What I truly love about STEVEN UNIVERSE is the character interactions. These provide us with more depth about how the characters really are aside from their powers. It’s also so amusing to see what the Crystal Gems are up to when they’re not on an intense mission. In the first season of the show, we found out about Amethyst’s secret hobby: wrestling. She wrestled with the secret persona of the Purple Puma, and Steven eventually joined her as Tiger Millionaire. STEVEN UNIVERSE #6 takes us back to the wrestling ring, except that this time, a new member of the Felidae family tags along.

READ: How STEVEN UNIVERSE resolved my cultural identity crisis!

STEVEN UNIVERSE #6
Image courtesy of Boom! Studios

In STEVEN UNIVERSE #6, Pearl struggles with a lot of stress. You know Bird Mom’s frustration is real when she loses focus while battling Holo-Pearl. The gems notice Pearl’s distress when she appears in the Temple, and they offer emotional support, just how they always have.

When Garnet Says Yes, It Has To Be A Good Idea

Amethyst comes up with a wild idea — how about getting Pearl into wrestling? After all, taking up the persona of Purple Puma has not only been a stress reliever but also a huge self-esteem boost for Amethyst. Steven, being the overly enthusiastic optimist that he is, immediately gets on board with the idea.

STEVE UNIVERSE #6
Image courtesy of Boom! Studios

Pearl is initially hesitant, thinking about the ethical concerns of using Gem strength against humans. But when even Garnet (yes, Garnet) approves the idea, Pearl decides to conform. We know that Garnet is the backbone of the Crystal Gems for being the strongest and the wisest. Moreover, she must have foreseen with her future vision that this will help Pearl immensely. While I don’t disapprove Amethyst’s idea, it is quite unusual to me that Garnet endorsed a suggestion given by the rather immature Amethyst. I’m not complaining, however, as I love to see Pearl break out of her seriousness and engage in fun activities that typically interest Steven and Amethyst.

Aesthetics in STEVEN UNIVERSE #6: The Peach Panther and The Diamonds

Steven and Amethyst get their creative juices flowing as they come up with a secret persona for Pearl. Pearl can’t seem to comprehend why she needs a secret persona when she could just be herself, but Steven and Amethyst remind her that sometimes, you just need to have fun. Steven eventually decides that “The Peach Panther” will perfectly suit Pearl.

READ: Need to catch up? See our review of STEVEN UNIVERSE #4!

When Steven has a fantastic idea for the Peach Panther’s backstory, his starry eyeballs glow with excitement in the panel, much like what we see in the show when Steven gets inspired. In the same panel, you might notice something rather uncanny. The background is filled with yellow and blue diamonds.

This is noteworthy as Yellow, Blue, Pink, and White diamonds are the oppressive leaders of Homeworld Gems. While we never saw White Diamond, we know that Yellow and Blue Diamond are extremely close to each other, especially after Pink Diamond was shattered. In the panel, Steven talks about how the Purple Puma and the Peach Panther came together as a team to fight shared opponents. Perhaps, it is symbolizing the bond of Yellow and Blue Diamond?

STEVEN UNIVERSE #6
Image courtesy of Boom! Studios

There are a few more panels with pink and white diamonds in the background where Steven is encouraging Pearl to wear a costume. Could it be imagery of how the Diamonds abuse less powerful species with their super strength? That perhaps, the Crystal Gems were doing the same to humans by partaking in the wrestling battles?

There’s a high possibility that I’m overanalyzing, but kudos to Rii Abrego for leaving so much room for interpretation in her mesmerizing artwork. Also, the Peach Panther’s costume is super cute and complements Pearl really well.

Bonds Grow Deeper in STEVEN UNIVERSE #6

The highlight of the installment is the strong bond between Pearl and Amethyst. When Pearl feels defeated in the ring, Amethyst reminds her how strong and resilient she is. This helps Pearl tremendously as she immediately gets back on her feet. The Purple Puma and the Peach Panther team up, and we see the cats engage in an action-packed wrestling battle.

READ: Check out our review of the first issue of STEVEN UNIVERSE!

Wrestling brings Pearl and Amethyst even closer than before as they express their love more than they usually do. Pearl didn’t even know that Amethyst looks up to her, which is also well-portrayed in Pearl’s facial expression. They provide each other constant encouragement as they fight, and it’s so heartwarming. As a shipper of Pearl and Amethyst, I got extremely excited to see their strengthened bond.

Hey Pearl, Work Less and Play More

Regardless of the outcome, the wrestling battle does help Pearl a lot in letting out her frustration. Initially, she is determined to win the battle, which is good for setting the mood. In the end, Pearl laughs it off with Amethyst, realizing that it’s totally okay to have fun sometimes.

We all get worked up at some point in our lives, but having friends who value both empathy and adventure can help so much. STEVEN UNIVERSE #6 is a reminder for all the workaholic Bird Moms out there that enjoying life is crucial for the sake of our sanity.

STEVEN UNIVERSE #6 BY GRACE KRAFT AND RII ABREGO
Art
Plot
Characterization
Summary
Pearl is super worked up, and Amethyst suggests relieving her stress in the wrestling ring. Steven and Garnet approve, and they all have a blast. More importantly, the bond of Pearl and Amethyst gets stronger than ever.
91 %
HEARTWARMING

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