Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: Valentine De Landro
Reviewed by Alex Krefetz
Bitch Planet #2 continues to be one of the best comic books from Image, a publisher seemingly full to the brim with amazing ideas and creators. Looking at it purely as a comic, the writing and art is in line with other standout series at Image. Where Bitch Planet really shines is its relevance outside the pages of the book and relating to the feminist movement.
This issue follows protagonist Kamau Kogo, who was introduced as a side character in the first issue. After trying to stop the guards from killing an inmate at the eponymous Bitch Planet prison colony, she is blamed for the murder and put into solitary confinement. Elsewhere, a cabal of leaders discusses a mysterious sport that seems to keep the public distracted from larger issues, With ratings down, one of the leaders known as Father look to the prison as a way to inject excitement into the sport. This is not the type of book you read and have all your questions answered in a single issue. DeConnick is crafting a world both very different and at the same time frighteningly similar to our own. Despite the sci-fi dressings, this is a true prison story as well as a look at current feminist thoughts through metaphor. On the art side, Valentine De Lando does another great issue showcasing a number of different types of characters with varying features. Most of this issue focuses on interactions between a few characters at a time, and De Lando manages to take what would be simply talking heads and adds a liveliness to the story.
When I got to the back pages of the book, I was pleased to find not only an essay from DeConnick but an additional essay from writer Tasha Fierce discussing cultural misconceptions of feminism. Afterwards, a letter page and social media collection of tweets from fans and comic creators gave the feeling of a grassroots pamphlet pamphlet on feminism. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that not only addressed such sociolcultral issues in the comic itself as well as expanding the conversation and including other creators and readers in on the process. Even the back inside cover, a mock of old adds for things like x-ray specs co-opting these ideas into clever jokes and comments on current events. There’s a feeling of community with this book that I’ve never had with any other comic.
Bitch Planet is more than just a great comic. It’s a platform for a discussion of feminism, where both the creators and the fans are valued contributors. I can’t praise it enough, and encourage anyone interested in comics or feminism to pick up the first two issues as soon as possible.
Five Georgia ice teas out of Five