A 2003 three-part comic miniseries written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, Two-Step is the story of Rosi Blades, jaded walking webcam, and Tony Ling, freelance black market agent with an interest in Zen philosophy. The two meet in an alternate present London and embark on the chase of a lifetime down the crowded streets of the city, instigating trouble with the notorious Quarry gang, studying the philosophical underpinnings of human flight, and narrowly evading an encounter with a particularly horrible destiny by riding a Vespa down a hundred-story building. It could be all in a day's work, if that's the sort of work you're into.
The series was finally collected, along with original artwork and Warren Ellis' script, in November 2010, and is published by WildStorm.
Warning: Unmarked spoilers below.
These comic books provide examples of:
- Camera Fiend: Rosi rarely if ever stops recording and live broadcasting, which occasionally gets her (and others) in trouble.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Exchanging Zen parables while fleeing a penis-shaped hot rod full of pursuing mobsters through freeway traffic on a hover-Vespa? Oh yes. For bonus points, the Zen parables are very applicable Lampshading of the situation.Rosi: When I was a kid, my dad told me a story about some old geezer who fell off a waterfall and didn't die. When they fished him out, his mates asked him how he managed to not drown. And he said— "I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me." (floors it and starts slaloming through high-speed freeway traffic)
Tony: Did your dad ever tell you the one about the bloke hanging off a precipice and menaced by tigers? At the moment where he was about to lose his grip and die in bits, he spotted a strawberry growing within his reach. And he said screw it, and ate the strawberry. (opens fire with Guns Akimbo as Rosi engages the mobsters in a Game of Chicken)
Rosi: That was absolute meaningless crap. But I am so keeping my cam on for this.
- Extra bonus points; Rosi points out this is all Cool, but Stupid, but goes along with it anyway because no matter what happens, it's going to be awesome.
- Electronic Eyes: Rosi has her eyecam, which she can use to hack other people's electronic eyes.
- ...such as Ron's, which gives him Meat-O-Vision — err, "Sports Car-O-Vision".
- Freudian Slip:Tony: "Nothing's happened. You're still beautiful. I mean I'm still beautiful."
- Gag Penis: The Quarry gang have a pathological need to be the most well-endowed gang in London. Even if it means getting their "equipment" specially made to be the size of a large brass instrument that plays Ride of the Valkyries when aroused.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Reg Quarry sets Ron the car-fucker on Rosi and Tony, programming his headware to make the lunatic think the duo are dead-sexy sports cars. Rosi hacks his headware so they look human and the Quarries look like sports cars. Boom.
- Indy Ploy: Tony wants to trust in the moment. Rosi has a better idea at the last possible second.
- In-Universe Camera: In the form of Rosi, the camgirl.
- Is This Thing Still On?: Tony is not happy to discover that Rosi was broacasting his criminal activities to the world.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Rosi sees the world through these (at first).
- Male Gaze: Rosi's hovercam can't seem to keep off of her rear end. Meanwhile, Rosi's eyecam can't seem to keep off of Tony's.
- Meaningful Name: "Ling" means "zero", an important principle in Zen philosophy.
- Meat-O-Vision: Ron of the Quarry gang sees his victims as cars. Sexy, sexy cars.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Rosi Blades.
- Out with a Bang: Ron's utility. An absolute madman who the Quarry gang uses as a terror weapon; specifically, he can somehow make sports cars explode by fucking them. The hardware in his head enables the Quarry gang to aim him at people they want to kill extremely messily, by making him think they are sports cars.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: With a few exceptions, nothing about alternate London seems to faze anyone.