’t think it’s bad, per say, but it just doesn’t quite scratch the fantasy comic itch the same way the original does.

The writing felt like it skipped around a bit. Some aspects weren’t fully explained for someone who’s new to the title (or who’s rusty, like me). Eventually you just learn to live with it as you’re reading, but it’s a tad frustrating. Though it tried to tell a story of found vs. birth family, there are too many threads going with too little significant character development. Ultimately, it falls flat even though everything is seemingly wrapped up by the end. This trade paperback covers issues 1-6 of what’s planned to be a 12-part series, so I have to wonder what the second 6 issues are going to tackle. For someone who is strictly looking for an action/adventure story, this will be less of an issue, for there’s plenty of fight sequences and traveling through fantastical lands to go around.

To make up for the subpar story, the art is LOUD – but in a good way. The visuals are overall trippy and psychedelic. Colors are rendered in bright jewel tones. Figures are drawn with bold, confident lines, while backgrounds are almost more like muted washes, to help the characters and their actions stand out.

While this isn’t the Amethyst title for me, there is still plenty of action and adventure to carry it for another reader. The art serves this purpose by pushing the figures to the forefront. I’ll pick up the next trade paperback and see if it gets better for me in the second half.

– Kathleen

Reeder, Amy. Amethyst (2020, Vol. 1). 2021.

Sword of Sorcery Vol. 1: Amethyst (The New 52)

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For those of you who love fantasy (like me!) this comic is sure to please.

Amy Winston a bit of an outcast. She lives with her mother, Graciel, in a mobile home, never staying in any one place for long. On Amy’s seventeenth birthday, her mother reveals a great secret: they are going home to the magical world of Nilaa, where Amy is really Princess Amaya, the heir of House Amethyst and rightful ruler of that land! They transport there only to be ambushed by minions of Graciel’s sister, Amaya’s Aunt Mordiel, who wants to keep all the power for herself! Amaya must stick close to her mother and learn all she can about this new world – else it could be lost forever.

I had never read a fantasy comic before and was quite pleasantly surprised that all the elements I look for in a fantasy novel were right here, and then some. You have a protagonist who sticks to her sense of justice, and to her heart. Even though she is apprehensive about her newfound responsibilities, she shoulders them with dignity and besides, has the help of many newfound friends. Amy is as strong a female character as they come. The worldbuilding is fantastic, supplemented greatly by the colorful, dynamic art. There are many different gem regions, and we visit a couple throughout the course of the story. They all have their unique style and look, which ultimately enriches the world – arguably, better than a regular novel!

There were also some extras at the end: a Beowulf reboot that insinuates Beowulf may be a hero out of time, and Stalker, who makes a deal with the devil to save his dying wife. Constantine even shows up a few times in the Amethyst story, making for a delightful crossover with some very witty banter between Amaya and John.

Unfortunately, this reboot was cancelled. This graphic novel contains the entire run. I was so upset when I looked it up! It’s a gem of a graphic novel if I ever read one. However, if you read this and find yourself hooked but mourning for what could have been, never fear! DC has also released a Showcase volume of Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, the original 1980’s series, in one big volume. I have it, but the review may take a while – my semester just started! I have no doubt it will be worth it after reading and loving the unfortunately way too short reboot.

– Kathleen

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