From cover to cover, Bitch Planet #2 is proving it is something special and we should all sit up and take note. In a world where people treat the word feminism like a swear word or an insult, where the word itself is so vastly misunderstood, it is incredible to see Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro embrace it.
After being introduced to Bitch Planet (or the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost) and the hideous reality of life there in the first issue, the reader gets a clearer picture of the world that allowed this place to come into existence. Lots of old white men in power, drinking champagne and being served by scantily clad women, congratulating themselves on maintaining their stranglehold on the world.
Meanwhile, on Bitch Planet, Kamau Kogo has been framed for the murder of Marian Collins and given an interesting proposition. She is inclined to refuse, but the inmates all have their reasons for trying to talk her into it. The final pages hint at something horrible to come in the next issues. At the back of the book where letters are usually published, this issue takes the time to address the sort of vision they have for the future as well as publishing a piece called “In a Feminist Mirror, Darkly: Reflections on Cultural Misconceptions of Feminism”.
Valentine De Landro’s art is perfectly suited to the grindhouse exploitation aesthetic of Bitch Planet #2. It shifts from the oddly garish neon atmosphere of Bitch Planet to the more sedate surroundings of the rest of the world without any struggle. One thing that is remarkable is the array of body types that exist in the comic. They aren’t showing one idealized body type over and over again as though it is the only truth in the female form. Despite the myriad naked female forms, they aren’t sexualized. It’s refreshing.
So far there is a 30 issue run planned and Bitch Planet should be on the pull list of any good feminist. DeConnick and De Landro are doing some innovative work in the world of comics and not pulling any punches.