|“||How messed up is that? That I've gotten away with this for so long, you have no idea how bad I am! You think I'm so great, I'm so mature, and I always know what to do, but that's not true! I haven't learned a thing from my problems. They've all just made me worse! You think of me of some angel but I'm not that kid anymore! I'm a fraud... I'm a fraud... I'm a MONSTER!||„|
|~ Steven moments before corruption.|
(Yellow Diamond: White!)
(Blue Diamond: What happened?)
That's not Steven anymore!
|~ White Diamond merging with Steven's new perception.|
Monster Steven, also known as Corrupted Steven is the titular main antagonist of the animated TV epilogue series Steven Universe Future. He is the corrupted form of Steven Universe after giving in to his Diamond powers and inner turmoil.
Monster Steven is an enormous hot-pink saurian or wingless draconian creature with white-pink spikes protruding from his back and elbows and four spikes on his face, two of which are like elephantine or bovine tusks and the other two like equine horns. He has a hunched back and muscular build with an armored crustacean-like carapace, a potbelly with his gemstone where his navel would be, digitigrade arms and legs with five dark pink claws on the end of each and a short tail with two more spikes. His face has a pig-like nose, dark eyes with small pink pupils and a mouthful of sharp teeth.
As a combination of his mental instability and uncontrollable strength Steven reaches his emotional breaking point, seeing himself as a monster and shadow of who he used to be. After his breakdown it is revealed that if Steven believes he is a monster he can actually self-corrupt and become one. He is then reduced to a mindlessly feral creature intent on causing destruction out of the negativity overwhelming him. In this state he does not listen to anyone and will attack those who try to stop him without hesitation. Despite this, the real Steven is not completely gone as enough positivity can soothe his rage, effectively causing him to return to normal.
Once Steven goes on a rampage and damages the Crystal Temple, also threatening to destroy Beach City and Little Homeworld his friends try to restrain him; the Great Diamond Authority and Spinel then arrive and are shocked when told about Steven's condition. Both Yellow Diamond and Blue Diamond try to remold his form and feelings with their new powers and White Diamond attempts to connect with Steven only to collapse due to his fury. Steven soon frees himself from Lapis Lazuli's chains by letting out a roar that pushes everyone back, even causing Garnet to unfuse. When the Cluster joins the fray Steven is able to knock it out after a short struggle. However, Steven's love interest Connie Maheswaran rallies everyone and says they have to show Steven compassion as he once did with them.
The Gems and his father Greg Universe then give him a hug and explain how Steven helped them overcome their own difficulties and they'll also be there for him after which Connie gives him a kiss, snapping him out of his anger and making him shed tears that return him to normal.
- Superhuman Strength: He was able to destroy several parts of the Crystal Temple and unfused Alexandrite with one hit. Even though he was restrained by Lapis and then the Cluster he released himself almost effortlessly.
- Superhuman Durability: One of his horns could withstand blows from Bismuth's enhanced shapeshifting.
- Shapeshifting: Since Steven turned into a monster due to his thoughts of being one it was clear he kept this ability. It appeared that as time passed Monster Steven decreased in size; this could be seen that after appearing as tall as the Crystal Temple he later looked only a few meters taller than his fellow Diamonds.
- Willpower: Steven was able to power through and tank almost everything thrown at him due to the will he inherited from his mother and his own humanity.
- Magic Immunity: Due to his raw emotions and hybrid status Steven could partially resist even the abilities of the other Diamonds, being relatively unfazed by Yellow Diamond's light destabilization and Blue Diamond's pathokinesis, additionally overwhelming White Diamond's mind control.
- Water-Walking: He was capable of moving and standing on liquid surfaces as seen when charging against his friends and family; this is an ability shared with Lion and other Gems.
- Gem Half/Pink State: Since Steven transformed while in the state of his Gem half it is possible he kept the abilities while this form was active and could be the reason Steven gained the power to truly challenge the other Diamonds and turn into a monster in the first place.
