“Lean in, can you hear it? It’s faint but it’s there. It’s the sound of the worlds smallest violin. That’s the only song I’ll play for you”
This comic has a trigger warning at the beginning. Read that before you read the issue Continue reading This Week’s Finest: Bitch Planet #6
Kelly Sue DeConick and Valentine De Landro debut issue of Bitch Planet is a brutal and engaging exploration of feminism between the prism of Mobieus style future science fiction and 1970’s female prison exploitation films. In it we are introduced to a world where women that are “non compliant” get sent to an off planet prison affectionately called Bitch Planet by those that know of it’s existence. Non compliance can mean literally everything from legit crime to having your husband be unfaithful. It’s the best world building Kelly Sue DeConick has done as it shows a reality that feels close enough to our own but twisted just a little bit further in order to bring the point home. In the first page you see a women running to her job while being bombarded by advertisements towards females based on unattainable and unrealistic beauty standards, it’s not really that different from what we see now but the genius of Bitch Planet is the way it puts it all right in your face. As you’d expect from the title the allegory here is far from subtle but that doesn’t make it ineffective. It’s a male dominated society just like the one we live in but the world of Bitch Planet it’s not hidden or coded, everything is right there on the surface. DeConick manages to have some fantastic character moments that weave into the storyline until the issues stunning conclusion. Artist Valentine De Landro has a unique illustration style with a sharp line that feels hazy on some level. It’s a little Moebius mixed with a little Blade Runner while the character work feels straight laced like you’d see in a golden age Superman comic. It’s efficient, immersive and challenging as a total finished product as it walks the fine line between exploitation and it’s gender politics. Still Bitch Planet is easily accessible and hard not to like on a base level just as a visceral new comic. Bitch Planet is one of those new Image books that anyone can enjoy purely based on the merits of it’s aesthetic but also has something to say and isn’t afraid to scream it at you in the best way possible. Sometimes subtlety isn’t how you get your point across and these days the message of Bitch Planet has to be as loud as it can get if things are ever going to get better.