Bitch Planet Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine Review

Genre = SCI-FI, LGBTQIA, Feminism, Comic, Dystopia

Author = Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV, Cris Peter, Clayton Cowles, Lauren Sankovitch

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This comic follows a world, where if a woman doesn’t fit into the world of men and their interpretation of what a woman should be. They will be sent to a women’s prison on a far away planet where they have created a community not only to help them survive but also to to help them find a way out one day. When newest inmates arrive things start to unravel and an opening is arising for rebellion but will the women take that chance? Seeing their pasts revealed will they then take the rebellion to their home?

My Pitch To You:

This comic wasn’t as moulded together as I would have liked the concept is there to be and there are bits that lacked development that made me really annoyed while reading it. For instance it was a very slow moving plot which usually I don’t mind if it gives me enough context of what the world is and why it is like that. This story hinted at those points with the backstories of certain women but that wasn’t enough to really make me invested in the world to keep going which meant I struggled to get to the end. However, when I got towards the end it really surprised me by building the tension and also revealing the plan for a larger fight or revolution that was to come. The last few pages really got to me as it was an abrupt ending that shook me and I knew then that I was intrigued enough to see where this story was leading me.

There was lots of dialogue in this comic but a good variety of snappy and longer conversations. A scene that really stood out to me with great dialogue was the cafe scene as it was perfect snappy dialogue which I love especially in a comic because it builds the tension. It was great to see a clear distinction between flashbacks and the present day tone because you could see the anger and hurt escalate from one section to the next. That hurt was beautifully expressed not only in the dialogue but also in the facial expressions of the characters.

I loved the style of the artwork in this comic it felt very psychedelic with a 60s vibe to it which is always a fun look to have but it was also coupled with a pop art style which for me is my favourite movement of art and the combination of both gave it an other worldly quality to it. There were parts of the artwork that didn’t have much detail to them which I liked because it added to the uncertainty of the path this world was going in. Lastly I loved that the women were of all body shapes and sizes in this comic as that representation really captured my interest even more.

In terms of characters my favourite would have to be Kam as she is such a feisty personality and has this one track mind sort of woman on a mission which I love in people and makes her a fascinating character, to see what she does next. The other characters it was hard to have fully formed opinions of them as there are so many and this first volume was very much build up comic rather than a get to know comic. All the women in the prison were a fabulous group that I really wanted them to explore even more and hopefully in the next volume they will. Also Penelope’s backstory was such an interesting and sad story.

All in all I really like the main concept of the comic and it has so much potential to develop into such a powerful story. I just wished that this volume would have flowed better in terms of the plot then I would have loved it. I would have like to see a clearer connection of how the elite characters connected to the prison as not knowing felt frustrating. It was good comic I am looking forward to see how it develops in volume two. I would say this is great for those who love experimental and Image comics.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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© 2020 Emily Claire Cannings

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