TRADE | Bitch Planet Vol. 1, Extraordinary Machine
Want to know what resistance means?
Bitch Planet will take you all the way to the extreme.
Set in an alternate dystopian timeline, Bitch Planet sets a scene in which the patriarchy rules all, and all women who are non-compliant (too fat, too thin, too loud, too shy, too religious, too secular, too prudish, too sexual, too queer, too black, too brown, too whatever) are shipped off of planet Earth and over to Bitch Planet (alternatively called the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost).
Bitch Planet is essentially a maximum-security facility, on a foreign planet, designed to “correct” women into behaving in alignment with whatever it is they’re interested in judging you for these days.
If you aren’t hooked immediately, we need to have a conversation about Wonder Woman. About a year ago, I read and reviewed The Secret History of Wonder Woman, which opened my eyes to some of the pretty blatant feminist analysis of the world that’s nested inside Wonder Woman. I think maybe if I’d been reading it at the time, it would have probably been more obvious because of how uncomfortably close to reality the story lines were.
And that’s how I feel about Bitch Planet.
In a world controlled by the “Council of Fathers,” the patriarchy is given a decidedly concrete form.
It’s so uncomfortably close to what the world could be like, Bitch Planet gives me that almost sick feeling.
Of course, in our world women aren’t being shipped to an alternate planet. You might hear garbage comments comparing you to some arbitrary standard. The standards of feminine behavior in are world aren’t so horrible that they restrain you the way they do in Bitch Planet. Being bossy or butch of catty doesn’t get you stranded on another planet, but it sure can make you feel like shit.
But you can hear enough echoes from our current situation to get really angry.
Fortunately, Bitch Planet provides a channel for your righteous indignation. Rooting for Penny Rolle or Kamau Kogo to push back against the guards or their holographic “warden” (a creepy highly-sexualized overly “feminine” menace) is wonderfully cathartic in a world where pushing against the patriarchy is more like hitting a sponge than hitting a wall.
DeConnick makes it easy to ally with the women of the prison. The cast of characters is diverse in every aspect of the word, and provides the perfect combination of insight into their personal backstories and leaning hard into a fast moving plot that develops in a very believable direction.
There’s no doubt I’ll jump on the second volume of Bitch Planet as soon as it’s released in May.
Grab your copy now, and we can read it together!
Grab a copy right now. I promise it’s worth it.
Summary Serious anti-patriarchy resistance energy booster.