Occasionally I read comics. Since comics are technically books, I don’t see why I can’t review them.
The first comic/graphic novel I read in 2017 was Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. It had taken me a while to actually read this comic despite how much I adore Kelly Sue’s writing, mostly because the visuals are gritty and not my usual aesthetic. With the events at the end of 2016, it was high time I finally dove into this comic.
Bitch Planet takes place in the not-so-distant future where those – mostly women – who do not conform to society’s “standards” are deemed non-compliant and sent off to an off world prison. What makes a person non-compliant could be a variety of things: committing a crime such as a murder, or merely being overweight can also be deemed not the norm. A variety of different women are featured, and each are non-compliant in their own way. The first volume mostly revolves around Kamau Kogo, a well-known athlete it appears but what is unclear is why she is non-compliant.
The story follows Kamau as she is given an unlikely proposition: to put together a group of women to participate in games that normally reject non-compliance. Kamau is determined to win and puts together a seemingly ragtag motley crew that work quite well together and have a shot at winning – until tragedy strikes.
The art of Bitch Planet is gritty and normally not my standard for comics, but De Landro’s style is quite suitable for this story. As an intersectional feminist, I found myself empathizing with the characters and detesting the society they live in – a society that isn’t that far removed from our own. Had I not read a Kelly Sue book before, I might not have been inclined to pick this title up. As it stands, Kelly Sue writes excellent stories for a variety of themes and reasons and I really did like Bitch Planet.
Volume 2 is released soon (it not already) and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
My rating: 4/5