Amethyst #4 – Amy Reeder, Writer/Artist; Marissa Louise, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Equal parts coming-of-age story and fantasy epic, Amy Reeder’s reinvention of Gemworld has been another big winner coming out of the Wonder Comics line. With a few reluctant allies, Amy has finally made her way to the headquarters of her arch-nemesis Dark Opal—but Opal isn’t what he used to be. Held prisoner in his own castle, he’s essentially a magical version of Hannibal Lecter, taunting his nemesis from behind a cage. The first half of the issue is the characters making their way through a bizarre Rube Goldberg inspired deathtrap to make their way to the prisoner, only for him to turn the tables and nearly kill them—and himself—when his cell made of gears and coils starts to disintegrate. Reeder’s art is very different, much darker in this segment, and it’s a very effective way to test the menace of a villain who has been talked about a lot but seen only rarely so far.
Once they barely escape with their lives, Amethyst’s squad is facing another challenge—their friend group is falling apart at the seams. Amy has never been portrayed as a flawless hero, with her determination sometimes crossing over into arrogance. A massive bombshell that Dark Opal drops this issue unnerves her and makes her even more determined to get to the truth, which leads one member of the party—who isn’t who they claimed to be—to abandon the group and go their own way. As the heroes head into deep and uncertain territory, new dangers await and it’s clear that Amy’s journey to free her people isn’t going to be smooth. It’s been a while since DC went into the high-fantasy genre, and Reeder is doing an amazing job of building on the excellent work past creators have done with Amethyst. The Wonder Comics line continues to be the place DC is putting out some of its most daring books.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.