Amethyst #1 Review: An Engagingly Enchanting New Adventure

After having been reintroduced in Young Justice, Amethyst returns to Gemworld with a new adventure [...]

amethyst 1 header dc comics
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

After having been reintroduced in Young Justice, Amethyst returns to Gemworld with a new adventure in Amethyst #1, but while a Sweet Sixteen celebration is the cause of the day, don't expect this homecoming to be quite so simple. The princess heroine finds herself returning to a broken realm with no clear explanation of who or what may be the cause. It sounds like part coming-of-age story, part thriller mystery, and part magical adventure and while that sounds like a lot of things to put together, Amethyst #1 pulls it off in an exciting and interesting kick off.

Written and drawn by Amy Reeder, Amethyst #1 is an absolute delight. While Amy Winston/Amethyst isn't exactly a new character, she's one that many readers may not be familiar with. That usually calls for some sort of protracted introduction in a first issue, but Reeder does a fantastic job of getting readers up to speed in a way that cuts to the chase, quickly setting readers up for the full scope of an exciting adventure. Amy is adopted and, in many ways, torn between two worlds: the human world of Earth with her loving adoptive family who is honestly just doing its best to love and support her and the Gemworld in which she is a princess and the leader of the Amethyst Kingdom after defeating the Dark Lord Opal who murdered her parents and ravaged their kingdom. Once peace was restored, Amethyst left for a bit and now she's returning on her birthday, coming back home to celebrate and be with her people.

With the reader all caught up on Amy's short trip back to Gemworld, Reeder wastes no additional time. We arrive in a broken world where a guilt-stricken Amethyst comes to the conclusion that Opal is somehow behind it and that she needs to fix it. What really works beautifully here is that at no point in time does Reeder make things easy for Amethyst, but she also doesn't make them needlessly hard. There's a real sense of consequences for actions in this story. Amethyst was away and, in her absence, bad things happened. It feels very much like a natural consequence of a lack of foresight and consideration, which itself feels like a natural consequence of being sixteen even if one is a Princess of Gemworld.

It's that sense of realism and portrayal of honest, genuine actions, thoughts, and consequences that elevates Amethyst #1. When the princess goes seeking help from her supposed best friend, she goes with the expectation of receiving it only to be turned down. When she goes around her friend to demand help from the people of Turquoise anyway, her bully-like efforts are met with a mix of fear and stony silence. Amethyst's entitlement gets her nowhere. It's a sobering lesson for the heroine and it makes for an engrossing reading experience.

Of course, the issue doesn't completely leave Amethyst without aide. She does find an ally and before the issue resolves, readers are provided a major reveal. Amethyst, despite being a bit of a headstrong and inexperienced teen leader, does have good instincts. Opal really is behind what's going on in Gemworld, but there's a bigger shock coming, one that may change everything for the heroine. It's that balance between a full story—Amethyst's return and the upheaval she finds—as well as the larger story being crafted that makes Amethyst #1 a truly excellent book. It isn't often in contemporary comics that a writer is able to pull off an introduction to a character, the introduction of an arc and somehow make it a whole story at the same time. Reeder pulls it off in a way that makes it look easy. Amethyst is one comic not to miss.

Published by DC Comics

On February 26, 2020

Written by Amy Reeder

Art by Amy Reeder

Letters by Gabriela Downie

Covers by Amy Reeder and Stephanie Hans