Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Bitch Planet #1
DeConnick & De Landro
Bitch Planet is a fun romp that offers a good first issue that has a twist or two while laying out the concept for the series. Basically, women that are deemed out of compliance are shipped off to another planet to serve time. It would appear they never leave. The themes that the comic talks about in the back do not appear to be too present in this issue, which makes me question where this is all going. Generally, the book is entertaining and that's a good thing. I recommend checking this out.
The book has a nice pace to it. It opens with a voice actress racing to the studio to make a recording. The recording is to be used on the transport for the new inmates. The book then dives right into the details.
There are two scenes that are simultaneously occurring. The first, is the prison introduction for the reader. There are a few interesting characters but for the most part the visuals take over and the personality definitions take a back seat. It wouldn't be a prison scene without a riot and not knowing which characters are there for the sake of getting killed off in spectacular fashion makes the book a challenge to sort through to find the protagonist. However, the second plot thread guides the reader there.
Back on Earth, a man makes a desperate plea to save his wife from this twisted prison. She's been wrongly arrested and he aims to set things right. This allows the reader to understand how this all works. The basic theme is whatever men deem as acceptable they get, whereas what they deem unacceptable gets women into this prison.
The comic reads more like a story where people willingly have given away their rights for reasons that clearly favor those in charge. Perhaps the women weren't a part of the way this all unfolded, but the warning is clear to guard your freedom from any group looking to take it away. The feminism, self-esteem issues, peer pressure to fit in with another person's expectations and racial oppression are hinted at but only explored in the back matter of the comic. It seems difficult as to how this will all get incorporated into this series based how this issue was presented.
The artwork is extremely gritty and bold. The prison scenes are shocking, but in a realistic way. The colors really bring the reader into a depressing situation for all the characters, even the guards. It's a nice looking comic book that definitely leaves an impression on the reader.
Bitch Planet is a good first step. The book needs room to breath and fold in all of the themes that it seems to want to tackle. What I wonder about is if there will be a character that can rise above the others that will help push this book over the top to become a must read. This is a series to watch. I recommend checking this out.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles