reflection

Amethyst #1 is a good start to a new Gemworld story that is beckoning you to explore.
Writing
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Lettering

AMETHYST #1 – Finding Friends To Reclaim A Kingdom

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DC Comics recently (re)introduced Princess of The Gemworld sets out to enlist allies as she searches for her lost Kingdom in this weeks, Amethyst #1.

That does look cool! Amethyst #1
Art by Amy Reeder. Letters by Gabriela Downie

Amethyst was introduced into DC Comics’ newest continuity during the first arc of Young Justice in 2019 (Review). About a year later we see her in her own six-issue mini-series under the Wonder Comics imprint. Wonder Comics has given us a few wonderful series with Amethyst #1 seeming to follow suit. Albeit with a few bumps along the way.

GROWING PAINS WITH AMETHYST

Within the first few pages, Amy Winston (The Princess of Gemworld/Amethyst) gives the reader a quick background lesson. Who she is, the worlds she inhabits, her backstory, and that it’s her birthday. By doing this writer, Amy Reeder sets the story up where you don’t need to read Young Justice or the original series. Instead, she can go right into setting the plot of the six-issue mini-series.

Amethyst #1’s pace is consistent for the most part, with Reeder only dishing out details when needed. Therefore she keeps the readers invested with inklings of larger, darker happenings in the background. Furthermore, she shows Amethyst trying to stand on her own for the first time. This mirrors many teenager’s transitions to a life of their own following their birthday. Although she is still growing in the character department, you sense that she realizes she has to become independent from those that helped in her Kingdom. Becoming your own person is a hard feat, yet trying to find a whole Kingdom while trying to recruit others is even harder.

One problem that happens during a few moments in Amethyst #1 is the number of words in a single page/bubble. Nonetheless, it isn’t rampant, yet when it occurs it kills momentum. Towards the end of Amethyst #1, Reeder teases who might be behind everything. Hopefully, this is a bait and switch or a small part of the larger picture, as it seems easy to guess.

Everybody loves Birthday presents!
Art by Amy Reeder. Letters by Gabriela Downie

CRYSTALIZED ART

Reeder wears many hats for Amethyst #1 with her handling art and colors as well. Some of the pages presented benefit from this multiple workload, as Reeder plays around with paneling. One such page stands out where Reeder breaks page structure and forces the reader to read in a U shape. To clarify, Reeder begins with a vertical panel as Amethyst falls from the previous page. Usually, the next panel would be the top right, yet Reeder makes it the bottom right. She does this by having the next panel overlap the previous. The reason being, to show Amethyst climbing up the structure.

Reeder’s page structure is great throughout Amethyst #1, yet that page alone stands out. As Amethyst falls and rises so does the reader’s eyes. The natural movement of the reader’s eyes is amazing while making you feel as if you climbed the obstacle with her. Yet, not all pages are crystal clear. In some cases, Reeder’s panels become clustered with objects/people. These are far and few in between, but when they occur Amethyst #1’s pace takes a hit.

Color is a big factor in Gemworld with each of the twelve Kingdoms based on a different gem/crystal. Amethysts are violet-colored crystals; Reeder makes this well known. The Kingdom -albeit broken- is colored as such, so is Amethyst herself. The one other Kingdom that is showcased follows this trend. Nonetheless, Reeder never puts too much of the color on the page, as she adds varying shades of it and lighting effects. By using multiple layers to color each crystal, Reeder is able to make them shine in brilliant ways.

Art by Amy Reeder. Letters by Gabriela Downie

A HELPING EYE

Helping Reeder with Amethyst #1 is Gabriela Downie on letters. Downie helps declutter some of the heavier worded areas, which feels quite needed in those moments. Yet, during the more abstract pages/panels is were Downie’s lettering shines. Within the “up/down” page, Downie is essential in helping guide the reader’s eyes. This can be seen when the lettering overlaps the previous panel, helping guide where to go.

Another great moment occurs during the double-page spread where Amethyst regales her history. During this, Reeder includes multiple panels that tell Amethyst’s story, amazing visuals aside, some may find it hard to follow. Alas, Downie’s lettering elegantly takes your eyes and guides to amazingly through the double-page.

A GEMWORLD IN DANGER

Amethyst’s start isn’t crystal clear, yet there is a lot to love. By the end of the first issue, you can see how much love, time and effort the team put in. As it’s only a six-issue mini-series it’s exciting to see what the team has in store.

Fun Fact: Following Reeder on Twitter has been a blast as she’s been chronicling her work on Amethyst. The amount of detailing she has gone into for the gem/crystal visuals has been fascinating.

Amy Reeder’s crystal process. Via Twitter, @amyreeder

VISITOR OF GEMWORLD

How do you feel with the recent introduction to Amethyst’s world? Let us know down below.

Jason Jeffords Jr
Jason resides in the cold crime-ridden town of Anchorage, Alaska. When he isn't running away from murderers, he "chills" at home reading comics/books, watching films/TV, and playing video games with his three-legged cat Lucky. Oh he also sometimes writes for websites such as Monkeys Fighting Robots, Comics Bulletin, ComicBookYeti, Multiversity Comics, and others.