With a title like this one might expect a controversial comic and in a sense it is, because it’s taking a stand and making a point for women’s rights. But is it good?
Bitch Planet #1 (Image Comics)
This is a very unorthodox story in how it’s told. The book opens with a woman running to a sound booth and makes it just in time to speak a sermon to women who are being sent into a prison orbiting Earth. In between her speech we are privy to two workers, presumably on the prison space station, discussing the situation. It’s jarring and odd and it’ll take a focused read or maybe even two to figure out what is going on. That said, if you give this book a chance you might just love it.
Hurry up girl!
The cover seems to suggest we’re going to get some kind of Grindhouse feature, but it’s actually anything but. Sure, there’s some violence, but really, this book is setting up the injustice women face simply because they are women. I’m not entirely sure, but I think this comic is set in the future where one of the protagonists has been sent to prison simply because she’s fat. It’s too early to tell, but it seems suggested that this is what we’re seeing. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick introduces these elements by weaving in a grieving man’s wish to get his wife back. It’s an ingenious little ploy she’s concocted, so good that when things unfold you’ll be positively surprised at how they play out. I won’t ruin it, but the storytelling in this segment is so good anyone who values a story that’ll suck you in and gut punch you should check this book out.
By issue’s end, I was however a bit confused as to the point of it all. The ingenious story element aside, I’m not sure what we’re getting in this prison drama. There are a lot of questions that aren’t answered and the protagonists have yet to really separate themselves from the background characters. There’s an essay at the end of the issue about feminism itself which might give us some clues as to the goal of the book, but as far as story and plot I’m a bit lost beyond the setup of this issue. I’m not sure the exploitation riff is working just yet either, but it’s worth giving it another shot to see how that pans out too.
The art by Valentine de Landro is good and gives me David Aja vibes at times. The characters are well rendered with really good expressions. The layouts are very eclectic, with nothing really repeating in that regard. It’s only one issue, but it goes a long way to tell the story.
Is It Good?
There’s an interesting story inside this comic with some exceptional storytelling and fantastic art in the layouts department.