Comic Review: Step By Bloody Step #1 (Image Comics)

Premise: A child and her giant armored companion travel across the lands, braving against the tides of various enemies and challenges. They have no memory of their past, and no […]

Premise: A child and her giant armored companion travel across the lands, braving against the tides of various enemies and challenges.

They have no memory of their past, and no language to speak of. All they can do is continue their trek across the great lands to avoid those that wish them harm. They have nothing in common, yet through that, they share one thing, they have each other’s company to keep them alive, and that is key.

Si Spurrier writes a comic that allows for space and room for the story to flow without any dialogue needed to communicate the events that occur. In comics, every now and then there are books, be it mainstream superhero comics such as Morrison/Quitely’s New X-Men issue 121, Fraction/Aja’s Hawkeye issue 19, Tomasi/Gleason’s Batman and Robin issue 18, and a ton of other comics within indie and manga that have done such things as that. But it’s not often that there is a mini-series that consists nor commits to being a full-on silent comic series where no dialogue is uttered and fully commits for four issues. Spurrier introduces the reader to characters who live in a world that could seamlessly fit in the world of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack and Primal.

The focus of this book is a little girl and her giant armored companion who constantly travel on the move to avoid any capture from enemies that seek to find them. The story is gripping without any dialogue needed, leaving the reader to imagine the exchanges between characters and the inhabitants that they interact with. Whether it’s giant monsters, locals from isolated towns, or the armies that seek them, readers will stay invested in the journey of this girl and armored companion, who have no language to communicate, but a language that is understood by action. It can be challenging for writers to commit to projects such as this without the temptation to add any narration, but thankfully Spurrier commits to telling a tale that allows for the story to speak for itself.

Matias Begara is the illustrator of this book and he is a perfect choice to visually complement the kind of story that Spurrier has crafted for this series. Whether it is the action-packed moments, the quiet moments, the adventurous moments, or even the cute moments, every scene is allowed to breathe due to Begara’s layouts, which coupled with Matheus Lopes’s colorwork, really gives this book the majestic beauty that is akin to what is seen in the pages of Tom King’s and Bilquis Evely (which Lopes also contributed colorwork to). The overall design/aesthetic of the book is done by Emma Price who is responsible for all of the graphic design work in this book, crafting a visually pleasing design that is in keeping to the tone of the book.

Verdict: If you’re a lover of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, FullMetal Alchemist, and story’s of the like that focus on characters embarking journey’s that allow for the story to breathe as need be, and showcase what comics can be beyond the norm, this is the book for you. It’s not a picture book, it’s not a novel, it’s a medium that shows the very best that comics have to offer, combining the narrative and visual art together to create something that other mediums struggle to effectively communicate. I look forward to the next issue to see where Spurrier takes these characters and the world that they inhabit within this 4 issue mini-series. I’d recommend adding this to your pull list for new comic book day.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

About Anthony Andujar Jr.

Anthony Andujar Jr. is an NYC cartoonist and lover of comics and music. So much so that it led him to writing comic book reviews in between it all.