Contents: Amethyst story from Legion of Super-Heroes #298 (April 1983); Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld #1 (May 1983) to #12 (April 1984); Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld Annual #1 (1984); DC Comics Presents #63 (November 1983); and Amethyst #1 (January 1985) to #11 (November 1985)
Key Creator Credits: Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, Ernie Colón, Ric Estrada, and others
Key First Appearances: Amy Winston/Amethyst, Dark Opal, Carnelian, Sardonyx, Citrina, Herb Winston, Marion Winston, Emerald, Fire Jade, Topaz, Turquoise, Garnet, Moonstone, Diamond
Overview: Meet Amy Winston, your typical 13-year-old girl in America. For her birthday, she receives a mysterious gift containing an amethyst pendant. Amy discovers that the pendant opens a passage way to Gemworld, a magical land divided into 12 realms. When Amy travels to Gemworld, she is transformed into a 20-year-old woman known as Princess Amethyst, the heir to the throne of her realm.
Unfortunately, Gemworld is not a peaceful place. Dark Opal has plans to take over Gemworld and will stop at nothing to do so. But Amethyst and her loyal friends and subjects unite to stop Dark Opal. This would be easier to do if Amethyst could be a full-time resident of Gemworld. But she must constantly travel back to Earth to resume her life as Amy, and to keep her parents from going crazy with her sudden disappearances.
While the initial mini-series was ongoing, Amethyst got to make the obligatory appearance over in DC Comics Presents where she teams up with Superman for an issue. Unfortunately, this is the one brief appearance that really ties her into the DC Universe, other than the Wonder Woman poster hanging up in Amy’s bedroom.
Amethyst did return with a new ongoing series, letting us see more of Gemworld and new threats to the realms. Amethyst tries her best to balance her time between Gemworld and Earth, but the demands of the throne keep making it harder and harder to be a teenage girl.
Why should these stories be Showcased?: I checked out this series some when it was first released in 1983. I wasn’t overly sold on it, but I think that was also a time when I liked a lot of other books on the shelves more and my allowance was limited. So I probably never gave a fair chance back then.
Reading this now, I am intrigued and disappointed at the same time. There is a lot that works really well for this series. I want to know more about the various houses and see more of the back-and-forth between the realms of Gemworld. But this series suffers being reprinted in black & white. Much like Green Lantern, so much of the story is dependent on the book being printed in color. You need the colors of the page to help distinguish some of the characters. I’m also upset that the character has been relatively unused since the two series finished in the mid-1980s.
Footnotes: The 1985 Amethyst series ran for 16 issues, plus a Special. The final five issues and the Special have not been reprinted.
If you like this volume, try: reading Promethea from Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III. This was part of the ABC Comics from Moore that DC put out in the early 2000s. Promethea tells the story of a young woman, Sophie Bangs, who is researching the ancient myth of Promethea for a college paper. Soon after, she encounters an ancient enemy of Promethea and then finds herself transforming into Promethea. Now Sophie must quickly learn her new powers and abilities before she is destroyed. This story mixes so many elements from different comics (Wonder Woman, Shazam, even Amethyst) and is gorgeously illustrated by Williams. This series is available in multiple formats, so it should not be difficult to track down.