- Sonokinesis: After charging up which resulted in his spikes and eyes glowing pink Steven could let loose a roar that managed to send everyone within range flying to the point Garnet unfused into Ruby and Sapphire. The attack also created a shockwave that pushed away the ocean and cracked the ground surrounding him, even knocking over the incomplete Diamond Mech and awakening the Cluster. This could be a stronger version of Steven's scream when tapping into his mother's original powers.
- Healing: After being embraced by his family and friends Monster Steven began crying causing the water around him to turn pink which could be attributed to Steven's ability to heal or resurrect Gems and other living beings.
- Intelligence: After becoming a monster Steven seemed to be reduced to a mindless creature that attacks and destroys everything that moves or stands in his way. This was shown when he fought recklessly instead of formulating a plan, only made animalistic sounds and didn't use his original or more complex abilities.
- Emotional Manipulation: Since his transformation is the result of Steven's negative emotions it is clear that more positive emotions can work against him. This was used to make him understand that since he was there for everyone he cared about they loved him unconditionally and would return the favor, which resulted in Steven remembering everything and turning back to normal.
- Monster Steven is the final antagonist of Future and could be considered the final antagonist of the entire series.
- Steven's corrupted state resembles Godzilla, DC Comics' Doomsday or the Deathclaws from Fallout and is likely a reference to Marvel Comics' Hulk or anime characters losing control to an "inner darkness" that turns them into a monster.
- Similar to the theory of Pink Diamond's identity it was predicted Steven would self-corrupt before Future aired.
- During the original series Steven would be shown struggling to cope with stressful experiences, especially if they were somehow related to his mother's past.
- When Steven appeared as a monster in the opening of Future there was a pink glow in his eyes which in the series is related to Pink Diamond but the monster was purple due to being in shadows. Also, the background was noted to be similar to the appearance of the sky in Steven's mindscape.
- Before being revealed as a kaiju it was initially believed Steven would be a worm or snake given how this form appeared in the opening sequence.
- Most antagonists tend to be related to Pink Diamond/Rose Quartz which was shown in the original series, comics, games and movie.
- Steven's new powers were said to have never been seen by the other Crystal Gems before; Steven growing larger was another factor.
- Monster Steven being hugged by Garnet and the others is a callback to Steven comforting Nephrite when she was still corrupted.
- The issues leading up to Steven's transformation paralleled the ones he had helped others overcome:
- Garnet mentioned how she literally fell apart and he was there for her and her components.
- Amethyst mentioned how she never loved herself but he showed her otherwise.
- Pearl mentioned knowing what it was like to keep a part of herself secret.
- Peridot mentioned how he never gave up on her despite her efforts to hurt him and the other Crystal Gems.
- While it is commonly accepted that Monster Steven is Steven's corrupted form it remains unknown if this is actually true. According to Garnet as long Steven thought he was a monster he would stay one. Since corruption alters the bodies and minds of Gems it would have been impossible for Steven to turn back to normal.
- Show creator Rebecca Sugar mentioned at a book signing that Gems can dissipate or "poof" their physical forms not just from injuries, but also extreme emotions which is likely a natural failsafe to prevent corruption without external influences. Unfortunately, since Steven's body was unable to disappear he could have been forced to endure the process.
- One possibility is that Steven shapeshifted into a monster because shapeshifting depends on the user's state of mind; this was previously shown when Steven physically aged due to believing he should be an adult which went out of control. Another is that Steven corrupted himself since Steven responded to what felt like a life-threatening situation along with his PTSD which could be tearing up his mind similar to corrupted Gems. Blue Diamond even asked if Steven was corrupted. His reversion could be because Steven and the Diamonds were at the ocean shore that helped revert his corruption similar to how they healed the corrupted Gems in the original series. A third is that because he is a Gem hybrid he could reverse the transformation due to his organic physiology.
- A popular trend among fans was that Steven was in urgent need of professional help; after the penultimate episode it was confirmed Steven was seeing a therapist.
- Aside from the potential fully formed Cluster, Monster Steven is the most powerful character in the series, as shown by the partial Cluster and the Diamonds failing to stop him.