Review: Bitch Planet #7
Bitch Planet returned from its break this week and from the first page, disposability seems to be the name of the game for the Fathers in this arc titled “President Bitch.” If you ever doubted how much this book hurts with its more true to life aspects, the first page is a security guard allowing an AI to open fire on three young black children trying to make a shortcut because they “look sketchy.”
With the Fathers making the decision to keep Meiko’s death a secret from her father, much of the issue revolves around the beginning work on the Megaton stadium with Makoto arriving to supervise the building and the NCs being the one to start digging. The divide between the NCs and the men in charge becomes apparent, with the men being greeted with warm towels and tea versus the cattle call of women prisoners opened the very first issue back in December 2014. As our omnipresent security guards point out though, the “power of man is fickle as hell” since this stadium and the guests in charge of the creation comes at the expense of other much needed repairs to the ACO. Coming from a city that is a year out from opening a new football stadium, I find myself in agreeance with the two for the first time.
Even in death, Meiko’s influence on the the ACO is still felt. Instead of dealing with him directly, the wardens assign a Model program to be Makoto’s aide, which makes the inevibility of him discovering Meiko’s death even worse. On the flipside of this, the wardens decide that instead of charging the man responsible for Meiko’s death, Whitney will take the blame and be charged for her death as well as any other charges involving guard injuries in the incident. It really is a stark reminder that even when a woman seems to benefit directly from the patriarchy, she is just as easily on the chopping block for it when the time comes. As much as Whitney has worked against the NCs up until this point, it is impossible to take joy in her fall from power when it is made clear that she is the scapegoat for the irresponsibility of the guards.
The most powerful scene in this issue though happens between Kam and Penny though. Kelly Sue Deconnick has always had a knack for more quiet scenes where a lot is said without saying too much at all. In it, Penny sits in the shower, feeling guilty for Meiko’s death and wishing that she would wash away into the drain. Kam takes a seat beside her, reminding her that there really wasn’t much she could do and that sometimes “strong ain’t strong enough.” The essay from Angelica Jade Bastién in the backmatter elaborates more on what this scene is going for, but in the pages itself, it’s a gorgeous piece of synchronicity between story and art, where so much can be said in two panels of handholding.
Speaking of art, this is the second issue where Kelly Fitzpatrick is on colors. Her style is a bit more shaded and toned down that previous colorist Cris Peter, but it works. The story’s tone has taken a bit of a turn since Meiko’s death, so the slightly saturated hue works well for the book. Don’t worry, the sense of over the top color is still there. The orange in the Megaton site and the stormclouds in Whitney’s room are particularly well done in this regard.
With the start of a new arc, Bitch Planet is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Even in an issue setting up the building blocks for the rest of the arc, it still feels like a gut punch as the fallout from Meiko’s death takes center stage. I would hope that it doesn’t take anyone else in the process, but that would be tempting fate just a bit too much in a book where the ones in charge of the world it exists in see lives as disposable when they don’t fit into the neat boxes prescribed for existence.
Correction: A previous version of this review stated that this was Kelly Fitzpatrick’s first issue when it was her second.
Story: Kelly Sue Deconnick Art: Valentine Delandro and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review