The term Bitch Planet could mean a lot of things. Maybe it’s an alternate title of Justin Roiland’s cartoon about a planet full of dogs. Or perhaps it’s what you call your friend when she’s a colossal bitch, like, the size of Jupiter. In this case we’re talking about Kelly Sue DeConnick’s comic about a futuristic era run by men where, if the women do not fit the standards, they are sent to an all female prison.
DeConnick was already pinned for having a feminist agenda after her re-imagining of Captain Marvel. Some people didn’t like the blonde-haired, blue-eyed fighter pilot, Carol; mostly because of her ta-ta’s.
And when she wasn’t dressed scantily-clad but she wore this?
Carol Danvers by Salvador Valesquez
Needless to say, DeConnick decided to show them that this isn’t exactly an angry feminist piece. Bitch Planet, now that’s an angry feminist piece. And what an enthralling piece it is.
In an interview DeConnick said, “The book is completely absurd, and that’s the thing that my co-creator and I, Valentine De Landro, are trying to play with — some of the tropes from women-in-prison movies and exploitation and blaxploitation films from the ’70s that we loved but are, as we like to say, deeply problematic.”
Fervent with flavor, the language and dialogue in these books are incredibly enticing. With a character bait-and-switch kicking off the first issue, it is clear that the writing is as clever as the title promises. Only handing the reader enough information to have a solid understanding of what the hell is going on, the narrative keeps one at enough distance to become completely immersed in the plot, needing to learn more and more.
Art-wise, it’s a unique style that blends gritty reality with shades and color that seem to be perfectly odd, adding surreal feel to the entire world itself. Not only that, it maintains the 70’s feel, adding to the world’s style and aesthetic.
Published by Image Comics, which is now the third largest company in the industry behind Marvel and DC Comics, Bitch Planet was one of the many staples of rising feminism in the comic industry. Women made up 50% of comic-related film audiences in 2016, and to top it off, women readers have flooded comic books once more, and are adamant and vocal about it. DeConnick agreed that we can turn things around, and give women a bigger say in how they’re portrayed in comic media, to focus on how diverse an audience there is and how to design and balance all of these.
Let’s hope Bitch Planet continues and let’s also hope to see more and more comics like Bitch Planet.