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Disney has declared this week “Princess Week” and I am celebrating the princesses of DC Comics. Yesterday, I highlighted Starfire and asked which version of the character you preferred. The answer? Teen Titan animated version. That is my favorite as well. That choice was followed by the pre-52 version and in last place was the new version of Starfire.
Today I’m highlighting a princess that is intensely loved by those who know about her — Amethyst of Gemworld.
The character was introduced by DC in 1983 and appeared in many formats - maxis, minis, one-shots- over the next three years. Originally the book (which was edited at one point by now Vertigo head Karen Berger) was targeted at female readers, particularly younger ones (unfortunately it got darker and grimmer at time went on). And it was a compelling high concept pitch — on Earth Amy Winston is 13 year old girl but on her real world she is older and a princess of a magical world.
Long gone except for cameos in Infinite Crisis and a “alt world” appearance in last year’s Flashpoint which was hyped and hope for by many but unfortunately ended with her dead and not “Flashpointed” into the new 52.
I know from just the notes I get, that Amethyst is beloved by many readers and in particular women. While I don’t think that female readers are particularly a focus for DC these days, it does seem like this book has other elements that would make it a candidate for a new 52 reboot. Magic! Swords! Kingdom and Royalty shenanigans ala Game of Thrones (but tamer). And it has cross promotion! An animated Amethyst is about to appear on DC Nation!
So will DC bring it back? Was the teasing in Flashpoint just that? Or is there someone at DC, perhaps Karen Berger who edited the book so many years ago, who will spearhead bringing Amethyst back? To be fair it’s a tricky property. A girl who becomes a woman through magic has to be handled just right. She is in a lot of ways similar to Billy Batson and look at the challenges DC has had in modernizing that character. And there is the fact that is she isn’t a cape character though she’s been clearly established a part of the DCU in the past. But part of Amethyst’s appeal is that she had her own world and for the book to succeed I think it would have to keep that element.
There is also the issue of the tone of the book. For the book to bring in younger readers, and particularly women, the tone needs to be right. Younger readers aren’t afraid of darker content - Harry Potter,The Hunger Games and Twilight have darker elements and are middle school staples in this neck of the woods - but it can’t be so dark as to alienate readers. And she’s a female lead so she has to be strong but the sexiness needs to kept to a minimum. That rules out some creators.
But those are easy things to overcome. Much of it comes down to the creative team. And I have my dream team.
For writer I pick Gail Simone, who just wrote about the secret Gemworld background of one her character’s Misfit. Simone’s proven her ability to write female characters but she’s also shown in her Wonder Woman run her ability to handle some of the “mystical” elements that the book would require. She also did some nice world building in Welcome to Tranquility.
And for artist? I pick Renae De Liz the woman who spearheaded Womanthology and who has done quite a bit of artwork of Amethyst including this stunning piece.
I’d also be very happy with Amy Reeder but I’m not sure she’d be available.
So what do you think? Do you want to see DC reboot Amethyst? What do you consider deal breakers as the elements that have to brought into a reboot? Who is you dream team?