Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machines
Our world needs a little more noncompliance. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly) and artist Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) revel in the rebellious nature of their sci-fi, women’s prison exploitation story twisted into a satirical look at gender politics. The convicts are delightfully disobedient as they form a ragtag sports team—a la The Longest Yard—and search for truth in the biased lies of the law. Bitch Planet’s sexist and condescending overlords—the Fathers—so closely resemble our patriarchal society that their dialogue becomes uncomfortable to read, as well it should. De Landro’s art and framing handles both exposition and action with clarity, with background touches that subtly sell the scene. While some minor characters blend into the plot progression, protagonist Kamau Kogo is a welcome balance of reluctance and responsibility. However, it’s the larger-than-life Penny Rolle who steals the spotlight—before bludgeoning a guard with the illuminated impromptu weapon. Bad behavior never looked so good.