I thought before going ahead with a look at the next Amethyst mini-series, we’d take a detour to the very first Amethyst story. This story ran in Legion of Super-Heroes #298.
I thought it was nice to see the art for Amethyst in its earliest stage.
Some of the character designs look a little different from what ended up running in the first mini-series.
The title of the story is “Duel in Dark Magic” and the reader sees Amethyst go on an adventure where she confronts Dark Opal and consults the Well of Vision.
Dark Opal is directing a blacksmith to be careful when constructing his new breastplate. Opal is going to set gemstones representing the other noble houses into the armor in order to amplify his own magic.
Dark Opal’s face is shaded with hatching instead of the spooky swirls that we’d see later. Also, Carnelian looks a little different than he does in the main series. Dark Opal has all the stones he needs for his evil plan except for the amethyst.
A servant comes with some information for Dark Opal. Carnelian sticks out his foot to trip the poor man, leaving him to sprawl before Dark Opal. He says “It is told by your spy at Castle Amethyst that the princess has been sent on a mission by the witch-mother Citrina far from her home ground!” Dark Opal leaves Sardonyx and Carnelian to supervise the construction of the breastplate. He’s going after Amethyst and her gemstone.
Amethyst is traveling with her trusty companion Granch. She’s surprised that the landscape is so lovely because she thought they were headed to a place called the Bog of One Thousand Despairs.
Amethyst uses up some of her magic to summon up some thigh-high boots in order to navigate the bog. Granch reminds her that Citrina cautioned Amethyst to save her magic for the dangers ahead. Dark Opal consults some bird-like witches in a cave. They are using the Well of Vision to spy on Amethyst in a desolate place. The hags aren’t sure where Amethyst is journeying. Carnelian watches over Dark Opal’s gems, wondering what will happen to him when the magical artifact is constructed. Carnelian being Carnelian he starts to think of a treacherous plan.
Dark Opal sends a magical attacker to Amethyst through a Sphere of Light. Granch rushes to defend Amethyst from the dragon, but he’s knocked down. Amethyst tries to attack the creature with her magic, but the physical attack is ineffective. Dark Opal then sends a whirling tornado to Amethyst to trouble her further. Amethyst and Granch both suspect that Dark Opal is behind the attack. The tornado drains Amethyst’s magic, and she tells Granch to heave a boulder down the funnel which disperses the tornado. Her experience with Earth appliances has come in handy, because the same thing happened when she accidentally destroyed the garbage disposal at her house.
The hags see Amethyst enter a cave -wait, she’s coming to the Well of Vision! Sardonyx and the blacksmith work on Dark Opal’s breastplate. Carnelian is in a sub-basement of the castle doing something suspicious with a large piece of machinery. Chaotic magic erupts in Dark Opal’s fortress as the breastplate overheats.
Dark Opal and Amethyst confront each other, but Dark Opal is distracted by a call for help from Sardonyx. Amethyst scoops up some of the water from the Well of Vision into a vessel while Dark Opal is distracted.
The three hags transform into a beast. Dark Opal goes back to his castle only to see his blacksmith burnt beyond recognition. Sardonyx can’t explain what happened. Dark Opal yells “Idiot! How can I rule this world with incompetents by my side!” Dark Opal grabs his own gemstone which was placed in the center of the breastplate. The chaotic enchantments that swirled around the fortress stop.
Granch and Amethyst are pursued by the hags in the form of a three-headed bird. Amethyst tosses the water to Granch and tells him to get away. Amethyst blasts the bird, and as she’s tumbling through the air she summons up a magical portal that will take her back to Earth.
I hope you enjoyed this look at the first Amethyst story! If you remember from the main series, Citrina uses the water Amethyst captured on her mission to establish a Well of Vision at Castle Amethyst. In the next week or so, we’ll look at the back-up story from the final special, and then later on I’ll write about the four issue mini-series.