Tag Archives: Amethyst Princess of Gemworld

When Amethyst Met Superman

It is DC Comics Presents #63, “Worlds to Conquer.” Amethyst Princess of Gemworld meets Superman! Look at that cover, Dark Opal seems to be menacing Superman with some Kryptonite.

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I love the fact that Carnelian and Sardonyx seem to spend their time locked up in a castle together, plotting and reading magazines.

Sardonyx sends Carnelian to Earth, but Amethyst is hot on his heels, blasting through the walls and diving behind him into the portal. Unfortunately Amethyst is quickly transformed back into Amy Winston on Earth. Fortunately the mystical portal has placed her right in downtown Metropolis!

Amy doesn’t have her magical powers, but she can still create mystical portals with the power of her necklace, so she tries to get Superman’s attention. I do like the fact that Amy just takes it for granted that Superman will be able to help her. Amethyst Princess of Gemworld was never heavy into DC continuity during the original run, but there were a few touches here and there that showed Amy was a normal teen growing up in the DC Universe – she had Wonder Woman posters up in her bedroom.

Amy explains to Superman about the Gemworld, and the fact that Carnelian has come to Earth to execute his latest nefarious scheme. Superman uses his x-ray vision to verify that Amy’s necklace does come from another world.

Carnelian being Carnelian, he manages to meet up with a group of super-villains who give him a hand – literally. Carnelian is given a claw that will adjust sizes as Carnelian switches from Earth teen to Gemworld adult. Carnelian was adopted from Earth, so he undergoes the same temporal shift Amy does when she goes back and forth between the worlds.

Carnelian is distracted by some shiny Kryptonite. When he picks it up he quickly ages into his adult Gemworld form. This is some very strange Kryptonite, as it appears to give Carnelian the magical powers he lacks on the Gemworld.

Superman is about to give up on the search for Carnelian (because he has other super-business to attend to) when Amy is attacked!

Carnelian’s Kryptonite-infused magic makes him a formidable opponent for Superman. Who would have thought that? Usually Carnelian is the personification of the word “ineffectual.” He attacks Superman with magic and despite Amy’s advice during the battle, Carnelian manages to overpower the man of steel with mystical flames. Amy leaps to Superman’s defense, yelling “Leave him alone, he’s Superman!” Amy’s teen girl attacking skills aren’t very useful though.

Carnelian tosses Superman off the roof of the building, and directs his lizard-ogre dude to kidnap Amy. Amy throws her pendant off the roof as she goes through the portal, determined not to let Black Opal have the source of her power. Superman picks up the pendant and is transported to Castle Amethyst, where he meets the witch-mother Citrina.

Elsewhere on the Gemworld Dark Opal isn’t happy about his magic suddenly failing. Ever the tattletale, Sardonyx runs to the dark lord to tell him that Carnelian is responsible. Amethyst has escaped Carnelian and is running away, thinking that the combination of Kryptonite and magic is “affecting the fabric of magical reality.” Superman shows up to help Amethyst and Carnelian whomps him again. But it was just a clever trick!

Citrina has sealed Superman’s powers in Amethyst’s gemstone. Since Kryptonite only affects Superman when he has super powers, he’s fully capable of punching Carnelian out as a mere mortal. Amethyst returns Superman’s powers and Carnelian yells “I have toyed with you long enough! Prepare to face my wrath!” Superman wonders if Carnelian watches the Late Late Show a little too often when he visits earth. Sardonyx and Dark Opal spy on the battle. Next, Amethyst creates a giant fire engine to mow Carnelian down. Dark Opal joins the battle too.

Dark Opal and Carnelian start squabbling over the Kryptonite, so Amethyst is able to rescue Superman.

Superman notices that the Kryptonite is growing unstable and comments that if it blows up it might cause a horrible chain reaction. Amethyst devises a cunning plan – she creates a magical duplicate of Superman to distract Dark Opal while the real Superman whizzes by at super-speed, snatches the Kryptonite, and disappears into a portal back to Earth. The Kryptonite explodes in the passageway between the worlds.

Superman is safely back on Earth, but he wonders how Amethyst is doing. She sends him a cute thank-you gift.

