Published on January 28th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Bitch Planet #2 – Review
You will be excited for two reasons after reading issue 2 of Bitch Planet.
The first is that this month introduces what I assume will become the backbone of the story for the near future: Duemila, or Megaton as it’s also know, which is a violent, full contact sport (assumed) televised to the mass public as entertainment but could prove to be lethal to those who play. In fact the lethal element seems to be the very reason that the TV big wigs want a team from Bitch Planet to play.
This month the reader is introduced to Father Josephson who is in charge of ‘the games’ and a well-respected (or rather, more honestly, a desperately feared) business man. After giving a stirring speech at a posh luncheon, he meets with Roberto Solanza, overseer of the A.C.O. (Bitch Planet to the rest of us). Solanza has an idea, to put a team together for the games but Josephson isn’t interested. At least, not at first but then an incident during a live game and the subsequent rise in interest makes him change his mind. He gives Solanza is permission.
Meanwhile on Bitch Planet, Kam is in the Confessional and is being subjected to an overpowering bombardment of accusations and questions. However she proves to be too strong for the torture room and fights back, wearing her defiance and innocence on her sleeve for all to see. This impresses those in charge and Kam is selected to pick the team for the games. She is reluctant, not wanting to be a pawn for ‘the Man’ but her fellow inmates have very convincing arguments to play the game.
This is another strong issue with Kelly Sue continuing to draw on the sci-fi greats of the 70’s and 80’s. The corporate controlled ‘game’ shares more than a passing resemblance to the classic Rollerball movie, in fact Father Josephson isn’t too different in appearance and attitude to Mr. Bartholomew as played by John Houseman. The exploitation of criminals for entertainment purposes is also the theme of the 80’s classic The Running Man (based on a novel by the lord of horror Stephen King) but despite these similarities, Kelly Sue manages to make the story her own. She uses these, and other, references to create a familiar dystopia that most readers will recognise. She then changes the dynamics, switching the genders of the typical leading characters from male to female to create a confrontational situation based on mental agility and strength of will as compared to the muscle flexing machoism of old.
To hammer home the brutal dystopian setting, the art work is vigorous and bold with a lot of heavy set line work and large areas of black space. There are a number of violent scenes just on the peripherals on the main story, hinting at the darkness behind the society but Valentine De Landro’s masterful skill keeps you focused so intently on the main action, you almost miss the background terrors.
Everything about this comic is amazing, the story, the art, the extras at the back. The essay Misconceptions of Feminism by Tasha Fierce is a compelling read and I hope they continue to print these thought provoking pieces.
Oh, and the second reason why you’ll be excited by the end of issue 2: Kelly Sue states in her Bitchfest text piece that she has planned for 30 issues, with the possibility of extending this if the demand is there. 30 issues! This is going to grow into one awesome ongoing comic.
Title: Bitch Planet
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Valentine De Landro