Release Date: OUT NOW!
Publisher: Image Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick Artist: Valentine De Landro
movies have a long tradition in exploitation cinema. Typically excuses to string together shower scenes and S& M bullying, movies in the subgenre like Chained Heat and Wicked Warden couldn’t be accused of being progressive. Inspired by a revisit creator Kelly Sue DeConnick made to the ladies- in- cages gems she grew up on, only to discover they weren’t as feminist as she remembered, Bitch Planet does things differently.
Women- in- prison movies generally take place in the present, or the past, on planet Earth. Bitch Planet is set in a futuristic nightmare. The first two issues follow a group of new inductees sent to Auxiliary Compliance Outpost Intake Facility Two, an off- world prison that treats its inmates as entertainment. Then in every third issue, DeConnick focuses on one prisoner, exploring their backstory in depth with a guest artist.
It’s essentially Orange Is The New Black meets Fortress. The women are an eclectic group, both when it comes to personality, and, significantly, body types. Like its inspirations, Bitch Planet is packed with nudity. Unlike those films, the women’s bodies are varied, and real. Valentine De Landro’s art is beautiful, with a cartoon- realist edge Sean Phillips would be proud of.
Like all the best science fiction, Bitch Planet works as allegory – subverting sexist tropes to celebrate feminist ideology. It’s also super- fun, cool, and violent. Now all it needs is a movie adaptation, and the circle will be complete. Sam Ashurst One idea DeConnick left out was translation devices that convert prisoners’ speech to “Compliant English”, full of apologies.
Is that a cameo from Casper?