Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Amethyst #3 Review

Not Quite a Gem

Writer: Amy Reeder
Artist: Amy Reeder, Marissa Louise, and Gabriella Downie
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 10, 2020

I am worried the shutdown will kill any momentum this book had through its first two issues.  I know it wasn't selling well, but I've liked it, and it is a quirky side-title that has some charm and Amy Reeder art, which I love.  I guess we will have to wait and see and hope for the best.  So, how is issue #3?  Let's find out...

I have to admit, I only remembered the big thing from issue #2, Amythyst's Parents are alive.  Trapped by Lord Opal, but alive.  I was a bit sketchy on the other details.  So, the issue began in Aquamarine, I had to go back to the previous issue to get my bearings.

Overall, there is a formula for this story so far, head to a Kingdom, ask for help, don't get any help, head to the next Kingdom.  Thankfully, that ends here!  Amethyst is as surprised as I was, and even though he isn't willing, Prince Aquamarine joined the quest.

I continue to love Amy Reder's art (even though Amythyst keeps having a recurring look of surprise that grates on me a bit), and I think Prince Aquamarine looks cool, it's just that the story and character development aren't keeping pace.  We barely know anything about Phoss, and now we are adding another character to the mix.  Plus, Reeder uses other Gemworld people and places as big reference points, and unfortunately, most readers don't know Gemworld well enough for them to make any impact.

The issue continues with the three heroes heading off to take care of Lord Opal themselves, and I am getting a Wizard of Oz type vibe, which is a good thing.  Again, though, Reeder doesn't seem too concerned with developing her characters, and with such a paper-thin overall premise, it's offputting.  There is nothing here to make me debate who my favorite character is, and I am not thinking ahead to all the cool things we might see and do.  I am just watching three characters I hardly know go from one place to the other, and I am getting bored doing so.

I was hoping that things would pick up when the three come across the "Banned," but sadly, that wasn't the case.  Reeder introduces them, and before you can settle in and have any fun, she thrusts everyone to the next bit as Prince Topaz arrives.  He is only there to tell us that Amethyst is a wanted girl, which leads to a Gemworld flashback lesson before the trio head back to the road.  The issue ends with a little squabbling and a cliffhanger that isn't that exciting, but at least shows the reader things are happening.

I have lost interest in this series.  The big twist of Amethyst's parents being alive is not enough to get through a slog of an issue like this.  Amy Reeder seems to want to focus on her characters, but I need more than them switching rides and throwing up.  I still like the art in this series a whole lot, but the story is a drag.  We don't even get enough of Amethyst herself, and what we do get often makes her unlikeable more than anything else.  Gemworld is a tough sell to begin with, and I don't think this series will win many readers over.

Bits and Pieces:

I was looking forward to this series when DC announced it, and while I thought the first issue was good, things have gone downhill since.  I still enjoy Amy Reder's art, but she is not developing her characters enough, and the story is beginning to get tiresome.  Issue #4 is going to have to win me over big time for me to continue with this series.


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