Thursday, April 9, 2020

Review: Amethyst #2

Amethyst #2 came out 2 weeks ago in the last delivery batch before the pandemic put a pause on the business. It is a shame for many reasons. But one of the reasons is that I want to read more of this book now and it is unclear when the next issue will be in my hands.

I have always been a fan of Amy Reeder. Her art has always has this fluid feel to it. There is a sort of real feel to the emotions of the character even if the expressions sometimes are just outside of realistic. I was mesmerized with her work on Rocket Girl. That book's jet-packed hero had an almost balletic feel to her flights. Here in Amethyst there is a truly magical feel to the proceedings. Things are astounding. And they should be. This is a mystic world.

The plot is also a bit of a mystery, something that I love as well. As a long time Amethyst fan, I am used to her land being one of the protagonists of the Gemworld. They are the heroes. Last issue, we saw that House Turquoise treated Amethyst with some disdain. That plot deepens here. What is the reality of House Amethyst in this world?

Put the art and the plot together and you have a title to linger over. Just sumptuous.

On to the book!

We start with a flashback. Three years ago, a young Amy (garbed in a S-shield shirt ... maybe she's a  Supergirl fan?) is being taught about Gemworld by Citrina and Granch. Amy feels out of sorts.

And these two put it in no uncertain terms. House Amethyst are the good guys, respected and loved.

But don't you think they doth protest too much? They sound like they are saying it loud and proud in hopes of convincing Amy that what they say is true.

That is different that the feel from Turquoise last issue.

And it is certainly different than what she hears from House Sapphire as well. The citizens there laugh at Amy. The Lord and Lady Sapphire say Amethyst isn't honored or respected.

And after having enough of Amy, they throw a switch and have the floor drop out from under her. A trap door!

So the question is ... what is real? Was House Amethyst loved and respected? And something changed everyone eles's minds? This is a place of magic.

Or are Amy's memories false?

Hmmm ...

Before both she, Phoss, and their steeds can fall to some doom, Amy saves the day.

She jams her sword into the chute's side to slow her fall.

And then with a 'swish', Amy cuts the tube in half. She and Phoss spill out.

I just like the action of this panel. Our heroes are flying out. And the underground of the Sapphire court certainly looks otherworldly.

With Sapphire guards closing in, Phoss shows that Stan the caterpillar has some speed.

I love the expressions here. Phoss' loud yell as he spurs Stan. And Amy's shock and disbelief that this thing can  run like this. Just perfect. They are sort of unreal ... but just real enough to sell the emotion.

Luckily, once outside, the two heroes find a welcoming ship on shore. It looks like Aquamarine both knows and accepts Phoss and their friend.

Even if House Amethyst isn't respected or loved, Amy is a celebrity. And Phoss is getting some 'one degree of separation respect on the boat.

On the boat, Phoss and his friend ask Amy all about what life on Earth is like.

During the conversation, Amy pulls out the 'crystal healing' book that her Earth parents gave her.

Interestingly enough, the placement of the crystals in the book to open an inner eye are actually where the amethyst gems are placed on Amy.

That is another little wrinkle here. Is there some stronger connection between Gemworld and Earth. Are people on Earth who feel some resonance with crystals somehow tapping into this magic a little?

Because when they have Amy do the crystal ritual from the book, the gem in her tiara does open like an eye.

Suddenly she can see through any piece of Amethyst crystal.

And as she pops in and out of crystals, she is seeing different things.

She sees Citrina and Granch encased in Amethyst. And it doesn't look like they went willingly. Granch's sword is pulled and half out of the stone. Citrina seems to be casting some sort of spell.

But what the heck is happening here? Why are they encased in their house stone? Who are they fighting?

And then she sees her parents, supposedly dead, encased in amethyst as well.

And she can't believe her eyes. She is crushed, saddened, confused.

I love that last panel. That is anguish. Again, the expression is exaggerated but not enough to pull me out of the story. Instead, it just screams the emotion.

And so we have lots  to mull over! Is House Amethyst actually respected? How are Amy's parent alive? Why are the Amethyst citizens encased in their house stone? How did that happen? Who did it?

We have to wait a while to find out. But I am on board.

A comic mystery and sublime art? This book is a winner.

Overall grade:  A


Anonymous said...

Definitely an A comic. Great review and great comic. Also, I definitely think that's a Supergirl shirt. She has a picture of Kara in her room. I really want the two to meet some time.

Bostondreams said...

I love that cover. It's gorgeous. As is the interior art. Love this book.

Martin Gray said...

Lovely review, you make a great suggestion about Earth people being in touch with Gemworld... maybe it’s those old multiverse vibrations!

Your references to Phoss as a ‘he’ sent me straight back to my review of this issue, and I see I keep using ‘she’ ... this being 2020, we probably should both be going for ‘they’. If you’re reading this, Amy...

(I also note that I kept calling them ‘Phloss’. Duh! Fixed.