Review: Steven Universe – Greg Universe Special #1

Niccolo Mejia ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor

Steven Universe – Greg Universe Special #1 cover by Ru Xu. Image Credit: BOOM! Studios

This issue of Steven Universe is a special installment that focuses on Greg Universe, the eponymous character’s father. The seven stories in this issue allow for some insight into how Greg feels about his son training to become a powerful hero. Whether through heartwarming moments or encounters with corrupted gem monsters, the audience will surely know Greg inside and out once they are done reading.

Just like in many episodes of Steven Universe, the comic lets the overarching plot take a back seat for character interaction and world-building. Even the first story starts at the end of one of Steven’s Missions, and is mainly a conversation between Greg and Garnet. The big plot points are shown through subtle nods to the show’s canon, such as the corrupted gems, Steven’s millennium-long punishment, and Amethyst’s strained friendship with Greg. And the way they are incorporated with the character interactions is what makes this issue unique.

Steven Universe - Greg Universe Special #1 variant cover by Fellipe Martins. Image Credit: BOOM! Studios
Steven Universe – Greg Universe Special #1 variant cover by Fellipe Martins. Image Credit: BOOM! Studios

The art style for this issue varies by story, since each one has a different artist. Although this makes the book a bit inconsistent, each style fits its own story and it makes for an enjoyable set altogether. The inconsistency, however, is actually consistent in itself with how the Steven Universe series is created. Each episode is storyboarded by a different artist, and thus has slight alterations in art style unique to the story-boarder.

The Greg Universe special emphasizes the theme of father-son relationships seen in the show, and does a great job of that in the story, “Gregarious Gamers.” The audience can see the clear generational gap between Steven and Greg when it comes to technology, especially in the realm of video games. Another great example of this is “Snapshots,” where we can see what Steven’s universe is like from another perspective. Greg’s perspective shows the glimpses of the hero life that Steven is getting ready for, while still proving himself useful and loved as a father.

While the art was varied and played into the storytelling, it could have been more consistent and brighter. The Crystal Gems as characters were not seen as much as they could have been, especially in interaction with Greg. Some of the stories were a bit shorter than others, and might leave some readers wondering what significance they have, but the combination of them offers something for everyone.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Steven Universe: Greg Universe Special #01 is published by BOOM! Studios and is priced at $4.99 with the variant cover price climbing a little higher at $9.99.

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