Comic Book / Amulet

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/amulet1.jpg

Amulet is the brainchild of Kazu Kibuishi, editor of Flight and author of the webcomic Copper and graphic novel Daisy Kutter. It's a series of graphic novel (seven, so far) chronicling the adventures of Emily, her brother Navin, and her mother, as they find themselves caught up in an subterraneous alternative world called Alledia. The eponymous amulet is found by Emily in a new house they move into. Alledia is home to wild and imaginative things like tentacled monsters, walking houses and talking trees. Here, Emily finds herself trying to not only keep her family together, but also fight an increasingly brutal war against an evil race of elves bent on dominating everyone else. She at least meets a lot of friends along the way to help her, although whether or not she can trust them isn't clear.

The books in the series are:
  • Volume 1: The Stonekeeper
  • Volume 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse
  • Volume 3: The Cloud Searchers
  • Volume 4: The Last Council
  • Volume 5: Prince of Elves
  • Volume 6: Escape from Lucien
  • Volume 7: Firelight

The series is confirmed to have nine volumes in total.


This graphic novel provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Vigo gets a heavy dose of this. First Miriam, his wife, dies, then his son David enters the Void in a misguided attempt to her back - an attempt that leaves him comatose for several days, mumbling in his sleep to someone, whilst Vigo can only watch. David finally wakes, looking terrified, and then dies. Poor guy.
  • Awesome Art: Holy crap this series is beautiful. Volume 5, in particular, has landscapes.
  • Baleful Polymorph: If you stay in Kanalis too long, you'll eventually permanently transform into an anthropomorphic animal. This includes birds and even slugs. Though Leon is a fox, as was his father, not to mention other animal people are shown to be the same species within their families. So apparently genetics determine what form the curse chooses for you.
  • Beneath the Earth: Sort of; Alledia is actually a kind of alternate Earth, but it's accessible via a huge underground passage and most of it seems to be a giant cave.
  • Big Bad: The Elf King. Or so it seems. The King is dead, and His Amulet is the one really running things.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Sometimes happens to characters in action sequences who receive a heavy blow.
    • Max coughs up blood when he's injured during his escape from prison fifty years ago. It signals that he's dying and desperate enough to make a deal with the Voice.
  • Brother-Sister Team: Navin and Emily, although they also spend a lot of time combating enemies on separate fronts. One particular part in Volume 2 had Emily and Navin battling together with Emily using her stone to super-enhance the Charnon House, which Navin was using as a giant mech.
  • Bounty Hunter: Gabilan. There's seems to be a lot more to that, though...
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The color of individual Stones denotes the color of the magic that each Stonekeeper uses. It also denotes the color of the spirit (aka the Voice) behind each one. Although in that it's subverted. Emily's Voice, which is pink, is also the spirit behind Max's teal Stone. In this case it's the symbol on the stone, and not the color, which denotes the spirit connected to it.
  • Combat Tentacles: Features especially in the first volume with the arachnopod.
  • Deal with the Devil: It's implied that a Stonekeeper allowing their Stone to take complete control is this. The Stone grants its user unimaginable power even greater than they already had, but the user may go insane or cursed even worse than before as a result. In some cases, the Stone may keep using their body after they're already dead.
  • Disappeared Dad: An extreme version; we actually see Emily's father die before our eyes, and his death is a large part of her current personality.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: Miskit.
  • Disney Villain Death: Luger. Or so it seems. He ends up surviving and becoming a good person as a result of losing his Stone.
  • Downer Beginning: The Stonekeeper starts with the death of Emily and Navin's father. As the first volume, it also ends with their mother being poisoned and hanging between life and death.
  • Egg MacGuffin: Dagno! A wyvern baby that imprints Cogsley.
  • Face Monster Turn: A common fate for Stonekeepers who rely too much on their stone or are manipulated by the Amulet spirit into doing so. Emily falls prey to this near the end of Firelight, transforming into a giant, flaming, phoenix.
  • Fantastic Racism: There seems to be a lot of it between the elves and humans as a result of the war between the two races.
    • Enzo lets on that there is some racism against the animal people of Alledia, although we've never seen evidence of this firsthand.
  • The Fair Folk: The elves.
  • Funny Animal: The population of Kanalis. Stated to be due to a curse, although there are many animal people beyond the city as well.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Prince Trellis sports one stitched-up one across his left eye.
  • Greater Scope Villain: For most of the story so far, the amulet's voice seemed to serve as a guide for Emily in battle and during difficult situations. It is implied to be evil in its own special way, however, and Emily's brother, Navin, even describes the voice as "shifty". After his defeat, Gabilan mentions that "the stone has its own agenda" and that "[Emily] will die like the rest" once it has fulfilled its goal. By the fifth volume, it seems that this will change to make the stone into an actual Big Bad.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Prince Trellis rather predictably and early on, considering that he and Emily end up having the same goal to stop the elf conquests.
    • Luger, too, turns over a new leaf entirely after being freed from his stone.
    • Max, although it's too late for him at the time. He eventually tries to stop the Stone that he made a deal with and drops his thirst for vengeance. But he ages to death in the process.
