After Nearly 30 Years, Jewel Riders Is Getting a Graphic Novel!

It's no secret that Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders was my absolute favorite cartoon as a kid. There are few others who share this passion with me as the show is still obscure even in an era of countless nostalgic reboots, so when I first heard that Mad Cave Studios was partnering with 41 Entertainment to make a series of Jewel Riders graphic novels, I was skeptical. A few days ago, my cynicism was laid to rest when a press release revealed the cover art and release date for the novel. It's really happening! On May 28, 2024, the first issue of the brand new YA Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders graphic novel will be available wherever graphic novels are sold. It's even available to pre-order on Amazon right now! Take a gander at the gorgeous new official cover art below that stays true to show's color palette and art style while adding a modern manga-inspired flare.


I am absolutely in love with this new Magic Girl anime-style cover art that features Fallon, Princess Gwenevere, and Tamara in slightly updated versions of their original jewel armor proudly holding up their enchanted jewels in cutesy poses. The book is described as "an updated YA take on the classic 90s animated hit, encouraging the magic of female friendship and perfect for fans of fantasy adventures." I love how few references there are to the second season, opting for the more popular designs and storylines from season one. Gwen's fiance is implied to be Drake, her original love interest before the show shoehorned a whirlwind romance with a werewolf named Ian in the second season. Even though it takes into account the better portion of the show, the official summary of the graphic novel follows the three girls when they are a bit older and take on new responsibilities, which is exactly what fans are eager to see. Gwenevere must face her responsibilities as the future queen of Avalon, Fallon becomes the new leader of the Pack, and Tamara questions her place in the world. That last one is a bit questionable, though, since I had always assumed that Tamara would eventually take over her parents' duty of raising magical animals at Heartland Farm after she retires from being a Jewel Rider.

This isn't the first time that the plot of Jewel Riders has migrated from the screen to the page, but it is the first time it has done so using the characters and setting from the original animated series. In 2008, Rachel Roberts released a respectably long-running series called Avalon: Web of Magic, which borrowed the rights to Jewel Riders to develop a similar story about three ordinary girls wielding enchanted jewels with ties to the magical land of Avalon. While it was a decent fantasy series in its own right, the three teenagers from the real world--Emily, Adriane, and Kara, fell flat in comparison to the regal Gwenevere, heartfelt Tamara, and adventurous Fallon, who grew up in a world of magic, friendship, and wonder that was so much gentler than our own. I am far more eager to learn about the twists and turns that the Jewel Riders' lives took after their adventures in the show than I would be to read more about the Avalon: Web of Magic girls, who felt more like reader-insertion characters than fully fleshed-out people. For many years, I thought that the Web of Magic books were the closest thing we would ever get to new adventures with the Jewel Riders, especially after celebrating the show's 25th anniversary a few years ago with my friends from the Jewel Riders Archive, but this is so much better!

The only vague thing in the graphic novel's description is who the new villain will be. It alludes to "a foe the Jewel Riders thought they'd once vanquished." As there were only two villains in the show, this can only mean either Lady Kale, Princess Gwenevere's aunt, or Morgana, the evil sorceress from Arthurian lore that the girls faced off against in the second season. Given how many references the graphic novel contains to the show's first season, Kale would make more sense as the new villain. However, Morgana was a more powerful and dangerous threat, which would make her a better choice despite the weak writing in the last season. Leaving this detail up in the air only makes me more excited to read the graphic novel next May to find out who it is and how they managed to return after the Jewel Riders defeated them. The summary also mentions Merlin acting strange as a result of wild magic, implying that a new rescue mission might be in order, resuming their primary goal from the series to free Merlin and sustain peace in the kingdom of Avalon.

The upcoming Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders graphic novel is a dream come true for fans of this beloved '90s animated series. Despite the show's obscurity in recent years, the collaboration between Mad Cave Studios and 41 Entertainment is set to bring the magic and nostalgia of this girl-powered cartoon back to life. The cover art and release date announcement have already captured our attention, showcasing updated versions of our favorite characters in their jewel armor. With a focus on the magic of female friendship, this YA take on the classic cartoon promises to return fans to the colorful and charming world of Avalon. While the return to the original characters and setting is highly anticipated, the mystery surrounding the villain's identity and Merlin's strange behavior only adds to the excitement. With May 28, 2024, just around the corner, I can't wait to delve into this new chapter of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders and continue the quest for magic, friendship, and peace in the kingdom of Avalon. Do you plan on reading this brand-new graphic novel series when it comes out? Let me know in the comments!

Comments

Wow! What perfect timing for this be announced asI'm watching Jewel Riders for the first and also ready Avalon: Web of Magic for the first time as well. I'll definitely be checking this graphic novel out!
Lisa Dawn said…
That's fantastic! I'm really excited to see the new artwork and stories! Jewel power!

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