Amethyst and the Weirdoverse – Scare Tactics

With this post on Scare Tactics #8 we wrap up the the Convergence crossover featuring Amethyst in the Weirdoverse books. I feel like I involuntarily signed myself up for a Siberian death march and I only have a few more miles to go before I can collapse. Scare Tactics is a rock band of monsters. Check out Andrew’s profile of them in his Nobody’s Favorites series if you want to know more. I am really thankful that I was utterly unaware of these comics during the 90s, as I had taken a vacation from the super hero comics world and was soon about to start sampling early manga releases like Mai the Psychic Girl and Grey (anyone remember that series? I really need to dig out my old issues and reread it).

Amethyst directs a group of Emerald stormtroopers to capture the hapless monster rock band on the cover of this issue. Personally I am more frightened by Amethyst’s metal brassiere than green shock troops or monster rock bands. The text on the cover is a predictable Ramones reference, “Blitzkreig Bop!” and the title of the issue is “Weird Load.”

The issue opens with Fate encountering Scare Tactics. Fate is surprised that they are hanging out with the Demon, a mystical character in the DC Universe who often speaks in rhyme. The gathering is suffused with green light because the Sentinel drops by too.

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Amethyst and the Weirdoverse – Challengers of the Unknown

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The third part of the Convergence crossover takes place in Challengers of the Unknown #6. This is more of a standalone story than the other titles, with the Gemworld connection not really made apparent until the conclusion of the story. The cover shows the Challengers ducking away from an orb emitting a strange yellow light.

In Salt Lake City a young girl named Danni collapses on a playground. The Challengers hear that all around the world, 1 in 12 people abruptly went into a coma. The group figures out what the coma victims have in common, they are all Scorpios.

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Kenn Kawa leaves the group, saying he has to be somewhere and he wouldn’t be able to help out with the case. He flies to Salt Lake City, where he has an encounter with a strange cab driver who makes an ineffectual joke about Salt Lake City’s grid street system.

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It turns out that one of the coma victims is Kenn’s long-lost daughter. Look, he brought her a present!

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Kenn’s ex-wife doesn’t want to see him. She kicks him out of the house. He goes to kiss his daughter goodbye and detects something strange in her room. He finds a clue.

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Kenn calls the other Challengers to tell them that the Topaz birthstone may hold a cure. They travel to Utah. Kenn has arranged a giant Topaz Man on top of some topaz deposits in the mountains.
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Here’s a reference to our Prince Topaz, in a story that Danni wrote.

The Challengers join in a circle and energy activates around the Topaz Man and all the people who were in comas. Prince Topaz is freed.

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I guess he was trapped by going through the portal in the wrong way at Baron Winters’ house.

Kenn’s daughter wakes up, and so do the other coma victims. All is right with the world. But all will not be right for poor Prince Topaz in the conclusion of the Convergence crossover in Scare Tactics #8.

Amethyst and the Weirdoverse – Night Force

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The second issue of the Convergence crossover takes place in Night Force #8. The cover shows The Child attacking Prince Topaz. Poor Topaz. I made fun of him so much in the main Amethyst series, but he really really doesn’t deserve what happens to him in this crossover.

Night Force is about a sorcerer named Baron Winters. The issue opens with Baron Winters feeling troubled in his library. Prince Topaz is feeling troubled in Washington D.C. He appears to be running through a cloud of paper. Flaw is hooked up to a machine, drawing energy from opals.

There is a lot of quasi-poetic language used to introduce the characters that doesn’t seem to mean much. Flaw is with a bunch of clearly evil people, who are targeting Baron Winters because he was a dissenter in the magical conclave.

I think they are trying to keep their actions a secret from Amethyst, because Evil Dude #1 says “Our queen must be distracted from my actions.” Evil Dude #2 reassures other Evil Dude that Winters will believe whatever their evil dude plan is, because they will distract him with a puzzle to keep his mind occupied while they implement their plans.

