Review: Bitch Planet #1 (Image Comics)

Bitch Planet 1 coverBear witness to Bitch Planet #1, the striking new title from Pretty Deadly’s Kelly Sue DeConnick and X-Factor’s Valentine De Landro who team up for the third time to create the comic book equivalent of Orange is the New Black in space. Bitch Planet is not afraid to take a feminist stand-point first and foremost; get this in your eyeballs.

Bitch Planet 1 coverWriter: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Valentine De Landro
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: £1.99 from Comixology or the Image Comics Digital Store

Bitch Planet #1 is bold and beautiful, fast-paced and full of realistically drawn women. Praise be to De Landro for drawing women with space enough in their bodies for organs.

Bitch Planet is a feminist comic, but don’t let you put that off. It’s what feminist material should be and so much on the comic market at the moment could take note when it comes to their female leads. For those of you wishing and praying for a comic that puts women first and the patriarchy second, this is it. The cast are a mix of races, they’re a mix of body types and they’re all in prison for being “non-complaint” (NCs). This is the feminist comic that so many have been waiting for.

Feminist stand-point aside, the first issue is a lot of easing the reader into the futuristic setting – Bitch Planet is literally another planet – so it is a lot of exposition and character building rather than plot. Space is given over to those who run the prison and the kind of power they have over the NCs. It’s chilling how they go back and forth between cold- decisions and light-hearted banter, but it’s this kind of writing that makes Bitch Planet so believable in the first place.

The issue starts with a woman running to her voice-recording session. She’s playing a history teacher and the exposition provided eases you in to arriving on Planet Bitch, the prison. From there there’s a mixture of clever “this is how the world is” (Marian Collins’ husband trading her in for younger, better model for example) and character introduction. You will not forget about Penelope Rolle, you will witness her taking up space literally and figuratively and you will love her for it.

It would be fair to say that Bitch Planet is Orange is the New Black in space with a much-needed African-American protagonist. This is not a bad thing, though. Watch this creative team take the comic-world by storm as they march forth with the title that has been needed desperately in an ocean of white-male leads.

pd_review4half” Bitch Planet #1 is unabashed and unafraid to do what needs to be done in terms of women’s representation. Combining striking artwork and DeConnick’s flawless writing, this comic needs to be on your reading list!”