Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld was a comic book series about a little girl who discovers that she is really the ruler of a magical world, and must return there to defeat the tyrant who now rules it.Amethyst began as a 12-issue maxi-series by writers Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn and artist Ernie Colon in 1983. It proved popular enough that it was given its own regular series that lasted until 1985. Despite several similarities, Amethyst precedes both She-Ra: Princess of Power and Sailor Moon.In the story, Amy Winston was a normal 13-year-old girl who was one day taken to the Gemworld, situated in another dimension. There she finds out that she is actually Princess Amethyst, daughter of the rightful rulers of that land. However her parents were killed by the evil Dark Opal when she was a baby, and she only survived because their servant, Citrina, brought her to Earth, where she was adopted by the Winstons. Due to the way time works on Gemworld, Amy finds herself transformed into a 20-year-old woman while there, and the rebellion fighting against Opal's rule wants her to lead them. Amy thus finds herself splitting her time between her normal life on Earth and her secret adventures on the Gemworld.Other characters in the series include: the two Princesses Emerald, who become Amy's best friends; the handsome Prince Topaz, whom Amethyst falls in love with; Lady Turquoise, an ally who also becomes a rival for Topaz's feelings, and Carnelian, Dark Opal's "son" who turns out to be a boy from Earth raised on Gemworld. (Like Amy, he reverts to his true age on Earth.) Despite the fairy tale trappings, Amethyst was an action/fantasy series, and some characters actually die in battle. Still, Amethyst's forces triumph in the end and Opal is killed.In the regular series, Amy goes back to living on Earth but continues to have adventures on Gemworld. The Love Triangle was eventually resolved in Turquoise's favor, probably to avoid the issue of Amy's relationship with a much older boy.After the original creators left, it was decided by DC to boost Amethyst's sales by tying her to the rest of the DC Universe, in particular the war between the Lords of Order and Chaos, which was a major plotline at the time. But the new stories, written by Keith Giffen and Mindy Newell, shifted entirely from fantasy adventure to horror. Amethyst was blinded; found out that she was actually the product of an illicit affair between a Lord of Order and her mother; several characters met horrible deaths (in particular, Carnelian's who almost dies giving "birth" to his father Opal, was pure horror) and ultimately, Amethyst is forced to merge with a Lord of Chaos in order to save the Gemworld. The series was then, very unsurprisingly cancelled.Amethyst has since then made a few reappearances, but they have been very inconsistent. In one story, she was now a villain, who tried to conquer the Gemworld herself. More recently, during the Infinite Crisis Crisis Crossover, she was seen again, with no explanations of her current status.Note: Another story established that the Gemworld would one day enter our universe, becoming Zerox, the "Sorcerers' World" from Legion of Super-Heroes mythos.It should also be noted that, since she was the only Lord of Order to survive Infinite Crisis (with all but one of the Lords of Chaos also dying), Amethyst was consequently one of the two most powerful magic-users in the DCU.Amethyst was initally the main feature in Sword of Sorcery, a New 52 anthology comic series that launched in September 2012. This version started things over from scratch with 17 year-old Amy learning her true identity for the first time after a life on the road with her mother. This was significantly Darker and Edgier than previous versions of the character (her first action scene had her stopping a group of would-be rapists from raping a girl), and only lasted eight issues.Animated shorts based on Amethyst were added to the DC Nation block on Cartoon Network, after some very, very long delays. The first short aired with the return of the block on January 5, 2013. In this version Amy's a computer nerd who's created her own Gemworld videogame, only to find herself suddenly pulled inside. Given that the entire series clocks in at about fifteen minutes long, not much is done to explore just what the relationship is between Amy and Princess Amethyst.
Tropes in the comic:
Abusive Parents: While not his biological father, the treatment Carnelian receives from Opal is nothing shy of abusive.
Action Pet: Taffy's first accomplishment upon entering gemworld? Tearing out a wolf's throat.
All Your Powers Combined: Dark Opal's ultimate aim was to fashion a piece of armor with shards of each of the totem gems of the various ruling houses and become supremely powerful.
Ambiguously Evil: Sardonyx. He's an extremely unpleasant fellow who was a loyal follower of Dark Opal. But he's later seen in a slightly more positive light when concerned about the well being of his family and kingdom.
Continuity Nod: When Amethyst learns how to form shields with her magic she compares it to Wonder Woman's bracelets. Makes sense with how there's a very prominent poster of the Amazon Princess on her bedroom wall at home.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: the Gemworld's various kingdoms are based on ancient Earth cultures; it is revealed midway through the mini-series that the Gemworlders are actually refugees from Earth's ancient times, who fled to the Gemworld after a celestial event altered how magic works in Earth's dimension.
Fantasy Gun Control: Averted; Carnelian uses Earth technology, including guns, to compensate for his lack of magical ability.
Heir Club for Men: Dark Opal has repeatedly attempted to get himself an heir, but his children are all misshapen and he locks them away in another dimension, except Granch, who understandably rebels against him.
I Just Want to Be Normal: After defeating Dark Opal, rather than sticking around and ruling Gemworld, Amethyst decides to go back to Earth and be plain old Amy Winston instead. Invoked again at the end of the second series because of her bitterness at Prince Topaz hooking up with another girl.
Theme Naming: Gemworld royalty are normally referred to by their royal title and house name—i.e., the series lead is properly known as Princess Amethyst, her birth parents were Lord and Lady Amethyst, etc. Becomes a bit confusing when royal houses have several children of the same gender; in the original mini-series alone, there were three princesses of the House of Emerald, all of which were named as "Princess Emerald" by lifelong Gemworlders (Amethyst would later nickname the youngest princess "Emmy" to differentiate her).
