Steven Universe Vol.1

Steven Universe has gradually earned the prestigious title of my favorite cartoon. From the animation and character designs to its quirkiness and often emotional depth, the series has managed to tug at my heart strings and constantly leaving me in an unsatisfied state. Not unsatisfied like a Yelp review complaining about customer service, but unsatisfied as in the feeling you get after getting off of a roller coaster that you waited on line for over an hour to ride – you just want more. With this feeling intensifying, I decided to check out the comic. To be honest, I was not sure what to expect from the comic – I figured that it would be short stories revolving around the Crystal Gems, and part of me hoped that it would reveal some answers to the many questions that I had, but this was not the case.

My initial assumption was right – the volume is composed of several short stories and larsbecause of this, there was not much room for the emotional stories that are often portrayed in the series. Rather, the stories relied heavily on the quirkiness and child-like wonder of Steven, reminding me often of the filler episodes. Although it wasn’t what I had hoped, it was a quick, cute, and fun read – one that I believe truly captured all of the characters as I often read the dialogue in their voices. Like in “Navigation Adventure,” Lars decides to take Sadie through a shortcut and ultimately becomes lost. Although it was only a page and contained minimal dialogue, the characters were still vibrant.

In my favorite comic, Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet attempt to make a cake for Steven’s birthday. In line with their personalities, Amethyst creates a cake throwing random food items together while Pearl takes the nutritional value literally – both failing to make an appetizing cake. Yet Garnet produces a cake that appears to be perfection, until it is handed to Steven:


If, for some reason, I was ever asked to explain the relationship of the Crystal Gems, I would direct the questioner to this image (assuming that I carried this image around with me in hopes that I could answer such a question).

The volume continued to portray the characters in this way – showcasing and capitalizing on their personalities all while preventing any development. For this reason, it was  more of a leisurely read and reminded me of comics often found in a newspaper, or even the ones that I used to find in the magazines that I purchased as a kid. I was very much reminded that this is a comic geared (most likely) towards children when I stumbled upon this:


Now don’t get me wrong, I love “Where’s Waldo” as much as the next guy, but I often give up because I cannot find him for the life of me. However, I was able to find everyone in this comic in a matter of seconds, and that is not because I have a sharp eye.

Even though the comic did not provide me with any answers or rip my heart out (which apparently is something that I find enjoyment in, as any fan of this series can advocate), it showcased the other side of Steven Universe, the okay-now-that-we-broke-your-heart-into-millions-of-pieces-with-Amethyst-and-Steven-fighting-as-well-as-the-Bismuth-story-here-is-Peridot-with-a-bow-tie-in-the-next-episode. I’m sure you never asked for that image, but once you saw it, you were glad that it existed, just like I am with this comic.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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