Renae De Liz’s ‘Amethyst’ Pitch Is An Unpublished Gem (Get It?)
In case you missed it, DC relaunched Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld last week in the pages of Sword of Sorcery. Like a lot of comics, though, this one comes with a story of what might've been, a pitch from artist Renae De Liz outlining exactly what she'd like to do with an Amethyst relaunch.
De Liz, the artist of IDW's The Last Unicorn and a comic adaptation of Peter Pan, is a huge fan of the character who was considered as the artist of the new story, and her pitch from a few years back hews pretty close to the original mini-series while adding in a few cool new twists. Check out some of her art and descriptions after the cut!
AMY WINSTON is an almost 13 year old girl that lives with her father in a small apartment in the slums of Gotham. Her father of the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department) is always working in an effort to provide Amy with a stable home. However, perplexed on how to properly take care of an almost teen daughter, he leaves Amy to take care for herself most the time, which she actually prefers.
She is a quiet, shy girl who aims to be invisible, both to her peers as well as to remain unnoticed on the dangerous streets of Gotham. Inside she is intelligent, bold, and harbors a fierce admiration of Wonder Woman (whose poster graces the wall of Amy's bedroom.) She spends her time wandering the city, which she finds fascinating.
Amy is in reality the daughter of King and Queen Amethyst, the ruling domain of Gemworld. Her real father and mother were married out of political convenience, both good fair people, but not in love. When 7 months pregnant, Queen Amethyst ran away with Citrina's help to Earth, to hide from Dark Opals murderous onslaught. She finds herself in Gotham. Lost, afraid, but in awe of the city, she meets Amy's future step-father. He helps Queen Amethyst find her feet in the new world, and soon they fall in love and become married.
Queen Amethyst is murdered 3 years after Amy's birth by Granch's henchman (see GRANCH)
As Amy approaches her thirteenth birthday, she is tricked into going to Gemworld. In the new world, she is approximately 5 years older, as time flows differently in each place. She discovers she has powers that are vast and difficult to control. She is ordained to be the one to stop the Dark Evil from devouring the planet, and thereby the universe (see GEMWORLD)
Amy is thrust into a struggle for balance. On Earth she is a quiet, unnoticed girl with hardly any friends or family. On Gemworld she is a warrior Princess where every person on the planet knows her name. Countless people love her and count on her to save them from Dark Opal.
As her 13th Birthday approaches, a small creature starts to follow her around the city. It slips a gem ring into a birthday present left in her room. The gem is revealed to her to be an Amethyst, and she soon starts to hear whispers and odd color shifting in things around her. The night of her birthday a large demon bursts through her closet and steals her away to a new world.
She awakens in a dark dungeon far underground. There she discovers many skeletons, half buried in the soft sand. Granch, a scarred, battle worn Pantaur reveals himself, chained to the wall as a prisoner. He warns her to not move as there are giant worms sensitive to movement that devour prisoners. She and Granch collaborate to escape, however Granch disappears leaving her to escape the giant castle (which she later discovers is the Carnelian Castle, catching a glimpse of Topaz and Dark Opal along the way) by herself.
She's then pursued into the outlying jungle by horrible creatures. Granch appears before she's killed, and demands for her to use her powers. Not knowing what he's talking about, Amy cannot obey. Granch pushes her hand outward toward the enemies, and her instinctual powers are unleashed, destroying the foes. Granch reveals to Amy who she really is, Princess Amethyst, heir to the vast powers of the Ruling House of this world. He explains briefly that the planet, ruled by 12 precious and powerful stones, is so old that its name has been lost to the eons. Amy from then on calls it Gemworld.
Granch decides to help her, but makes it known he also hates her, for reasons he won't tell. Confused by his anger, she has no choice to accept. Onward they go on their first quest, to find Citrina, the good witch woman who has been steward of Amethyst since the House of Amethyst was destroyed. She soon discovers a horrific evil, The Lord Dark Opal, has set out to find and destroy her. She wants to go home but cannot, and Granch tells her only Citrina may know a way. And there the adventure begins.
Like I said, De Liz's pitch sticks pretty close to Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Ernie Colón's original story, but the twists she adds are pretty interesting. Making Amy a Gotham City resident with a father in the GCPD gives her that connection to Batman that I think we can all agree makes every character better, but also grounds her firmly in the larger DC Universe while keeping the focus on the fantasy adventure of Gemworld. The same goes for defining her as someone who looks up to Wonder Woman, a nice bit of characterization that could allow for some neat crossover possibilities as well as making her easier to identify with for an audience of kids that feel the same way.
It's a pretty good setup, and De Liz's art and costume designs are top notch. Hopefully she'll get her chance to take a crack at the character one of these days!
For more designs and an in-depth breakdown of Gemworld, check out the full pitch at De Liz's website!