Published on September 11th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Bitch Planet #5 Review
It would seem that a number of the comics I currently buy are suffering scheduling delays (see The Dying and The Dead). In some cases this can be detrimental to the quality of the comic as inconsistencies creep into the story or the artwork has a rushed feel but don’t worry Bitch Planet fans because the latest issue, and the end of the first arc, is the best chapter so far.
The story revolves around the A.C.O. Naughty N.C.S.s training routine as they make ready for their first Megaton match. This involves a practice bout against the prison guards and like all opposing forces, these two teams go head to head with no intention of losing. This does not end well as indicated by the cover of this issue.
Kelly Sue DeConnick is nothing short of cruel with her script; building up the family of Megaton players, showing how well they work together only to take one of them away at the end. Basically, she shows you your heart then rips it away. It’s merciless which is exactly the way it needs to be. In her text page Kelly Sue explains that the death was a necessity; that she had to show that no-one was safe and that is a rare thing in modern comics because there is usually a comfort zone but not on Bitch Planet.
The story continues to feed off such classic 70’s movies as Rollerball but the narrative also draws on modern day concerns. News and media in general come under close scrutiny as they perpetuate a sexist ideal that was rife at the time of the exploitation films that are the inspiration for Bitch Planet but unfortunately is also a mainstay of modern life.
The art work switches quickly from slightly comical in the opening news sequence to a much darker, heavily shadowed style that never really lets you as a reader get comfortable. This gets steadily more uncomfortable when the practice bout gets under way, especially with the Guards team wearing unnerving, slightly opaque masks. This is all planned of course so that when the shocking end comes it almost passes out of the realm of entertainment. Neither the writer nor the artists want you to feel at ease leaving the first arc.
There’s much to love about Bitch Planet: plenty of strong, diverse female characters; social commentary; sci-fi references; a well-constructed story; expressive art. The scheduling delay can be overlooked and, if the page of reader tattoos is anything to go by, there’s a massive fan base that will keep Bitch Planet in print for as long as Kelly Sue DeConnick has stories to tell.
Title: Bitch Planet
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Valentine De Landro