  • History Repeats: A very blatant one for the elves. Virgil points out that just glancing through their historical archives reveals that every 500 years a Stone with a Voice shows up in the hands of an Elf King, which is followed by a period of intense war and strife. After 500 years of peace, the cycle begins again. The current Elf King is just the latest in the cycle.
  • Humongous Mecha: A house. Apparently walking houses are popular in Alledia.
    • Over the course of the volumes, Navin is shaping up to be a pilot of such Humongous Mecha. That fact that he is known for his love of video games may have been foreshadowing this.
    • The elves also seem to employ several.
  • I Choose to Stay: Subverted in that when Emily says that she has to stay in Alledia, her mother insists that the whole family will too regardless of the dangers they will face.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Navin, piloting the Albatross.
  • La Résistance: So named, except with "the" instead of "la". A resistance group against the elves in Kanalis, which later moves to Lucien.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Luger. After his defeat, he goes from being the Elf King's right hand man to a whimpering old man. Before that, it turns out he and Trellis had both been subject to this so they'd forget their childhoods, and Luger in particular so he'd forget he's Trellis' brother.
  • Living Toys: Miskit seems to be one, but he's actually a robot.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Elf King is Luger's father (making him Trellis' brother as well), however having his memory wiped made Luger initially unaware of this.
  • Magitek: Most of the time, it's either this, or Steampunk.
  • Meaningful Echo: (The Stonekeeper's Curse) When Emily tries to regain control after her stone begins to overpower her, she screams the line "Get out of my head!" (Prince of the Elves) This line is later repeated when Trellis channels his memories via his amulet and is seized by the stone's force before being aided by Emily.
  • Mind Rape: Gabilan seems to enjoy using this with a memory wiping machine.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The elves. They're definitely meat-eaters. One of Trellis' introductions has him taking a big bite out of one of the cute slug creatures with his teeth.
  • Nice Hat: Leon Redbeard sports a very nice one.
  • One-Winged Angel: Luger, and anyone else who gets "devoured" by the amulet, by being able to turn into literal giants.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Riva, the mayor of Lucien, was told a prophecy by one of the elder trees about how the sky would fall but then "the sun would rise again," the tree telling her to know the sun well. She at first thinks this refers to her encounter with Navin, which happened to coincide with the sun falling on a tree sapling she was caring for. At the end of the sixth volume, however, she sees an airship collapse, the "sky falling", and then sees Trellis, the Elf King's "son", rising again as a leader among a contingent of elves. The prophecy was telling her to get to know Trellis.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Played with; the elves early on are portrayed as cruel and have very sharp teeth and sickly appearances. Most of the Mooks look more like orcs moreso than anything. However, there are elves that aren't evil later in the story, and it's implied that before the new Elf King took over they were peaceful. They're also more advanced than anyone else in Alledia as a result of their careful historical records.
  • Power at a Price: The main point of the amulet. Use it too much and it takes you over, transforming you into a giant monster.
    • Using your dead body as a physical vessel with which to rule.
    • Turning you into a giant or bird made of fire.
  • Power Glows: The amulet. All of them seem to glow with a different color.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Emily, when using the amulet. This is only because her amulet color is pink/red, though, while others have their eyes glow the color of their amulets.
  • Retcon:
    • It's stated in Volume 6 that Trellis had been possessed by Sybrian when meeting Emily, but Trellis from Volume 1 has none of the characteristics of someone who's possessed by a Dark Scout.
    • Logi's appearance is inexplicably retconned from a tiny bald elf man to a furry little man that resembles an animal more than an elf.
    • How Vigo's son died is changed from him being killed going against the Elf King to him dying after trying to find his mother in the Void.
    • The controls on the Colossus in Volume 5 are explicitly stated as being the model for the Charnon house, with levers as the primary controls. By Volume 6, they were retconned into having special devices on the user's hands to wirelessly control the Colossus.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: They can sweat, cry, and some even have parents and are implied to have been children once.
    • Although just a mech, somehow the Colossus can build up lots of ear wax. Lampshaded by Navin:
    "This is gross! Why does this even happen?!"
  • Robot Buddy: The entire population of Silas's house.
  • Rocket Punch: Done by the Humongous Mecha house in chapter 2.
  • Scenery Porn: And how. The art is by far the main draw of the book.
  • Slasher Smile: Only twice has the Amulet spirit shown any sort of expression. Both times it's been one of these.
  • Shout-Out: The third book is basically one massive Shout-Out to Castle in the Sky. He does list Hayao Miyazaki as one of his inspirations in the acknowledgements section.
  • Space Whale: Sky eels. Despite their rather terrifying appearance, they're quite docile.
  • Steam Punk: The general aesthetic of the series, with a bit of Magitek.
  • Tentacle Rope: Also a usage of the arachnopod's tentacles, using them to drag their prey into their mouths for storage.
  • The Starscream: Gabilan.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: The amulet.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The elves hate the smell of fish to the point of automatic asthma attack.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/Amulet