Bitch Planet #1
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art and Cover: Valentine De Landro
Colourist: Cris Peter
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Image Comics
Kelly Sue DeConnick has been on an absolute role as of late. It seems like everything the writer releases turns into a hit. Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly, and now, Bitch Planet: all great quality titles. All right, that’s enough praise. Let’s get a little more serious now. Bitch Planet #1 is awesome.
The cover of Bitch Planet doesn’t hide the fact that the unknown figure is giving the finger, introducing immediately that the pages that follow are anything but subtle. We are quickly introduced to a troupe of women that have come from Earth, but are not completely sure as to how and why they are brought to this mysterious planet in the cosmos. It is let known that these women have committed a wrongdoing, and in doing so, have been sent to refrain them from doing any more harm to those around them. The place they are welcomed to and are to remain for the time being is called the ‘Auxiliary Compliance Outpost’, as informed by the pink coloured hologram figure. The women are brought in naked, but shortly are clothed and separated through uniforms and identification numbers, rectifying the situation non-the better, or worse.
Without giving much away, a flurry of action and twists already occur in the first issue and notable, hard nosed, exciting characters are introduced. Kamau Kogo, with her heavy brow and round afro breathes out an attitude that yells non compliance. Penny Rolle already has an immediate easy hand in the pot for best dialogue, spewing out her lines with a ferocious anger. The moustachioed suited gentlemen, breathes out villain from the untrustworthy lines on his face, concealing the true nature of the place the women find themselves in by providing a line that reeks of concealment and false truths.
The script is slick and fast paced, thanks to DeConnick’s flowing and confident writing. The plot is heavily complimented by the art of Valentine De Landro, whose style reminds one of a vintage pulp comic from the 1960s alongside the stylized energy of the exploitation films from the same era. Cris Peters’s colours provide a unique difference with the two main settings of the issue. There are dark but notable colours during the environments with the women in the prison-like area and brighter but mundane grey and browns with the office where the suits reside, representing the organization behind what is going on. An interesting duality appears, where the darkness showcases the truth, the brightness concealing the lies. This sense of separation, two sides, continues with the cross cutting editing style, bouncing from scene to scene, frame to frame, as if searching for a unification.
The social commentary within Bitch Planet is prevalent, front and centre stage, and is surely meant to be exactly that. This is definitely a good thing. By having a combination of past influences with the art style of De Landro, the present voice of DeConnick, and the future setting of this comic, oppression existed, exists, and will most likely continue to exist if more works of art like Bitch Planet aren’t created. This first issue alone contains a deep amount of realizations into the harsh realities of society that can easily be analyzed on multiple levels and beyond what has already been discussed. It will be very interesting to see how the road is paved by DeConnick and company into what might very well be one of the more important books on the comic shelves.