Steven Universe #25
Gabriele Bagnoli (Art); Terry Blas (Writing);Mike Fiorentino (Letters); Joana Lafunte (Colors); Jen Bartel, Missy Pena, Francesca Perrone and Xiao Tong Kong (Covers)
February 27th, 2019
KaBOOM!’s successful Steven Universe ongoing has been a charming little treat of a book, and this issue continues the tradition. With its gentle colors, wonderful writing, and on-model art, it’s been roundly successful in bringing the cartoon’s world to a written medium.
This month’s issue shows Lars’ dreams of a future in Beach City far away from the flash and boom of his space-bound life. His crew knows that something’s wrong, but it’s going to take a lot to make their stubborn captain open up and share his sense of failure, loneliness, and alienation with the group, something he’ll have to come to grips with as a familiar foe returns to do battle. Ultimately, with the engine malfunctioning and the chips down, Lars will have to rise to the occasion to help his friends and save the day.
Meanwhile, Steven, Lion, and Connie are preparing a care package for Lars. The twosome try to figure out what their space-traveling bud might be missing the most, traveling from Lars’ parent’s house to the convenience store and to other places in Beach City that Lars continues to miss to gather various iconic items up.
Not to put too fine a point on things: What. A. Cliffhanger. Terry Blas is excellent at several things, capturing Lars’ true driving motivations, encapsulating the other characters with effortless brio, and leaving the audience shaking their iPads or issues as they look for more pages! It’s a fabulous, action-packed journey and pretty much guarantees that you’re going to be picking up the next issue no matter what.
Lars is easy to sympathize with in this issue. If you’ve ever been thrown into the deep end and ejected from one kind of life to another you’ll get what he’s enduring here. There are some great moments for the other members of his crew, but while Steven and Connie’s care package journey is sweet and charming, I would have enjoyed seeing them mix it up more in the action side of the plot.
Bagnoli’s art is impressively on-model and captures the chilly atmosphere of Lars’ ship and the warmer, cozier fantasy world of Beach City perfectly. The characters feel alive and completely fully articulated without seeming utterly unreal. The colors are like a paint board pastiche of Rebecca Sugar’s favorite motifs, beautifully restrained and carefully taken, like a watercolor quilt. The whole package is completely irresistible and easy to become lost in.
Steven Universe #25 continues to be a wonderful supplement to the series from which it sprung. It’s charming and ornate, but likely to become the best friend of many a child and many a Steven Universe-loving adult.