Onion is in the temple! And, no, that’s not a clever euphemism. Your Major Spoilers review of Steven Universe #22 awaits!
Writer: Grace Kraft
Artist: Rii Abrego
Colorist: Whitney Cogar
Letterer: Mike Fiorentino
Editor: Matthew Levine
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Previously in Steven Universe: After his mother abandoned an interstellar conflict to become a rebel and marry his dad, Mister Universe, Steven Universe was born. This meant that his mother, Rose Quartz, had to give up her physical form, leaving Steven to be raised by dad and the other Crystal Gems: Garnet, Pearl and Amethyst.
VISITORS IN THE TEMPLE
As this issue opens, Steven is uncharacteristically melancholy, upset about recent adventures. (Given the timing of recent episodes of Steven’s cartoon, this could actually be placed at any one of several points in the continuity, something that this story uses to its advantage.) He is interrupted by Amethyst, preparing for a visit from her old friend, Vidalia and her son Onion. The dinner is uneventful, but Onion recognizes that Steven is feeling down so, when his mother and Amethyst enter the Gems temple to hang a new picture, he follows them in, with Steven in tow. Their adventures run throughout the entire temple, traveling through most of the known rooms with Steven trying desperately to get Onion out before he hurts himself. When they arrive at Rose’s room, Onion lets on that he’s just trying to make Steven feel better, and when he feels bad, he always enjoys a little danger.
CUTE, INOFFENSIVE AND AUTHENTIC
This is a cute story, perfect for young readers who are looking for more SU adventures during the inexplicably vast gulfs between new episodes, featuring a nice, simple story about friends trying to communicate and help one another. Rii Abrigo’s art is lovely throughout the issue, keeping everyone on model even when Steven is shouting and Onion is climbing where he shouldn’t be, and even Vidalia’s avant garde painting looks like it should in the world of the cartoon. This issue’s story is also well-done, taking a lot of clever set pieces from various episodes set inside the temple and bringing them together in a way that hides the fact that they’re probably not allowed to just make stuff up.
BOTTOM LINE: A SWEET, DONE-IN-ONE STORY
Steven Universe #22 is a nice little story, reminding me of the episodes where Steven has a nice donut or enjoys his favorite ice cream treat, with well-done art, coloring that is on-point and a simple, unassuming story that has some nice emotional beats in it, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. Now, if only we could get some new episodes!
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STEVEN UNIVERSE #22
On-model, tonally appropriate and cute as heck, this is a great little Steven Universe adventure.