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I think their evil dude plan is to blindside Baron Winters with a horrible cliche. A pregnant woman named Lea Girard flees her pursuers and accidentally strikes a small blond man who was crossing the street. She grabs the man and takes him to the nearby Wintersgate manor where Baron Winters lives. Here is the description of his house, “Wintersgate Manor. She feels its presence long before she sees it. Darker than obsidian, night against night. Yet warm, golden sunlight streams out through windows protected with wrought-iron.” I didn’t think it was possible for anyone else to achieve a level of overwriting in parallel with James Robinson’s work, but that has to be one of the most fulsome real estate descriptions I have ever encountered.

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Lea and Baron Winters argue about how to treat the accident victim. She thinks they should call for a doctor. He says they’ll treat him at his house. Winters comments “Look at his face…it’s almost too smooth. Too perfect. No pores.”

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Winters suggests that they talk about Lea’s accident. She says “It’s them. They sent him after me.” She starts to run away. Winters wonders why everyone keeps making things difficult for him. The Child opens his eyes. Prince Topaz lurks outside, talking to himself. He can’t find his car and he wonders why The Child is inside the house, and if Amethyst supports what he is doing here. Topaz decides that he needs to enter the house to ask for Winters’ help and also to help protect him.

Winters goes after Lea before she can leave the house. They go back into the room where the child was and see that he’s vanished. Winters sends his giant cat Merlin off in search of the intruder. Lea provides a bunch of exposition for her predicament. She ran away from home and hitched a ride from an evil senator who took her to a goth club. She was taken to a back room filled with members of the Infinity Cult. She was gang raped by the cult. They were chanting mystical things while they assaulted her.

Elsewhere, Amethyst’s minions observe Baron Winters’ house through the child’s eyes. The Child finds a secret room with a link to the conclave. The evil senator sends the infinity cult after Lea. He says “We don’t care about her…just what she carries.” Lea continues with her story of how the cult made her pregnant, her child was born within a month and they took him from her. Then she was finally able to run away and wound up on Winters’ doorstep.

Winters is suddenly concerned about something.

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I wonder why he is so concerned about his white room. The Child crouches down, identifying a portal to the conclave. A magical pit also powers his house. The Child plans to destroy the pit and Winters. Here comes the cavalry, in the form of Topaz wearing some strange baggy pajamas!

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Topaz and The Child must have grown in power. As they fight the portentous narration discloses the aftermath of their battle, “Child and Topaz. Hunter and Hunted from Gemworld. Their battle is not physical but mystic. In this world they duel…while in other dimensions worlds are destroyed with their every movement.” I think the other dimensions are also weeping in pain over Topaz’s yellow pajamas.

Topaz tries to get The Child to join his rebellion, and he is rejected.

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Lea struggles with the Infinity Cult. She yells that she’ll die before they take her baby. Baron Winters observes the fight between The Child and Topaz. He thinks that Lea was a perfect distraction, as he was so interested in her story he didn’t think to question the presence of The Child. Winters decides to act to defend himself against The Child in his White Room with black curtains near the station..

Winters says he will seal the link to the conclave forever. Topaz and The Child are free to continue their battle elsewhere. Topaz says “You cannot ignore this struggle, Winters. These people will stop at nothing.” The Child yells “The queen is power, Winters! With the influence of the conclave at her call, nothing will stay her hand!”

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Topaz leaves, getting into some trouble with a mystical seal. Baron Winters concludes “Gemworlders….all as mad as march hares…” He remembers Lea and rushes back to her side. She’s lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Winters can tell that she’s dying. The Infinity Cult came to take her baby. Winters said that they had already taken her boy. She says “I was giving birth to identical twins. One boy. One girl. One light. One dark. They were conceived to preserve harmony in the universe but I couldn’t let them have them both.” Winters asks why she didn’t tell him earlier, because he could have saved her. She says that she’d given up on herself long ago, but she was giving birth to the saviors of the universe. Lea dies.

This was a fairly unsatisfying comic. While the presence of Topaz was amusing, I thought that the women raped by an evil cult plot was really cliched, and fraternal twins are not identical twins! Get your facts straight dying comic book lady! Baron Winters also seems rather inert and unengaged as a character, I can’t say I found him interesting at all.

Convergence continues in Challengers of the Unknown #6! Strange things happen in Salt Lake City!

