Monday, December 21, 2020

Review: Amethyst #6

Amethyst #6 came last week, just about 4 months since the last issue was put on the shelves. As such, any momentum the book had obtained in that last issue was blunted by the passing of real time. If any book needed a recap page or a page of exposition to catch me back up. Instead, the book picks up basically in the middle of the action. 

It is hard to know how I would have felt if this came out on time. But I can tell you that reading it now, it felt like a little bit of a rush to the end. A lot happens here, too quickly. And while writer artist does leave us with the possibility of a new direction for our Princess, I don't know if a sequel is on the horizon.

And it is bit of a shame. I feel like Reeder's art is just wonderful. (I have been a longtime fan.) In particular, I think her work is perfect for the Gemworld. But the story unspooled oddly over the six issues. Some scenes went on too long, others two short. I would love to see Reeder given another book of Amethyst as artist and maybe co-writer, or writer but with a strong editor to tighten things up.

Still, I will say, the art alone made this mini-series worth the cost. It amazes me how often Amethyst gets such a strong art team whether it be Ernie Colon, Esteban Maroto, and now Reeder. The Princess has always looked good.

On to the book.

Last issue, Amethyst learned the truth about her parents duplicity in trying to take over the Gemworld. Unsure if it was true, she headed to Mount Ruby to try and save the people of her kingdom.

At the same time, Dark Opal drives hisgyroscope death chair  there as well to destroy them.

We get a showdown.

And Reeder's art works as Opal's spidery chair spins and flips and twists it's way through the battle.

She seems outmatched but luckily the cavalry arrives. Phoss, Maxixe, and the army of Aquamarine show up to pick up arms as well. 

And Diamond arrives as well. But the haughty ruling house decides to hold their place, observing rather than intervening.

You can tell that this isn't a true Fairy Tale kingdom. The  ruling class of Diamond seem cold and heartless. The Amethyst crew seem power hungry, willing to let others die so they can ascend. And there are underserved and misrepresented. 

Check out this one panel and you get the power of Reeder's art. The action of the killer chair Amethyst stopping short. Phoss running in. Great stuff.

Still Opal is a powerful foe. 

He flings Amy over the mountain to her apparent doom but luckily her pegasus Ypso arrives to save the day. 

Also, the Banned arrive to add their numbers to the melee.

And then something interesting.

Knocked unconscious, Amethyst realizes that she has ignored the 'cracks' in Amethyst. She didn't realize how broken her gem and her kingdom was. Nice metaphor.

And with that realization, extreme power pours from Amy, shattering every Amethyst gem. Awake but almost in a fugue state, Amethyst taps into all the minor gems and levels Opal.

You might think that Amy would be called a hero. Opal is again led off in chains.

And you might think that her parents would be happy to see her. She certainly is happy to see them.

But her move destroyed all the gems (notice the empty crowns), her parents are powerless. And they are irate. Moreover, when Diamond arrests them for their attempt at a coup, they become furious.

So much for a tender reuniting.

At least everyone else knows what Amy has done.

Reeder's expressive work is really stupendous.

Now it is time for Amy to get angry. How dare her parents do this! How dare they put so much pressure on her.  Yes Amy, you should be worried about waffles.

Those last two panels going from disbelief to frustration is really phenomenal. Yes, it is stylized but just perfect.

But as I said, the right people recognize the hero Amy is.

The Banned name her their leader.

Amy has given up her privilege to lead the disenfranchised and marginalized.

So is she still Princess Amethyst if she has no kingdom and no Amethyst? 

House Amethyst not being the shining paragon of justice is wrinkle for sure. And Amy taking on the role of leader is an interesting ending, wide open for a sequel and a 'bold new direction'. But this felt a bit rushed. Everything with her parents in this issue goes fast.  I wonder if we will see this timeline again.

Reeder is a real talent though. DC should definitely give her another project and soon.

Overall grade: B-


Martin Gray said...

Thank you Anj, for a terrific review. I was pretty disappointed by this and you captured the reasons why. Things went by too quickly, meaning necessary explanations and character moments didn’t get the space they needed. That bit with the gems being destroyed by our heroine in a fugue really wasn’t clear when it was happening - sure, the spread looks impressive, but the storytelling doesn’t quite do it, visually or via the narration.

And the meeting with her birth parents, while it did indeed have Amy’s expressive moment, lacked the drama and emotion needed after six issues. It was like an episode of Meet the Amethysts - the king and queen seemed like total airheads.

I’m not against a sequel, under the conditions you suggest, but I was sad this ended with Amy deciding to stay on Gemworld indefinitely. What about her parents on Earth who raised her and, presumably, love her to bits? Her friends? School?

Overall, I’m glad I supported the talented Amy Reeder, but given the big delay to this issue, it should have been better.

Anj said...

Good point about the Earth side of things Mart. No mention at all!

The IP seems too perfect to waste so I do hope we see more of her.

And I was kind of sad we didn't get more in Young Justice!

Steve said...

I had trouble with the basic premise from the get go. Reeder is one of my favorite artists but how many everything You Knew Was Wrong stories can be told with Amethyst? I think I hit my limit two ago.

Anonymous said...

I stuck it out through this issue. Nice parents she's got there! A gem of a mom.

I didn't expect to feel so awful by the end.

Oh, and I didn't love the art. And I didn't love the writing. Which kind of covers everything. Ultimately I was just finishing a series that I started.

But I thought I'd drop in and say thanks for reviewing it. I appreciate reading your thoughts about it.