Steven Universe 2016 Special #1
Review by: Anthony
Steven Universe is a treasure that airs in 11 minute segments on Cartoon Network, it’s an ever growing-in-popularity animated show known to push the boundaries of social norms while keeping a light hearted but truly deep theme to it. The show’s filled to the brim with legitimately good humor, intense action, life lessons and occasionally some wonderful and memorable original songs. To top it off, Steven Universe comes with an expanded storyline about a teenage boy and his alien guardians named after precious gems (Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl), and an actually super well thought out lore and history within its world, the show leaves us hanging quite a bit, and it’s extremely careful about very slowly releasing canonical information to its fans whether through interviews or the show itself, so you get the impression that not only does the cartoon Steven Universe matter to these creators, the story and the lore does at well, and that’s pretty incredible for what you would expect out of a Cartoon Network kid’s show.
What Kaboom has here with Steven Universe in comic book form is an opportunity to greatly expand upon the universe of the show. Introducing new and interesting characters, telling more story or history of the Gem ‘homeworld’ which is always sought after because of its mysterious past, or even more about Steven’s mother who lead the Gems but died in order to bring Steven to life. Unfortunately the Steven Universe comic books simply aren’t doing that. Rather, the comics up to this point have largely been the short story-esque ‘adventures’ of Steven Universe type. They’re sort of pointless, though fun to read. Somewhat ugly at times as the art changes with the stories, but still fully enjoyable. Perhaps most importantly, often disjointed because the stories really don’t have anything to do with each other, or anything in the Steven Universe in general. They’re sometimes funny and enjoyable, sometimes really cool, but for the most part they lack almost everything Steven Universe is so incredible for. The 2016 Special doesn’t really change anything about that. It’s still sporadic, disjointed and a bit flimsy. The comic is funny and enjoyable for sure, but it does comes up severely short to it’s material.
The hope I hold onto with this comic book and Steven Universe in general is that with the popularity of the show, the comic book will continue to strive, and perhaps with more demand the canon of the show will expand into things like books and comics, similar to what Star Wars has done with comics and novels. Steven Universe has an incredible amount of potential to be more than what it is as a television show, and sadly, while this comic has its moments, it’s fails to deliver. If you like Steven Universe, I do suggest the comic, it’s fun and simple as a stand alone entity. If you’re looking for a high quality comic book, or an expansion upon the Steven Universe world, the comic isn’t going to do a whole lot for you. 5/10