Amethyst and the Weirdoverse – Book of Fate

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The 90s were an awkward time for comic books. This awkwardness extended to Keith Giffen’s usage of Amethyst and the Gemworld in a crossover series called “Convergence” in the “Weirdoverse,” some loosely connected comic books that dealt with magic in the late 90s. For more on the Weirdoverse, I refer you to this helpful Wikipedia article.

I thought I would take a brief look at Book of Fate, and then I would delve into Convergence. It features unusual interpretations of a number of characters from the Gemworld.

You can look at this article on Fate if you want more background information, but I prefer Andrew’s magnificent episode of Nobody’s Favorites “A sad twist of fate..”

Basically Jared Stephens is the new Dr. Fate. You can tell he is all ’90s and edgy by the cover of the first issue of Book of Fate, which features our dude smoking, embellished with a strange eye tattoo, accessorized by random sharp objects, sporting a trench coat with the sleeves ripped off, and spelling the word magic “magik”. He also looks as if he has just pooped out a mystical knife, which I imagine would be quite painful.

Fate used to be a grave robber, but then he was possessed by the power of the Lord of Order, and now he is taking his magical powers to the streets of Boston!

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Amethyst Princess of Gemworld #4 – Third mini series

At last, the conclusion of the final Amethyst mini series. The cover shows Amethyst soaring above Topaz Keep.

The text on the cover says “The Last Enchantment!” and the title of the issue is “After the Fall.”

The issue opens at the Diamond Vatican, the rebuilt dwelling of the diamond priests. All remaining houses of the Gemworld have gathered together to judge Mordru. They are not in a good mood.

Several houses have been ravaged by Mordru’s magic. Garnet in is ruins, Sardonyx is buried under the sand, Aquamarine was drowned in the sea, and even worse things happened to Topaz and Turquoise.

Mordru offers no words in his defense and the lords and ladies of the Gemworld render a unanimous verdict, including Mordru’s mother and father.

Guilty! Lord Ruby comments that Mordru’s death has been called for.

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Amethyst Princess of Gemworld #3 – Third mini series

The cover of this issue shows a giant ghostly purple Amethyst looming in the background as the brothers Donal and Mordu square off for a fight. The text on the cover says “The Sacrifice!” The title of the issue is “Bloody Sun at Noon.”

That all sounds fairly ominous, doesn’t it?

When we left off last issue, Flaw had kidnapped the grown-up Emmy from Earth and brought her back to the Gemworld. Flaw dangles Emmy in front of Amethyst, saying “Touch one hair on Mordu’s head, kiddo and the Princess Emerald is dragon meat.”

Flaw is possessed by Amethyst’s old nemesis the Child and he proposes a deal: Amethyst leaves, Chaos takes everything, and they are also going to keep Emmy as collateral. Amethyst is not amused.

She says “Order’s patience with children is at an end.” Flaw flings Emmy aside, yelling “You are a fool to taunt me Amethyst!”

In another part of the castle, Topaz discusses Turquoise’s condition with Donal. She lapsed into a depressed coma after seeing her people slaughtered by a mystical beast. Topaz threw his dagger in the beast’s heart and they were startled when it wasn’t wounded but decided to speak to them.

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Amethyst Princess of Gemworld #2 – Third Mini Series

In the second issue of the third mini-series Amethyst confronts Mordu, Donal finds Topaz keep changed in his absence, and Emmy gets an unwelcome surprise back on Earth. The cover of the issue shows Amethyst and Mordu gearing up for magical battle.

He’s surrounded by ugly creatures of chaos while she has more elemental animals like a phoenix and horse made of flames by her side. The text on the cover proclaims “Mordu vs Amethyst” and “The Battle of Magic Begins!” The title of the issue is “Winter Kills.”

Wrynn, the former heir of Turquoise, has given his soul over to chaos and has become their servant Mordru.

He walks through a desolate landscape, with dark magic and the occasional lizard skeleton as his only companions. In White Opal’s forest Amethyst communes with a couple of fantastical birds.

Donal and White Opal look at her, Donal commenting “I have never known a day such as this, m’lord, or such beauty.” Opal counsels that Donal should cherish the memory of this day, because the Gemworld will never know a beauty like this again. Opal feels that shadows and dark times lie ahead. Donal and Opal talk about the past:

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