As the political tension in The United States is not drying up, it’s no surprise at all that one of the most successful protests in US history is planning another public display of resistance. Organizers of the Women’s March will continue their successful behavior of non-compliance with a general strike on March 8th, 2017 that they’re calling “A Day Without a Woman.” Whether Bitch Planet is inspired by life or the other way around really doesn’t matter much, despite the dystopian future it is set in, for many human beings, there’s been a dystopia in the real world for as long as they can remember. That’s why fighting back resonates when minor and major successes are won. That’s why complacency can lead to terrifying realities not unlike those in the pages of Kelly Sue DeConnick, Robert Wilson IV, and Valentine De Landro’s story.
The mature readers comic book opens on a prison complex for the non-compliant. The prisoners live and survive on what’s known as the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost. Non-compliance is supposed to mean criminals, but in this dystopian future it’s viler than that. Bitch Planet is where the women who ask too many questions, dress against the norm, or who create any kind of inconvenience for their men and/or society, are a shipped off to. The warden of the prison has his own best interests in mind, as well as political gain, and will use the women prisoners as reality TV fodder to further his aims. The lead protagonist, Kamua Kogo, is accused of murder but is being roped into entertaining the masses for sport. In a terrifying and twisted version of The Longest Yard, Kam must form a team while blackmailing a prison guard in order to save her sister in another section of Bitch Planet.
Bitch Planet can be viewed as a progressive political statement, a feminist revenge story, science fiction with socio-political parallels to the current world, leftist dreck, or just a damn’d fine comic book. In fact, in many respects, it’s a little bit of all of them. Bitch Planet makes no excuses for the shocking imagery that might chill the spine of a more conservative and PG rated reader, it celebrates women and mockingly refers to the tyrannical leaders of their world as Fathers.
The world of Bitch Planet is one where primp and motherly women have turned their backs on their own gender and encourage other women into subjugation and “lesser class” citizenry status. It’s a world where fasco-capatilst corporations run prisons and work to ease political unrest through the manipulation of pop-culture and media. It’s a terrifying world where trans-gender women are thought of as criminals and acts of violence are committed against them without thoughts to their humanity. It’s one where prison labor isn’t thought of as unjust but is actively used to remove unwanted and Non-Compliant individuals from the Father’s perfect world they’ve created.
The comic book celebrates diversity and even falls into trope’s one would think it should otherwise avoid in the event accusations of hypocrisy are laid at the creators’ feet. It really isn’t a care for them, because they’re making art first and letting the righteousness of it be decided by the reader. You can look beyond the ink and view the political ideas for what they are or you can just enjoy a comic about a prison ship where a group of women resisting the authority who tells them how they should live, and what they should care about – liberty and justice be damned.