In the third series, the children of the House of Topaz are referred to with individual names by their parents; either Gemworld conventions changed in the years between the second and third series, or possibly they are personal names are only used within the families of the individual houses.
Big Bad: Lady Mordiel, who is Graciel's sister and Amaya's aunt. She wants to kill her sister and adopt her niece as an heir so she can have all the magic power of House Amethyst for herself.
Covers Always Lie: Unusually common for a modern comic, the covers often feature events that are absolutely nothing like, or even completely opposite to, what happens in the issue.
Dangerous Seventeenth Birthday / The Hero's Birthday: On her seventeenth birthday, Amy's mother makes good on her promise to take her to their real home. Little did Amy know was that her real home was on Gemworld and that she is a princess of House Amethyst.
Establishing Character Moment: Lady Mordiel has her capturing a peasant girl with a small fraction of the blood power. She talks to her pleasantly and casually murders her to absorb that vestigal of power, then she orders the girl's family to be suitably compensated.
Given Name Reveal: On Gemworld, Amy learns that her true name is Amaya and that her mother's name is Graciel.
The archers and swordsmen of House Citrine are all female and male, respectively.
Averted with the women of House Amethyst, who like to get up close and personal with their enemies.
Hired Assassins: In issue #3, Lady Mordiel offers two Shadow-Walkers of House Onyx a contract to kill Lady Graciel. If they suceed, their reward will be a pair of powerful portal crystals that will allow them to go anywhere.
Even with her mother's training, Amaya is not fully prepared for combat on Gemworld. In her first swordfight, she is horrified when she kills the attacking swordsman and couldn't think straight in the heat of battle.
Once she is given the magic of House Amethyst, Amaya has to be trained to use it to her full potential.
Light Is Not Good: House Amethyst and House Diamond are no diffrent from all the other houses, there are good members and there are bad members, the power and status are just to be used as the user wants.
Loners Are Freaks: Amy, on Earth. She used to try to fit in, but gave up around sixth grade. She was even called Freaky Amy by her classmates.
People of Hair Color: In Gemworld, a person's lineage and House allegiance can be traced by their hair and eye color. For example, Princess Amaya's blonde hair and Purple Eyes indicate that she's from the House Amethyst. Those with brown hair and grey eyes are neutral and can't take sides.
Royal Blood: Since Lady Mordiel is barren, Princess Amaya is the only heir to House Amethyst. Part of the conflict is that Mordiel wants to raise Amaya as her own to rule House Amethyst with an iron fist.
Transformation Trinket: Amaya can use her amethyst necklace to shift between her Gemworld outfit and her Earth clothes.
Translator Microbes: Amaya is given a gem that fires a beam at her forehead, giving her the command of all languages, including nilaian, the language of Nilaa, AKA Gemworld.
Year Outside, Hour Inside: Downplayed. When Amaya comes back to Earth in issue #4, it's only been a week since she left, which is about a day longer than she's been on Gemworld.
What Measure Is a Mook?: All the minions and soldiers mean something. Amy almost vomits after her first kill. The mate of one of the dead barbarians comes after the house seeking revenge. Hadran distinguishes himself from his brother by having respect for the soldiers under him, and everyone makes an effort to not kill any brainwashed soldiers.
This comes up when Amy fights two rogue onyx agents. She kills one attacker, and the other angrily claims she killed her brother, Amy points out that they're trying to kill her mother.
Chekhov's Gunman: In the first episode, Prince Topaz appears briefly as a character in Amy's game. She later meets him in person in Level 4, "The Turquoise Cave".
Classical Anti-Hero: Amy/Amethyst struggles with low self-esteem. She doesn't believe she has what it takes to be a hero, and even when she does do something heroic or receives praise, she responds with Heroic Self-Deprecation.
Cliff Hanger: Level 5 ends with Amethyst having saved the Frog Prince, but Dark Opal suddenly appears to challenge her and has the Pegacorn tied up so he can't help.
Cute Giant: Even after Amethyst breaks Dark Opal's spell on him, the baby Frog Prince is pretty big for a baby.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: They're called "Levels", as in a video game. There's "Level 1: Your Quest Begins", "Level 2: Village of the Frogs", "Level 3: Random Encounter", "Level 4: The Turquoise Cave", "Level 5: Battle in the Stormy Peaks.", "Level 6: The Final Battle", and "Level 7: Time to go Home".
Instant Expert: In a sense. In her first real battle, she's shown to barely be able to lift her sword and has to find an unorthodox solution. In her second she's clearly mastered it with the way she makes short work of a giant centipede. While underwater. When she fights Skeleton Topaz, she's moving like a regular Red Sonja out there.
Lighter and Softer: Compared to the original comic (and especially compared to the current comic).
Magic Music: In Level 5, one of the things Amethyst has to do break Dark Opal's spell on the baby frog prince is sing him a lullaby, though this might be just to calm him down enough so she can feed him the potion that turns him back to normal.
Refusal of the Call: Amy doesn't really want to be in Gemworld, nor does she believe she is really a princess or a hero. She only accepts her quest after Citrina promises to help her return to Earth. Getting attacked by Dark Opal's spider provides further motivation.
Trailers Always Spoil: One of the first promos for the shorts showed several clips from episodes that haven't aired yet, including scenes of Prince Topaz changing back from a skeleton, Amethyst and Pegacorn flying back to the Village of the Frogs with a baby frog in tow, and Amethyst in a sword fight with Dark Opal.
The preview clip for Level 4 reveals that Dark Opal really did turn Prince Topaz into a living skeleton, just like in Amy's game from Level 1.
Transformation Sequence: In typical magical girl fare. Though Amethyst doesn't seem to know what's going on the first time it happens.