What happens when an all-star team creates a comic book story that is text-free? It turns out to be one of the most personal takes for a generation.
It would be easy to say that Si Spurrier, the writer of Step By Bloody Step #1 left all the hard work to the artist. After all, Spurrier’s latest from Image Comics plays out like the silent movie equivalent of a comic book. Aside from a few bits of alien dialogue, there is no discussion, no sound effect cues in the tale. Improbably though, Spurrier plots a unique tale that leaves the reader wanting more. What else could you ask for in a first issue?
The double-sized story opens with an armored giant holding a young, naked girl in the palm of its hand. Where did the pair come from? What is their mission? Why do they keep walking? If there are answers, you won’t find them in the duo’s conversation.
Instead, we’re left to find clues in the magnificent artwork of artist Matias Bergara, supported by colorist Matheus Lopes. Bergara creates a beautiful, dangerous world full of visual wonders and terrors. There is plenty of violence during the journey of the giant and the girl, but also moments that surprising tender given the lack of dialogue. At one point the girl beans the behemoth in the back of the head with a snowball, and the giant responds by knocking a tree load of snow back onto the girl.
The lack of spoken words in the story forces the reader to do a couple of things. First, they must pay even more careful attention to the visuals, seeking out any clues to the creative team’s intentions. It’s also natural for readers to make up their own dialogue or motivations for the characters in each scene.
With none of the four issues of this story containing any text, Step By Bloody Step could become one of the most personal stories for a generation.
Step By Bloody Step #1 will be available for purchase on February 23, 2022.