So far, Steven’s powers have been:
A bright pink shield
A bright pink bubble
Magical healing saliva
And he is always STOPPING fights, usually peacefully and in nonviolent ways, trying to get both sides to get along and understand each other. Suffice it to say, he is not your typical superhero. In fact, he’s really not that super yet. He’s still on training wheels. And yet he often manages to end conflicts WITHOUT powers or weapons that destroy others.
And I love what this show is doing with him and all of his friends. Especially in a pop culture that is overpopulated these days with “save the world” shenanigans and focusing on powers and shock value instead of being “strong in the real way.”
I’m already proud of this little guy and the small steps he’s made. His journey isn’t one of leaps and bounds but baby steps, like real people.
This week’s wonderful two-parter has set up what the show has been foreshadowing for some while: that Steven, being half Human and half Gem, will forge a path that unites both kinds of beings — a path paved by acts of non-violence, understanding, and compassion. Where his merit and strength as a hero isn’t defined by his powers (which, BTW, completely fly in the face of typical superhero and gender role BS), but instead by HIS CHOICES.
And THAT is the kind of hero story we need these days, IMO.
I’m sick of watching characters save the world from evil.
I want to see characters saving themselves, saving each other — personal journeys about making choices and resolving conflicts, not just slapping “evil” around. Even SU’s plot twists don’t feel cheap. They feel rewarding, because they are always foreshadowed and always recontextualize earlier events that maybe didn’t make sense. They feel planned, thought out, CARED for, just like the characters who populate the world.
Steven’s story, especially given the moral ambiguities brought to the table recently, really has a lot of potential to do these things — to be a personal journey more than typical “destroy evil” stuff — and in many ways, it has already.
I believe in Steven.
a great, entertaining show, all of the above makes it very important. I love that so many modern cartoons aren’t afraid to tackle moral ambiguity (
, anyone?) or to present pacifism and kindness as better solutions than violence and anger (like
). And all while still remaining consistently enthralling rather than outright preachy.