Review: Bitch Planet #4

This issue we’re back into the main plot of Bitch Planet picking up with Kam having begun her selection process for the Duemila Women’s Team, ya know, the one...

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This issue we’re back into the main plot of Bitch Planet picking up with Kam having begun her selection process for the Duemila Women’s Team, ya know, the one that Violet and Meiko wanted Kam to build so that they can blow up the ship it’s on.

Well—almost. We almost pick back up with Kam. What we actually start with is a funeral that is a double-super-secret meeting between Bert and a Father so the Bitch Planet Duemila Team has funding.

Yep, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is open for business again.

Mostly, this issue of Bitch Planet is segueing us into the next part of the story where the Duemila will be played, and Kam’s search for her sister will continue.

But, first, Kam needs to finish her team. Luckily, Kam can search for her sister at the same time.

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(Take a closer look at this image and read as much of the text as you can. It’s going to shock you and then make you seethe with rage.)

This world really is the Conservative’s dream come true.

I get the feeling it’s not going to stay that way for long. Especially when Kam learns that the team that she was asked to build isn’t so much a team as it a murder list for the other side.

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Does anyone else think that this is going to end badly for the kyriarchy?

However, we do learn—via the most patronizing, sexist, awful infomercial-esque thing in the History of Ever—more about Duemila.

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Without completely compliant hosts Hailey and Kailey, who even our narrator-guards are so over, and in their explanation-not-explanation of Duemila—the least explanation that we could possibly hope for because their infomercial is geared towards women and their delicate, fragile brains that can’t possibly understand more than the basics of sport—GO SPORT!—and only if it means getting a man or helping the man you’ve already got succeed.


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*insert comment of the homoeroticism of SPORT here*

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But, none of this is what’s really important in this issue. Not really. Because what’s really important is two-fold: De Landro’s amazing art which walks the fine line between exploitation tropes and framing and a (quite literal) denial of the Male Gaze (with a side of ass-kicking), abjection and the celebration of women’s bodies that we’re never going to see anywhere else probably and the subversion of every part of the exploitation genre.

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SEE HOW AMAZING PENNY IS. SEE HOW MAJESTIC. (And, Meiko’s darling in her squee.)

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Because the shift in just a few pages as Kam learns the laws of Bitch Planet mean that we go from the strictly exploitation shower scene—a trope in and of itself—along with its canonical lesbian couple (who are sad and defiant and empowering in their subjugation within the oppressive hegemonic prison complex) to a communal celebration to Kam finding her own ways of imposing pressure and revolution amidst the prison complex.

What can really be more important than this sort of representation and intersectionality?

(Yes, it could be intersectional if there were trans women involved too, but I’m sure this is something that’s going to come along down the line. Remember, we’re only three issues into the actual story.)

And, the backmatter essays this time are perfection: DeConnick being seven-digits of done with mansplaining asshats on Twitter who seem to think that women don’t understand the permanency of a tattoo and miss the entire point in getting a non-compliant tattoo in the first place, and Mikki Kendall’s amazing essay about the school-to-prison track that many black women find themselves on and the dangers of the sliding scale of oppression when intersectionality is not the watchword of the day.

Because teachers in America are overwhelmingly white women, many of whom disproportionately punish young black women for “crimes” that their white counterparts would barely be tsk-ed for.

This is important. This continues to be important.

Black lives matter.

Black women’s lives matter.

Especially when society automatically classifies and writes black bodies as non-compliant bodies.

The Non-Compliants:

  • Script: Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Art/Covers: Valentine De Landro
  • Backmatter Essay: Mikki Kendall
  • Backmatter Design: Laurenn McCubbin
  • Colors: Cris Peter
  • Letters: Clayton Cowles
Images courtesy of Image Comics

Trie – Deputy Editor

Hey, I’m ‘trie (sounds like “tree”). I’m a university-educated mixed media artist, wannabe writer, and the poster child for the nerd-geek-dork trifecta. I’m also a gender queer, pansexual, polyamorous feminist and Hellenic pagan with a social media habit like whoa.
Find me at: My Website, Twitter


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