Story By: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art By: Taki Soma
Cover By: Valentine De Landro
This issue of Bitch Planet from Image Comics, is a bit of a break from the norm, with writer Kelly Sue DeCommick casting an eye on the incidents that caused the incarceration of Meiko Maki.
DeCommick takes her time in crafting the tale of the Maki family, eking out a living in the standard male centric world that we have come to recognise from earlier issues. However, the Maki’s are more than a tad forward thinking, home schooling for the daughters by the mother, with the father working as an engineer; each looking to move the world forward to ensure a better place for their daughters. Prequel’s seems to be the rage this week and in this recap issue the reader is faced with the knowledge that something bad must have happened at some point to land Meiko into prison. But with the some stories, sometimes it is the journey and not the destination that is important.
Art is supplied by Taki Soma whose simple style manages to show a range of emotions across all the characters. Soma’s figure work is a little reminiscent of Steve Ditko, but without the weird angles that Ditko used. Panels are used in a clever manner, with overlaid panels used in the dinner time scene emphasising the way families can talk over each other and a more structured approach when father and daughter are spending time together. Colors are provided by Kelly Fitzpatrick who continues the excellent work shown on the series so far, with a washed out pastel look.
Bitch Planet may at first glance seem like sex/blaxploitation book. But take another look. From the cover alone you get the tagline “Are You Woman Enough to Survive” which goes someway to both setting the overall feel of the book as well as hints of the idea of the tortures women are put through, in this case whilst in prison, although this metaphor can be stretched into the real world. Bitch Planet is an engrossing read, filled with characters that the reader can sympathise with; good people who happen to have had bad situations or bad choices come back to test their ability to survive.