Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Graphic Novel/Science Fiction
Length: 136 pages
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st volume in the Bitch Planet series
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I have heard quite a bit about this graphic novel and also heard it compared to Rat Queens. While it does have similar feminist themes to Rat Queens, it was quite different. I honestly didn’t find the plot, world or characters as interesting or engaging. It was still an interesting idea and well done; it just wasn’t for me personally.
In a futuristic world where things have turned back towards ultra-femininity, women can be arrested and imprisoned for a variety of non-feminine crimes. Examples of these crimes include being obese, being willful, being boring so your husband cheats on you, etc. With the ability to create small planets it’s been decided to start an all women’s prison planet…affectionately dubbed Bitch Planet. In an effort to make Bitch Planet more profitable they want to put the women prisoners up against professional athletes for sport.
The whole thing is very tongue in cheek and ultra-violent. Definitely an adult only read; there is tons of violence, nudity, and some sex in here. I enjoyed the little crazy advertisements in between chapters about how to please your husband and avoid Bitch Planet.
The female characters span a variety of classes and backgrounds. We get some good backstory on a few of them. I was really finding the story interesting until it sidetracked into this whole sporting event description and then went down the path of pitting women against pros in very unfair scenarios for sport. The whole thing reminded me a lot of Deadman Wonderland at that point ( I stopped reading Deadman after the 5th volume because I lost interest).
The illustration is well done and full color. It’s easy to follow the story and remember who’s who; all the characters are very distinct. The concept is kind of interesting (although planets of criminals have been done before and so has the whole let’s make criminals entertain the masses thing). I did enjoy the fact that this was satirical and very tongue in cheek.
Overall this is well done but it wasn’t really for me. There was too much violence and nudity and I just didn’t find the plot and/or idea all that intriguing or creative. I did enjoy the satirical quality to it, but I didn’t engage with the characters or story well enough to be interested in continuing the series.
While this does share the whole feminist theme that Rat Queens does, I enjoyed Rat Queens a million times more. To me Rat Queens was just more entertaining, more laugh out loud hilarious, more creative, and more heartfelt. I actually enjoyed DeConnick’s Pretty Deadly series a lot more than this one as well and really look forward to reading the next book in that series when it releases. There won’t be anymore Bitch Planet in my future though…