If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Bitch Planet by Image Comics!
If the awesome cool throwback style covers from Valentine De Landro didn’t grab your attention, then Kelly Sue Deconnick probably caught your eye with the title of her latest book. Bitch Planet. It’s one of those names that could spark all kinds of thoughts for what kind of story it is, but the words Bad-Ass pop in your head at the very least! How could you not want to check that out?!?
I’ve been reading this one from the start, and I have to say it’s definitely grabbed my interest. I love Kelly Sue Deconnick. I’ve caught her panels at conventions and I think she has a great mentality about everything she does. She’s a spitfire, she’s witty, and charming in ways you can’t quite put your finger on. That being said, I read a couple of copies of Captain Marvel, and it wasn’t for me. I read Pretty Deadly and liked it, but haven’t gotten engulfed by it. You have to respect the following those books have though no matter what.
Kelly has introduced an army of women to the world of comics. Her “Carol Corps” is testament to her passion for making comics not just for guys or girls, but for both. Bitch Planet, for me, is her best work yet.
The story takes place in a near future, where church and state seem to be one and the same. The world is obviously dominated by men. Women who don’t know their place, commit crimes, or get on the wrong man’s bad side end up in an orbiting correctional facility nicknamed “Bitch Planet”. There are definite tones of Orange is the New Black and the first episode of UK Sci-Fi series Black Mirror. In this futuristic women’s prison.
Early on there are Riots, Fights, and we’re introduced to the core characters. A prisoner named Kam who is framed for murder during a prison riot, but let off the hook if she organizes a women’s team for a game called Megaton. Now, the obvious comparison here is The Longest Yard, but instead of football, Megaton is closer to resembling American Gladiator’s Power Ball.
Issue four is where we get the description of the game, and I have to say it’s a great imagining by Kelly Sue. The importance of the game is implied to be life changing on a national, if not planetary scale, and there are political figures who use it to meet their own self-serving agendas. Kam sees it in a self-serving light as well, and goes about recruiting her team.
This is where we get to my personal favorite character, Penny Rolle. First off the name is awesome. Secondly, she has so many qualities that society would deem “Unattractive”. She’s Black. She’s Huge. She’s abrasive. She knows all this, she doesn’t care, and if you have a problem with it she will put you down. Issue three really reveals a lot about her and, for me, made me like her so much. She likes herself for who she is. Who doesn’t love a character like that?!?
My favorite scene with her is in the background of a series of panels. Penny and Kam run on a tread mill and discuss the Megaton proposition. Penny falls behind, and steps off the tread mill to catch her breath. As Kam continues a conversation with another inmate who wants in, Penny is confronted by one, and then many guards in the background. The next thing you know, Penny is whippin that guard ass all over the place behind the two! It’s so much fun!
I know this book isn’t geared towards me as an average white male. I know the book is making a lot of commentary on feminism that I “can’t relate to because I’m a man”. I don’t care though. I think the book is fun and rewarding to read. At the end of the day, that’s what a comic should be. Warning though, there is a lot of nakedness. View Discretion is advised. The series is only four issues deep right now, so it’s an easy catch up too! Here are the first few awesome covers by Valentine De Landro!!!
Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!
The World is Ours to Make!