The following contains spoilers for the first two issues of Step by Bloody Step, on sale now.
Image Comics’ Step by Bloody Step revolves around a mysterious young girl with no memory or language in a unique world. All she has is her protector of her, a giant armored Titan, who does not want her wandering off too far. It’s understandable because there are monsters, dangerous plants, and commons that the Titan doesn’t trust, believing they’ll harm the girl at the heart of the story.
In a nutshell, it’s a protective parent, being a bit too over-controlling and not trusting the girl to take care of herself. This has created a rift between them after just two issues from Si Spurrier, Matías Bergara, Matheus Lopes, and Emma Price leaving the Titan even more worried it’ll drive her away. Interestingly, as their journey continues, this comic actually has a lot in common with Disney’s Turning Red.
What’s The Conflict In Turning Red?
In Turning Red, young Mei lived in Canada. As a child of Chinese immigrants, her mom de ella, Ming, tried too hard to keep an eye on Mei. It’s why, when Mei’s Red Panda emerged when she went through puberty, her mom freaked out. Ming did n’t want Mei morphing into the creature because it would endanger the child, as well as Ming’s family of her who had to hide the truth about their transformations of her for centuries.
The problem is, that Mei didn’t have agency, creating harsh generational trauma. Her mom de ella simply tried to control every decision for her, which is why Mei rebelled. Mei did n’t want to exorcise her from her Panda from her, and instead, she wanted to reveal the truth to the world to be accepted. It was quite the opposite of Ming, who believed in becoming reclusive and hiding away from society. More so, by viewing the Panda as a curse, not a gift, they could extract it and live what Ming felt was a happy life. However, Mei felt this was taking away from her her heritage, identity, and journey of self-discovery.
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What’s The Conflict In Step by Bloody Step?
The girl in Step by Bloody Step has that same longing to interact with the outside world. It’s partly curious, but also, she feels an intrinsic connection to that world. This resulted in her trying to meet villagers in Issue #1, only for the Titan and the girl’s mysterious powers of her to force her to stay away from them, so she could remain, well, normal in her guardian’s eyes of her. She desperately wanted to join them, though, which harkens to why Mei wanted to be part of society — so she could understand it better and vice versa, helping both parties get over their conditions of separation.
The Titan, however, when unmasked seems to be a mother or sister, who’s way too protective and is ultimately someone the girl is losing faith in. Issue #2 had them bickering even more when the girl saw bloodshed after she hit puberty. In her case, the monster isn’t a Panda; it’s the Titan, who kills to keep her safe from her, even if she did n’t ask for it or thinks the enemies from her were n’t hostile. It’s caused a lot of tension, endangering both when the girl ran off to explore the landscape a bit.
Will The Girl Break Free Like Mei Did?
In Mei’s case, she didn’t just have the Panda — she had school and friends, not to mention her hobby of obsessing over a boy band. Step by Bloody Step’s lead, however, has nothing except her armored sentry. Thus, it’ll be harder to break free because they’re all each other had, with the Titan not wanting to let go of its kid as Ming did. After all, this is a more dangerous realm that could get the girl and Titan killed in the blink of an eye, so it’s hard to see it allowing the girl to be herself, roaming freely and casually. Admittedly, Ming understood what growing up meant, even if it took some time to believe in the Pandas again, but this Titan is very tunnel-visioned and selfish.
The girl does have a distraction, though, spotting an adult female she wants to follow. This is akin to Mei wanting to run wild with her Ella Panda, but the girl in this comic knows nothing about the woman. She could be dangerous to both the teen and the Titan, so only time she will tell if she it’s friend or foe. Nonetheless, while Mei disobeying Ming was palatable, this girl ignoring the Titan could lead to both of them dying. There are simply too many enemies around, with a group of hunters also tracking the Titan. Maybe the girl will unplug from authority and leave the Titan, but right now, staying near the behemoth is the best chance at her survival.
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