What is the Harmony Core?  And can the Crystal Gems deactivate it before it destroys the Earth?  Your Major Spoilers review of Steven Universe: Harmony #1 awaits!

STEVEN UNIVERSE: HARMONY #1

Writer: S.N. Vidaurri
Artist: Mollie Rose
Colorist: Meg Casey
Letterer: Mike Fiorentino
Editor: Matthew Levine
Publisher: kaboom!/BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 1, 2018

Previously in Steven Universe: Harmony: Steven Universe is a hybrid being, half-human, half-alien gem creature.  Raised in tandem by his father, Greg, and the Crystal Gems (steadfast Pearl, slovenly Amethyst and future-sensing Garnet), he has seen a lot of stuff in his fourteen years.  In fact, he was recently returned to Earth after being kidnapped by another faction of gems who weren’t entirely sure what his deal was.  During that mission in space, his friend Lars Barriga was killed, resurrected and finally left behind, leaving Lars’ not-exactly-girlfriend Sadie at loose ends.

WE…

We open in space, as a pair of Topazes (the very ones who kidnapped Steven, as it happens) are searching for a data stone in a Gem warehouse.  They inadvertently damage a Harmony Core, which in turn starts a chain reaction throughout the universe of all OTHER Harmony Cores, a reaction that they admit will only harm biological beings.  Back on Earth, Steven is rehearsing with Sadie and her friends (their band name is Sadie Killer and the Victims, and they’re rad as heck) when the Crystal Gems arrive with a desperate mission.  They find another Harmony Core, which Steven bubbles and takes home, but they have no idea what to do with the thing once they have it.  Worse still, the Core starts to react, sending out waves of energy that cause his dad and his friend Sour Cream to collapse… and it’s only getting more powerful!

…ARE THE CRYSTAL GEEEMS!

This is an enjoyable issue for me, tying in as it does to recent episodes of the show and handling everyone from Stephen to the Cool Kids to Peridot with humor, subtlety and respect.  It is an adaptation that feels very much in-character for everyone, which can be tough with a story as unique and as mystery-driven as Steven Universe.  Mollie Rose delivers an art job that is very enjoyable, even if its not in the style of the show, and she gives us more realistic versions of the characters.  Her Amethyst is cute as heck, and her take on Sadie makes me want to see an entire issue devoted to just Sadie hanging out, singing and maybe having some donuts.  Best of all, the story of the Harmony Core makes perfect sense in the larger picture of Steven Universe without being too tied to the larger mythology arc, which should make it satisfying without having it spoil anything or feel too disposable.

BOTTOM LINE: ENJOYABLE ART, CUTE STORY

Steven Universe: Harmony #1 makes for a nice first chapter, even serving as a decent jumping-on point for new readers and delivering a story that feels like the cartoon without being slavish to its style, making changes to enhance the comic format and earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  With attractive art, cute story and good use of the cartoon cast, it’s a solid issue that will bring me back next time.

[taq_review] [su_signoff]
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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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