After reading a good review in CBR7 and many more earlier this year, I used my college’s Interlibrary Loan to request Bitch Planet: Book One and I was not disappointed. This comic poses a future or maybe an alternative present where “compliance” is required of all women and that means conforming to the wishes of men—being passive, agreeable, and of course, thin. Society attempts to correct those who don’t “comply” but those who aren’t able to be “saved” are sent off world—to the titled “Bitch Planet.”
I don’t want to go into too many details because part of the fun of reading this is being thrown into this world and having to figure out what is going on. The art here is campy and 70’s tinged (at one point, we are treated to the what is labeled as “the obligatory shower scene”) but even that is turned on its head a bit later. Though it starts out with all the trappings of an exploitation movie, this comic clearly has a lot on its mind and in constructing this world, Deconnick and De Landro are skewering ours.
At the back of each issue there are ads selling everything from your own personal intestinal parasite (to get that body you always wanted) to Agreenex, a pill that “keeps you from caring. Because without thoughts, feeling, or inconvenient opinions, you’re more fun to be around.” You have to love a pill with the tagline, “Agreenex—because he’s sick of your shit.”
I can see this becoming required reading in future women’s studies classes, alongside The Handmaid’s Tale and I mean that in a good way. Like all good works of speculative fiction, this comic kicks you in the stomach at various points because you see yourself and your world and it’s not a comfortable thing.
As you can tell, I definitely recommend visiting Bitch Planet.
** Oh, and I realized that with this I’ve fulfilled one of the Bookriot Read Harder Challenges for this year – “Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years.”