Don’t be fooled, this is a heavy book.
Amethyst is feeling down, and the things that generally cheer her up are not working. Desperate to make his friend feel better, Steven goes out of his way to make her waffles and even throw a massive concert on the beach. When it doesn’t help to turn Amethyst’s mood around, he gains some practical advice from his father. Steven makes one more attempt to help Amethyst by allowing her to feel her emotions without trying to change them. Which turns out is precisely what the Crystal Gem needed.
Oh, how covers can be wildly deceiving. This is not the book that you would expect at first glance. Even the variant covers distributed failed to identify what the story held. With Amethyst being the central figure to this issue, it is even more curious why she doesn’t don the front. There is a lot to be said about her character, and we will get to that soon, but Amethyst deserves the cover. Especially in a book that saw her overcoming. Plus, she does look super cool. She can be drowned out, but on her own, Amethyst can look interesting and unique. It would have been great to see an impassioned cover of her.
Amethyst is an often overlooked character- I won’t say that she is unappreciated because she gets her dues. However, she can easily be lost behind more colourful characters like Steven and Garnet. Though, as a Crystal Gem, she represents a lot and has a big job to do. As recognized in the story, she wears her emotions big and heavy. She feels things with a strong passion from positive to terrible. Amethyst represents those hard and often cumbersome emotions that we have all experienced.
Steven’s journey of understanding his friend is the central theme. Which is an excellent direction for this comic title that just had a three-part space adventure. This month we are treated to some of the morals of understanding that Steven Universe has been supplying us with for years. This one happens to focus on the sympathy that we feel when someone important to us is feeling down. It helps to explain that the best thing to do is allow people to feel and be whomever they need to be. And, if you genuinely care for them, you will give them the space that they need, but making sure that they know you will always be there.
This dynamic between the two main characters is what helps this story feel natural. With Amethysts strong personality and Steven’s undying loyalty and optimism, it makes for a beautiful relationship. Giving the pair of them a simple story that revolves around there friendship is enjoyable to read. There is so much heart in this franchise that it’s these little moments that bring us to invest in them. For a series that has such a big show, there is a minimalist approach to telling us who they are. That is what makes these characters and Steven Universe, in general, so unique. So, this comic manages to express an important message without ever coming off as preachy.
Sometimes you don’t need a big flashy space adventure- or, even any lead up to one. Steven Universe comic books understand the same simple formula that the original series understood. This was a good story to read. Steven has a way of guiding us through life’s challenges that can be so comforting. And, this issue managed to encapsulate all of that. I am still a little thrown off by the cover, and I hope they put more focus on that next time. But, this is a comic that I am giving to my 8-year-old son right now, because of it’s strong message and calm execution. I don’t see a reason why everybody should read this issue.