Remake & Reboot: The AMETHYST, PRINCESS OF GEMWORLD Comic Series

Some characters are born and thrive in comics with series, spin-offs and appearances in ensemble books, while others flame out early on leaving scorchmarks with the select few who managed to see them. Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld was a unique entry into DC Comics in the 1980s with two limited series, a one-shot and a short-lived ongoing series, although today’s she’s relegated to a surprise guest appearance every half-decade or so. But with her appearance in the DC reel appearing on Cartoon Network, people are once again thinking about Amethyst and I’ve got a proposal for how she could work in today’s landscape.

The Concept:

To make this work in the current landscape of American comics, the first thing I’d do is shorten the title to simply Amethyst — it’s short, to the point, and isn’t already memorable for another character. With that out of the way, the next hurdle is Amethyst’s origin: in many ways it is like Harry Potter (or more accurately, Harry Potter is like hers) with Amethyst growing up a normal girl before discovering she’s the chosen one key for saving another realm. In this remake, instead of taking Amethyst to Gemworld I’d bring Gemworld to her: denizens of her magical home realm are breaking through to our Earth looking for refuge and sanctuary from an unspeakable force. Tied to her would be another orphan from Gemworld, a young Dark Opal before he went all bad. They’d have to come to terms with their homeworld’s problems as they pour into earth while also coming to terms with their own family’s rivalry. The big reveal at the end of the first arc could be that the evil force pushing people to flee Gemworld is in fact Amethyst’s deceased parents, revealed to be alive and well. 

The Creators:

Writer – Matt Wagner: Wagner might be pigeon-holed for his work on Grendel and Mage, but most any comic creator would love to be stereotyped for that quality of work. Wagner’s work on Madame Xanadu  and his Batman series were both impressive, and I’d love to see the cartoonist do some world-building with Gemworld.

Artist – Karl Moline: Currently illustrating the B.P.R.D. series The Dead Remembered, Karl Moline has bounced around comics doing short runs on everything from Marvel’s Loners to the futurist Buffy series Fray. Moline’s storytelling and action scenes are dynamic, and he knows how to give nuance to large casts of characters and make it work.

Cover Artist – Nate Simpson: After taking the comic shelves by storm with Nonplayer and garnering the Russ Manning award after just months in the business, Nate Simpson is someone who’s work demands to be seen. Although an arm injury has him on the bench for a few months, doing covers for a DC series like this could be a small commitment with a big reward in terms of getting his name back out there.

Comments

  1. SkipSpacer SkipSpacer says:

    I would read this. Actually, I love the Wagner/Moline pairing. Get those two together and I’d read it, whatever it is.

  2. Alexa D. says:

    Nah, Amethyst has “magical girl shojo manga” written all over her. Get someone like Amy Reeder or Renae De Liz on it.

  3. ctrosejr ctrosejr says:

    Chris, great suggestions. I would read this.

  4. I would read the hell out of an Amethyst series. Not sure I agree with the “bring the Gemworld to Earth” idea, though; if it’s a book about a girl in a modern setting fighting monsters of the week, it would seem even more obviously Sailor Moon-like than the original concept already was. Also, you lose out on the massive supporting cast the original series had.

  5. Blargo Blargo says:

    Wasn’t a new Amethyst series rumored sometime during all the reboot hoopla?

  6. Maty. Maty. says:

    Holy crap. Forgot about Amethyst.

  7. Heroville Heroville says:

    I said a few weeks ago I wanted a series written by Lauren Faust and drawn by Mike Maihack

  8. danmishkin danmishkin says:

    Some interesting ideas here, though I think the “Amethyst’s birth parents turn out to be evil” bit goes too far in upending the original concept ; it smacks too much of the grim-and-gritty, life-is-really-hopeless attitude that the first Amethyst series decidedly did not buy into. As for artists, the phenomenal Ernie Colon is still around and still working; if there were ever to be a new Amethyst series, I’d say pay him enough to do the work on scratchboard, as he did with the preview insert that appeared in Legion of Super-Heroes.

  9. john12345678 john12345678 says:

    Amethyst is my wife’s all time favorite comic character, although admitedly shes never read a single page, she just googled girly superheroes one time and the princess of gem world seemed like a reasonable concept to her.

    • danmishkin danmishkin says:

      John, there are usually good prices on the 12 issues of the original Amethyst maxi-series at milehighcomics.com, which your wife would hopefully enjoy. Even more hopefully, with the animated version coming around, maybe DC will put out a collected edition of the maxi.

  10. Mart Mart says:

    Enjoyable piece, Chris. I’m of the ‘if it ain’t broke’ mindset so far as Amethyst’s basics are concerned, but this series is about new approaches, and I’d certainly try a book based on yours. A collection of the original series, at the same time as a revamp, would be wonderful.