ARC | Graphic Novel/Manga Review #27 – Bitch Planet Vol.1: Extraordinary Machine, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro

Hey guys!

I bring you my review from one hell of a graphic novel! It’s Bitch Planet, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro.

BitchPlanet_vol1-1

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I literally screamed when I saw that this book was available to read now on NetGalley. Literally, I swear. I’ve been so looking forward to get my hands on this. Mainly because of the main message of this book and the whole hype it’s getting from the feminist community.

Also, I still haven’t read anything from Kelly Sue DeConnick, one of the two part power couple of graphic novels today. She and her husband Matt Fraction are some of the best and influential writers in the industry. He has worked on Sex Criminals, Uncanny X-Men and Hawkeye. And DeConnick is behind Pretty Deadly and Captain Marvel. I want to read all of these titles so badly!

In this incredibly patriarch society, every women that doesn’t fit the rules is marked as non compliant and sent to a prison planet, commonly known as Bitch Planet.

The story of this first volume is pretty much divided in two things: exposition and some characters background. The begging of a book, specially in this type of dystopian-like society, needs some world building. Still, the details aren’t at all that clear, even in the end of the read. What we learn can be sometimes confusing but I think you’re able to get a bit of the whole picture. The character’s background parts come a bit random at times, having flashbacks and references just be thrown there. It’s honestly a bit off and the only thing that I kind of frowned my nose at. The exposé method wasn’t my favourite.

There isn’t really a main character in this book, the stoplight is shared by a few kick-ass women (whether they’re with or against the system). They have different races, body types, personalities and backgrounds. Not only the “typical” criminals end up at Bitch Planet: if you do something a man doesn’t approve or if you don’t fit the society standards (e.g. if you’re not skinny and all smiles), you’re being sent there and maybe you’ll not even survive that long. This is kind of a rough and tough story, a bit heavy on the soul, specially if you’re a feminist. I just can’t avoid to wonder how little different the pressure put on women by our society is from this fictional one. Why must women need to suffer so much at the hands of men?! But that rant could go on and on so I’ll just move on from it.

Although, don’t get me wrong!! This book is also a lot of fun, which was kind a surprise to me. There’s so many chuckle moments, specially at the expense of dumb men, which is my favourite kind of humour. The story has its ups and downs, making it really balanced.

I don’t particularly love the main style of art but I don’t hate it either. I think it makes expressions and movements less readable or perceptible at times, making that a kind of flaw. I do love the colour patterns. There’s a lot of good use of pinks and purples, colours I personally adore. But I absolutely loved the little publicity snippets, extras at the end of each issue. So so much fun. There’s also a love of naked bodies, physical violence and sexual content so please be aware if you’re impressed by those topics.

This book was everything I was hoping for: a story full of incredible and diverse women ready to take down or make a point in front an oppressive system. It clearly has a message and a very strong political statement, and it’s definitely not afraid to show it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun or entertaining. It’s so refreshing. This is easily one of my favourite reads ever. It is flawed yes, but so damn good! I cannot wait to read more and more.

So, have you guys read this book or any of other DeConnick’s work? I want your opinions!

See you next time,

Cat.

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