Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sword of Sorcery #4

How does the creature with the mouth full of teeth not bite it's tongue?

I think last issue ended with Amethyst being summoned to Earth to help out Justice League Dark in their Annual. It ended up being a lot less "helping" and a lot more "getting the word out that Amethyst has her own comic book series." I don't believe that series ever dealt with her return to Gemworld so that part of the story should end up here. That's actually a pretty effective way to deal with the crossover. If you're reading both, that is. If you're not reading both, you might just be confused by how this story plays out. But I'm sure there will be a nice, helpful Editor's Note to keep things moving.

This next paragraph can be skipped if you don't care about the relationship between my Blogspot version of this blog and my Tumblr version! I'm now typing these posts in Blogspot's editor whereas I had been typing them in the Tumblr editor. Tumblr recently changed its format and while I don't mind it, it currently has a bug that doesn't let you edit your previous posts. Well, you can edit the first line of your post or the last line of your post, but that's not actually any fucking help at all. On the plus side, I'll now be editing my posts on Blogspot so they don't maintain a record of all of my stupid grammar mistakes and missed words and other typos. My Tumblr posts will also be edited because one thing I can still do is copypasta the edited text from here to there. So all in all, a mistake by Tumblr's programmers has probably improved the reading quality of my Blogspot blog. Now I just have to edit the previous 900 posts so I don't look like an idiot when I type "meat" for "meet".

Now that everybody is thoroughly bored with the non-essential, mundane, technological aspects of my comic book odyssey, let's dive into Amethyst! Hmm. I think I just turned myself on a little bit.

I'd like to see these two go out for coffee sometime. Get to know each other a little better. Watch as Constantine uses her to save his soul while breaking her little teenaged heart.

One of the reasons I'm glad for some interaction between these two is that Amethyst knows nothing about John Constantine except what she's seen in the couple of issues of Justice League Dark she was in. She kind of knows he can't be trusted and that he smokes a lot and that he's casually very good at the magic. But he obviously knew about her enough to get his hands on her crystal. Dammit. Inadvertent arousal again.

His matter of factness and casual bearing are just so refreshing. It's no wonder he's long been one of my favorite characters.

John drops some hints that Amethyst's mom acted pretty wild when she returned to First World years ago. It put her on his radar and he's been keeping an eye on her ever since. Not surprising since he has notes on everybody in the DCnU in his office in the House of Mystery. Before John can give the crystal back to Amethyst, she has a favor to ask. Seeing as how the House can go anywhere and she's been stuck eating Gem Stew for the last week, Amethyst wants to take a detour to Chicago for some pizza. And who is Constantine to say no? I think his motto is if you're going to horribly use and abuse someone at a later date (this includes everyone John ever meets), you need to make them think you're the nicest, sweetest guy in the world during those times you don't need to bargain their soul to save your own.

If a guy in a lift says he'll snog your fanny for a fag, don't do it! Or do do it? Maybe ask him for a little clarification first.

After Amethyst stops looking fucking adorable eating her deep dish pizza (Instant fan of Travis Moore and Karl Story from just a few pages! Where have these guys been hiding?!), she walks out of the Pizzeria (or Pizzaria according to the front window of the pizza place) and is instantly pulled down through a devil's circle some careless child chalked onto the sidewalk.

Held captive by two demons, Amethyst reappears in an office building where a woman tells her she wants her magic necklace. It would be really terrific world building on DC's part if this were Brenda's aunt from Blue Beetle! She and her house and her magic artifacts all disappeared months ago in a mystic conflagration. Her reappearance could be explained later. I just think it would be great if this were her still seeking it out mystic artifacts. And this woman has a nice collection of her own! She's the head of a corporation in Forbes' Most Powerful Top 500. Was that what Brenda's aunt did? I can't even remember her name! Or her Mexican mafioso nickname!

"CEO Sorceress." I like that! For breakfast today, I'm going to the Cup and Saucer around the corner which my non-certified spouse and I call the Cup and Sorcerer.

The CEO Sorceress refuses to take the necklace by force because magic always has strange prices and weird protections. So she wants Amethyst to hand it over freely. But I don't know if she actually knows what "freely" means since she's going to try to threaten and intimidate her into handing it over. She begins by threatening to have demons rip apart a whole bunch of her recently laid off employees if Amethyst doesn't cooperate. Amethyst's response is so perfectly teenaged girl:

I take that back. Gender doesn't even come into it. This is just pure teenager.

