Sword of Sorcery: Amethyst: Christy Marx, Aaron Lopresti, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh, Josh Middleton
Beowulf: Tony Bedard, Jesus Saiz, Brian Reber, Steve Wands
I’ll preface this with the fact that I am totally unfamiliar with this Amethyst character. I have no idea what this is all about. But here is your typical, rebellious teenager with a strange home life and a mysterious origin. Just like every typical, rebellious teenager with a strange home life and a mysterious origin in the DCnU. How Mary-Sue of this character.
So Amy (get it? Amy? Amy-thyst? Amethyst? I see what you did there) is new to her school - because that helps us not get too invested in these characters when Amy’s real adventure begins - and is obviously the odd one out. Apparently this is because she’s “that weirdo with five colors in her hair.” Yeah, I’ve heard a McFly song or two, you wanna fight about it?
Well, Amy does. She fights with her mom, she fights with some boys who try the whole “behind-the-bleachers-rape” thing with a girl she just met, with whom she could possibly form a friendship with. You know, if it weren’t for that whole upcoming adventure thing. The whole frustration with her mom thing revolves around how she doesn’t have a “normal” life. She lives out of a trailer attached to a truck, is constantly on the move, and has swordfight training with her mom every day. Oh, and she’s told she can go visit her “real home” on her 17th birthday, and only then. That’s what the sword training is for.
Make sense? Good.
Here’s my problem with that. If she lives like this…how does she know it’s not the “normal” way? Most kids who grow up unconventionally (like with a hoarder parent, or - worst case scenario - with a kidnapper), typically have no clue that other people don’t live this way. I’ll give Amy the benefit of the doubt for knowing that not everyone lives in trailers in the woods. But she can’t complain about wanting a normal life without having known one.
Then there’s this: she has a cell phone. How does she have a cell phone? If she’s always on the move, how do they pay their bill? The mom doesn’t seem to be able to pick up high-paying jobs. But I guess when you don’t have rent, you don’t need to worry about a lot of big bills. So Amy with a cell phone doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
Meanwhile, in a world called Nilaa, the Queen lady is killing off girls from the Amethyst bloodline because she wants all the power to herself, in a “Jet Li’s character from ‘The One’” fashion. They’re hunting for her sister (Amy’s mom, shocker!), and waiting for her eventual return to this world when Amy is old enough to steal the Amethyst power from Nilaa. Seventeen, coincidentally.
So they return and start fighting a hunting party. The end. I have to hand it to Lopresti on this issue…I’m usually not a fan. But in this issue, he was able to make everyone look unique and it has a great style that I liked. Hi-Fi’s colors are really well-done, especially in the Nilaa world. Beware, there’s a lot of pink in this issue. Special mention goes to Rob Leigh, for the lettering job he did on the Nilaa language they speak at the end. Very nice.
Beowulf is the second story in this issue, and it’s MUCH more enjoyable than Amethyst, to me at least. Being a big fan of the epic poem of the Danes, I really wanted to see the hero’s representation in the New 52. Man, was I surprised. We meet a boy, Wiglaf, who was sent by King Hrothgar to find the warrior Beowulf and bring him back to stop the Grendel monster. What’s REALLY interesting about this story is the mix of ancient peoples with serious modern tech. Beowulf lies in stasis on an abandoned military base - which looks really old (there’s a tree growing through the cracked roof) - and emerges when trip sensors and cameras pick up the arriving party.
I really have no clue what to make of this, because it’s this really great marriage of old people and old languages with this future tech. Beowulf himself has tech on his body. Holes for tubes and mechanical markings on his back that remind me of Stargate. The boy uses his wits to survive Beowulf’s wrath and convinces him to come back to Hrothgar’s hall to help with Grendel. Oh, look, is that a Blackhawks symbol in the mead hall?
Bedard and Saiz are in top form here. I really enjoyed the art style, and the writing was very well done. I’m more than intrigued, and I can’t wait for the rest of the story.
Sword of Sorcery: Amethyst #0, the verdict: So while Amethyst was kind of boring, predictable, and terribly cliche, I really loved the Beowulf backup story. That world has character, and it’s full of mystery. What’s with the converging of time? How are they existing side-by-side? Amethyst reminds me more of a girl’s version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (which is also currently in production at DC Comics). Sorry if that sounds sexist, but really this book is directed toward a female audience, it seems. Either that, or it’s just not my style. Also, why the hell is Constantine following Amy around anyway? Why does he care?
(Photo Source: Read DC Entertainment)