Good Thing: Learning With Stevonnie In The ‘Steven Universe’ Comic
While we were originally supposed to get a new Steven Universe episode this week, SU fans were disappointed to learn that the episode is being held off for a later date. Chances are it’ll be put as the first episode of the next Steven Bomb, but of course it’s still a bummer to have to wait.
However, the silver lining is that this week featured a Stevonnie storyline in the the latest Steven Universe comic, and guess what? It’s lovely.
Note: Spoilers for Steven Universe #2 follow.
Steven Universe #2, by Melanie Gillman, Katy Farina, Whitney Cogar, and Mike Fiorentino, features a story in which Steven and Connie fuse into Stevonnie to get into a PG-13 movie. Afterwards, Stevonnie runs into Kiki Pizza, who knows Steven but doesn’t know about fusions. The two become fast friends, and they spend the day together, helping Kiki find a dress for the prom. More than a little flustered by how captivating her new friend is, Kiki asks Stevonnie to go with her to the dance.
From the shopping montage, to Pearl coming along on their date as chaperone (in her tux from the "Mr. Greg" episode), the whole issue is full of really cute touches. The lineart/color team of Katy Farina and Whitney Cogar match the energy of the cartoon, while still making the pacing work for the comic medium. Oh, and Farina put in a Yuri on Ice homage.
At the dance, Stevonnie gets panicky while slow dancing with Kiki, and then gets really panicky when Kiki mentions going on another date after the dance. Stevonnie manages to get to the bathroom before un-fusing, and the next page has my favorite part of the issue:
On the show, one aspect of fusions (especially Stevonnie as the only human/gem fusion) is that it presents a metaphor for --- and an opportunity to explore --- trans, genderfluid, and other non-binary experiences. Steven Universe #2 highlights the stress that comes with how “passing” as cis can feel like keeping a secret, even if all you’re doing is living your truth.
For Steven and Connie to get worried about all of this stuff, and even worried this counts as them lying to Kiki... it would be very, very easy for the scene to be framed badly. But instead it’s nuanced and thoughtful. That sense of authenticity comes in no small part from writer Melanie Gillman, who is non-binary.
We're still early in their run on the comic, and Gillman is already putting queer stories at the forefront, and that's exciting.
Both Steven Universe #1 and 2 are out now. If you’re a fan of the show, it’s well worth your time to check it out.
In Good Thing we celebrate something we love from comics or pop culture, because every day could use something good.