I was a bit skeptical going in to Bitch Planet, despite glowing reviews, because I’d read Kelly Sue DeConnick’s other non-superhero ongoing comic, Pretty Deadly, earlier this year, and was pretty unimpressed with it at the least, actively turned off at worst. Still can’t decide which at this point. (The art was gorgeous, though.) But holy crap, I shouldn’t have been worried. This was AWESOME. Like, I need posters on my walls. I’m not quite at the point where I’m gonna get myself a Non-Compliant tattoo, but perhaps I am close.
You’ve definitely got to be into this sort of thing, though. “This sort of thing” being an intensely feminist, profane, satirical dystopia where women are sent to prison on another planet for being “non-compliant” (a phrase which can be stretched to accommodate all manner of behaviors–let’s just say if I lived in this world, I would have been sent to Bitch Planet long, long ago). And it’s funny! And sad. And gross! And my favorite character is the legit best, but I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s soooo good.
Valentine De Landro’s art isn’t drop your pants gorgeous like Emma Rios’ in Pretty Deadly, but its pulpy style with limited color palette works perfectly with the tone of the story, and it has fun with itself, while still managing to convey some heady stuff. I think I actually prefer it to Rios’, even though Rios’ is so beautiful. I mean, just look at that mother of a cover. Right up in your face with those birds. The whole thing is like that. Not for the easily offended, but fun and smart and incisive. Lots of nakedness and unruly wimminfolk.
My only warning to anyone interested, be prepared for waits in between issues. Even though the first three issues were published consecutively, it was five months in between issues four and five, two months in between three and four. They didn’t issue the first trade until almost a year after the first issue was originally published. Issue six comes out in January. If the pattern holds, we won’t have the next trade until November of 2016. I didn’t know any of this when I picked it up. Perhaps I would have waited if I did. It’s even worse than the wait in between Saga’s!