DC Comics 2020
By Amy Reeder
Lettered by Gabriela Downie
Dejected but determined to find her missing kingdom, Princess Amethyst and her new companions-a four-armed Turqoisian peasant called Phoss and his gigantic caterpillar steed-set out for the land of Sapphire, where it is always night. Where there is darkness there is also danger, but a newly discovered magical ability might light the princess’s path.
For the most part what Amy is doing here is utterly fabulous! I don't agree with her retaining her magic on Earth and I liked that she didn't because it added another layer to her that we got to see. The rest feels like Amy took her notes from the original run and I like this. She's a child who discovered her true heritage and has a lot dumped on her shoulders at once. She is at an age where she knows she is ill equipped for this role but is going to do her darnedest anyway. I find myself drawn to the hope and positivity that this series provides so much.
Amy has more than shown her chops over the years and to see her here is like this crazy nexus where all her previous work has led her to. The writing is amazing to me and how we see the story & plot development through how the sequence of events unfolds as well as how the reader learns information is exceptionally well rendered. For me the opening is what reinforces the dichotomy between Gemworld and Earth and that is as much fun as it is educational to understanding the differences the worlds offer. The character development is sensational! She really is this brash, bold and daring young woman but to the other houses of Gemworld she's still a child, untested and has yet to learn her place in the grand scheme of things. So to see what she goes through and how she goes through it keeps shaping who she is beautifully. The pacing is great and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way it works with everything to help create the books overall ebb & flow.
To me this seems like a very respectful updating of the original and to see it be so modern and yet feel so classic at the same time is what should give this book it's staying power. It will be remembered it will have that impact upon the reader saying it's okay to try and make mistakes. Stand up again, wipe off the dust and keep going at it after you fall down. It is the little life lessons that we all need to hear regardless of where we are in life.
The interiors here are really outstanding as well. The linework we see is really nicely rendered and how the varying weights are being utilised to bring out the attention to detail is pretty darn dynamic. The faces and the facial expressions we see with the lines is really eye catching and brings so much emotion out of the characters. The way that we see backgrounds is nice to see and how they work within the composition of the panels to bring us depth perception, scale and this sense of size and scope to the book is really rather well executed. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a marvellous eye for storytelling. I like the way we see the colour work here as well. There are some gorgeous and unusual colour combinations and that lends itself perfectly to this world and Amy very smartly and quietly is doing some stunning work. The way that the various hues and tones within the colouring create the shading, highlights and shadow work is lovely.
This is so much fun to read. There isn't anything quite like Amy Winston/Amethyst and while she never got the love and affection she deserved before and after the Crisis it is nice to see how Amy is bringing her back from relative obscurity and delivering some incredible top notch storytelling.