By Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, and Cris Peter
Bitch Planet continues its great first arc with another successful issue leading towards the prisoners’ first deathsport match. It is readily apparent that Kelly Sue, Valentine, and team, put an excessive amount of care and effort into the creation of this comic. The character building is excellent with a cast of women that are nearly impossible to not connect with in some way. The art captures the essence of exploitation film perfectly. If you still aren’t part of the “non-compliant,” you need to get on-board (off-board?!) and pick up Bitch Planet immediately.
Kelly Sue’s script for this issue is solid. She has revealed a bit more of Kam Kogo’s motivation in this issue while also explaining the rules of Megaton and showing a fun montage-style scene of the women’s practice session. The creative way that she explained the sport to the readers as well as the characters was very innovative because we were both in the dark as to how the game was played. She exposed both the readers and the prisoners to the rules of Megaton through an advertising video directed towards men with no previous knowledge of the game. The sexualized advertising video designed for men and repurposed for the female inmates was a perfect way to keep the style of the comic consistent while also telling the readers what they needed to know about Megaton.
De Landro and Peter’s art is consistently excellent through the three issues that they’ve handled so far. There are many shower scenes in this issue and their work displaying the female body is very good. The physiques and skin tones are diverse, rarely failing to show that it could be just about anyone stuck in prison with these women for being non-compliant. The shower scenes do well to pay homage to the shower scenes often present in exploitation films while also not being overly sensualized through the male view as the exploitation films often were. This is where the extreme attention to detail and over the top effort to be different and inclusive stands out. Their sports montage style practice scene was also well done to display a game we have very little information about and the aforementioned Megaton advertisement was perfectly drawn to show both the details of the game and the patronizing attitude the advertisement displayed towards the women.
This issue is another great example in this series of the exploitation film being reimagined as a social justice-oriented comic. Kelly Sue, Valentine, and Cris do an amazing job capturing the violence and sexuality of the exploitation genre while repackaging it as an entertaining propaganda piece promoting gender equality. This is an excellent series so far. The first arc should end with the inmate’s first match and it should be interesting to see what twists may occur that they haven’t seen coming.