For any readers looking for a psychotically wild ride through an alternate version of London, Two-Step is the book for you. Brought to life by writer Warren Ellis and artists Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, The three-part miniseries follows a self proclaimed “zen” gangster and a listless cam girl as they battle their way through London’s underground. I can’t guarantee that you’ll add Two-Step to your list of favorite comics, but I can guarantee that you are unlikely to have ever read a comic book quite like this.
Overall rating: 6.3 out of 10
Creativity of Concept: 7/10
Two-Step is a wildly unique read. At a glance, a book like this could rank a solid 10 in creativity. However, while the idea is fresh, the follow through is lacking. In this version of London, a cam girl is not exclusively linked to pornography. Instead, cam girls explore London while live videoing everything they see. The more outrageous their day, the more hits their sites will get. Our female protagonist, Rosi Blades, has lost interest in the world around her despite the oddities that fill every panel. Her quest to find something more exciting leads her straight into the mess of gangster Tony Long. What starts as a bid for more hits turns into a criminal heist that may be a little more than she can handle. Said straight out, this sounds like a creative and enjoyable read. While much of the book is enjoyable; there is a disconnect between plot development and character development. There simply is not enough text to really grow comfortable with the characters and adjust to their strange world.
Conner and Palmiotti are a dream team when it comes to creating comics. Their work on Harley Quinn, The Pro, and Starfire is visually both vivid and fun. The same can be said for Two-Step. Their vulgarity and humor manages to shock at every turn, without becoming senselessly off-putting. This version of London is incredibly well drawn with bizarre details added to every inch of paper. Conner and Palmiotti definitely have a signature style, but I have yet to get tired of it.
Unfortunately, Two-Step has a strong start, but a lackluster ending. The plot feels too quickly wrapped up, and the progression of the main character’s relationship is not as fully explored as it could be. I was drawn in within the first two pages, but often found myself confused and backpedaling to see if I’d missed any important details. Two-Step is perhaps too mini of a mini-series. I’d love to learn more about the characters and the unconventional reality they occupy, so quick ending left a lot of curiosity with no pay off in sight.
Whether you’re a die hard fan of Conner and Palmiotti’s work, or a comic reader looking to broaden your horizons, Two-Step is a quick and entertaining read. But be forewarned- this book is not for the easily offended or squeamish.