Among many surprise introductions in the pages of Young Justice,bringing back Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, was one of the best. The character has been around for nearly 40 years, but has mostly been a supporting character for story arcs. That changes in February. Back in October, DC announced plans to put her front and center in her own series, written and drawn by Amy Reeder.
The series follows Amy Winston (the Earth name of the magical princess of Gemworld) heading back to her homeland to celebrate her 16th birthday. When she arrives, she discovers that her kingdom is in ruins, her subjects are gone and anyone who might have any shred of loyalty for her has turned their back on her. And while the mystery of Gemworld is going to be the plot that the book runs on, it sounds and looks like her life on Earth won’t be neglected. “I love that the princess herself has ties to Earth,” Reeder said in an interview with DC. “She represents us in this strange world, and we get to experience it with her. She’s an earnest 16-year-old who wants to do the right thing—the real trick is, how do you know what’s right?”
Reeder is a terrific choice for the new book. The story follows the princess as she heads back to Gemworld to discover her loyal subjects vanished and her country destroyed. Reeder has experience with the weird side of DC, having drawn Madame Xanaduwith Matt Wagner; and as the co-creator of the hit Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, she knows how to tell a good story for readers of every age. “Princess Amethyst and Gemworld embody all the best elements of children’s fantasy from my childhood,” she said.
Gemworld was a popular locale before the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. Amethyst was introduced in 1983, created by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, and Ernie Colon, and her series ran steadily up until the multiverse-shattering mega-crossover, but following the reconstitution of the DC Universe as one Earth, it was relegated to the occasional guest host for other books’ stories. That gives Reeder a lot of latitude to play with as she builds out the world – a strong foundation, but lots of different ways to color in the picture. “This is a dreamland,” Reeder said. “It’s divided up into 12 realms, all based on the birthstones—which I love. I’m giving each realm a different geography and a distinct look to each set of people. I have a fascination with landscapes and cultures, and with that I’m trying to create something that feels entirely new.”
That freedom suits Reeder’s art style well. Her figures and fashion are sharp, recognizably of our time but never mundane. But it’s her colors and layouts where it looks like this book will sing. A comic about twelve realms based on different gemstones almost demands that the layouts be as complex as the realm’s namesake, and Reeder dazzles making the page look like it’s refracted through the different facets. And the color pallette is similarly perfectly matched. Even in the Earth scenes, everything in Amy’s life looks like a princess named Amethyst would have decorated with.
We’ve got exclusive preview art from the new book for you below. Amethyst#1 is out in February, 2020. For more on Amethyst, Dark Opal, Lady Turquoise or any of the other Gemworld realms, stick with Den of Geek!