Saturday Issue Review: Bitch Planet Vol. 1 – Extraordinary Machine


The Saturday Issue focuses on the more visual books read here at In Libris Veritas; ranging from graphic novels to manga to game companion guides.

BitchPlanet_vol1-1_362_557_s_c1Source: Purchased in Single issues
Publisher: Image
Series: Bitch Planet #1-5
 Paperback, 96 Pages
 Dystopian Comic
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3/5

Eisner Award-nominated writer KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel) and VALENTINE DE LANDRO (X-Factor) present the premiere volume of BITCH PLANET, their critically acclaimed and deliciously vicious sci-fi satire. Think Margaret Atwood meets Inglorious Bastards. Discussion guide included. Collects BITCH PLANET #1-5.

Bitch Planet has been a true surprise for me. I admit to having very little interest in it when it first hit the shelves, mostly because the comic recommendations I’ve received have been mostly misses and not many hits. Hype has a way of over inflating qualities that really does more damage than good, so I’m always a bit wary when it comes to super hyped comic books. However…Bitch Planet is one of those comics that withstands the hype…in fact it’s not hyped enough and people are getting tattoos after only 5 issues.

Bitch Planet focuses on women who have been imprisoned for varies reasons, mostly having to do with their willingness to being themselves with no apologies when the rest of the women in the world are molding themselves to beauty standards set by men. It touches on a huge variety of issues which all stem from a gender bias society.  There are women who are imprisoned for nothing other than a husband’s disdain and women who have been pushed to the breaking point. There are men who are forced to hide the fact that they are emotional and view the women in their lives are something more than decoration. It’s a very in your face story where the action and struggles are over the top…but it draws a clear line to this issues in our own society. I’m utterly in love with these characters,  especially Penny who has her own backstory comic (#3) and made my stomach clench almost painfully at times.

The really amazing thing about the individual issues (and perhaps the trade, I’m not sure) are the essays in the back. Each issue has it’s own essay of a different topic ranging from sexual abuse to being proud of who you are, and to me this takes a comic book that is already leagues ahead of others and pushes it even farther. There is a section in the 4th  issue’s  small essay by Kelly Sue where I just knew this comic book will probably be among my favorites forever.

“I am finding the courage to be my authentic self, whomever he or she may be. I do not fit the box assigned me: I am too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too loud, too soft, too silly, too serious, too masculine, too feminine, too passionate, too shy, too angry, too proud, too black, too brown, too devout, too atheist, too slutty, too frumpy, too gay, too whatever-the-fuck it is that my culture will condemn me for today and I refuse to cede my power. I refuse to see myself through your eyes, just as I refuse to cast that same lens on my brothers and sisters. I will my head high and you will support me or get the fuck out.”

5 stars

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