Series: Bitch Planet
Byline: Extraordinary Machine (Bitch Planet #1-5)
Published by: Image Comics
ISBN 13: 9781632153661
Published: October 2015
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Publisher Site: Image Comics
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Image Comics keep coming out with increasingly better titles, blowing us away title by title. Once known for grim and dark issues such as The Crow and The Walking Dead, now we have Saga, Sex Criminals and now, Bitch Planet. Still defying what other publishers hesitate to publish, yet reaching a wider audience for their troubles.
Bitch Planet doesn’t disappoint. Dealing with hard hitting issues and tricky plots, (though perhaps trying a little too hard to shock sometimes), here we have a strong cast of women dealing with feminism, racism, classism, and so forth. They’re in jail for various reasons (or mistakes) in a highly dystopian future, borrowing elements of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Set in a patriarchal society where men rule and set the way of life, and any woman not fitting into this is called a non-compliant and can be taken from their homes and families at a moment’s notice. This could be for being too opinionated or independent, not being pretty enough and yet at the same time, also for being too sexual. For not smiling enough, for not being married by a reasonable age, for… well, basically anything. Which puts into stark review just what females today are (half jokingly) told off for. Though in this comic, rather than an eye roll or nagging for it, the women are jailed.
The art in this is a little retro, yet it works. I’m usually quite picky with art styles finding the comics unreadable if I don’t like the art, yet this was enjoyable. This comic is excellent for diversity and engaging the reader, and on a first read it’s easy to miss the subtleties as the hard-hitting violence and graphic scenes can hide smaller nuances. This series will surely be cause for some great discussions and essays.
Overall, I can’t wait for the next trade to come out. I’ll need this for my library for sure!