Of course Amethyst gives up the necklace because she's a "do-gooder." Afterward, she's tossed in the demon buffet along with the workers. Sheesh, Amethyst. Every other character in the DCnU would have put up a fight whether they needed to or not! Now that you go and try the reasonable thing and get fucked for it, you're just making it seem like throwing punches is the best first choice! I mean, I know it's not YOUR fault. But come on! You could have transformed and put up a fight! It's not like this CEO Sorceress was pretending to be good. She has a room full of demons! You don't give up your power that easily. I feel so strange! What's the word where you're both proud and disappointed of someone at the same time? Oh yeah! Parent!

The greedy woman's name is Ilene which means she's not Amparo Cardenas, Brenda's aunt. Lord Google helped me find her name! Although I had to snog his John Thomas for the information.

Ilene puts on the necklace and transforms into Amethyst, the Really Weathered and Stressed Out Older Than You'd Suspect Princess of Gemworld! But even though she's now dressed like Amethyst, she doesn't know how to wield the power. I'm pretty sure that's because the power is in Amethyst and the stupid necklace just instantly changes your clothes for you. Oh! That probably means Amethyst didn't give up her power at all!

What's the word when you have inadvertent sexual feelings for an underage fictional comic book character? Oh yeah! "Parent!" I mean, "Pervert!"

Amethyst kicks major demon fanny (this time I'm using it like an American would since most of the demons seem to be missing their genitals. But they still have buttocks!) and forces Ilene to give the necklace back. Then Amethyst breaks Ilene's Demonic Dildo and Ilene is pulled into her own portal and down into hell. If she somehow survives, I think Amethyst has made a powerful enemy on First World. She then calls Constantine to come help clean up.

John lets Amethyst know that if she uses the crystal herself, she'll never be able to come back to Earth. He says it in that way that makes it seem like he's giving her a choice but he's really only doing it because he knows he's going to get to keep the crystal (as well as all of Ilene's other mystic goodies). So Amethyst allows him to transport her back to Gemworld so that he'll have the crystal and she'll have a way back to Earth.

These two have a bit of a Dr. Who and his companion thing going on. I like it!

This has been the best issue of Amethyst so far. I really loved the dialogue between Amethyst and John. And the way she handled Ilene really showed her intelligence, strength, and patience. Fuck the heroes that lead with their fists! Bloody good issue, this one.

But I still have the back-up story to read! But first a break! Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back, um, after breakfast!

The back-up story stars Stalker, The Man Without A SOUL! It takes place a long, long time ago in a distant land where they speak an "unpronounceable and long-dead tongue."

Although his religion seems to have some suspiciously familiar trappings.

Stalker's god does not answer his prayers but a weird trespasser in brown robes offers to save Stalker's family for a small fee. Just a half-dozen Goldoons (TM Places & Predators!) and his soul. Stalker readily agrees because what could possibly go wrong? It's obvious he didn't read DC Universe Presents #16 or he'd know that deals with strange strangers usually have unexpected consequences.

The Stranger healed his pregnant wife but she died in childbirth many months later. His child lived but Stalker could not lay eyes on the cause of his wife's death. He had sold his soul for only a few short months of happiness. What an idiot! Trading your soul for somebody's current health is like trading your soul for a few ice cubes on a really hot day. I guess he'll just have to console himself with the fact that souls are imaginary, so he got a few more happy months with his wife and it didn't cost him anything! Or he could instead kick the jerk's ass that tricked him.

Well hey! At least he gets to be immortal out of the deal. Not bad!

Stalker wandered around for centuries finding nothing better to do with his time than kill. He killed and he killed and he killed. I guess because he had no soul or something. It's a little vague. I think his main motivation was boredom though. But after all the killing, he finally ended up in the present where he met up with the guy that owns his soul once more.

Weird that The Boss needed a man from a long, long, long time ago to do a job in the present. Good workers really must be hard to find.

Sword of Sorcery #4 Rating: +2 Ranking. While the back-up story was mediocre at best (especially with making the guy immortal just to meet up with him in a bar in the future for a job that I imagine will have to do with Stalker's past or else, who cares?), Amethyst's story was a lot of fun. Too bad Constantine won't be a regular player in it though. I've enjoyed Amethyst the most when she's been on Earth and now she's going back to Gemworld. And the new art team! Fantastic! The style is perfect for this book. I hope it continues to be lighthearted and fun. And adorable.

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