Review: Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch – Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine De Landro

299720291My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Date Read: 25 July 2017

Published by Image Comics, June 2017

Verdict: Beautiful, disturbing, scarily plausible; with a plot that could be better.

Find it on Goodreads.

Eisner Award-nominated writer KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel) and VALENTINE DE LANDRO (X-Factor) follow up on the success of EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE with the second installment of their highly acclaimed and fiercely unapologetic BITCH PLANET. A few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords results in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. But what happened on Earth that this new world order came to pass in the first place? Return to the grim corridors of Auxiliary Compliance Outpost #2, to uncover the first clues to the history of the world as we know it…and meet PRESIDENT BITCH.

This volume collects issues #6-10, a reader discussion guide and additional bonus materials.

I don’t know how to review this. I always struggle with reviewing graphic novels – especially when it comes to the artwork (somehow “oh look how nice it all looks” really is not all that descriptive). But I also struggle with reviewing this in particular because I am not really sure on my thoughts at all. So, this will be a rambly kind of review where I try to sort my thoughts as I go.

First of all, I did enjoy this. But it also made me umcomfortable. But I also love the characters. But I think it is a bit on the nose maybe. But I love the underlying message of acceptance. But the optimist in me thinks it is a bit to pessimistic. But the pessimist in me thinks it is so plausible, scarily so.

The characters are what sells this book to me: all the women here are brilliant, flawed, believable characters. I adore the way they are drawn (both figuratively and literally) and how unique they feel. However, they sometimes feel to be more of a vehicle to tell this particular feminist story than completely fleshed-out characters in their own right. I kept asking myself if they would exist if they weren’t needed to make particular points; if their reactions would still stay the same; if they would be fundamentally the same people.

The artwork is stunning in way that sometimes feels uncomfortable. The juxtaposition of colour works brilliantly but has at the same time an overwhelming effect. There were some stylistic choices that I found perfect: especially the use of lipstick in a way that subverts its traditional use.

I think ultimately I enjoy the big ideas and the characters and many of the style-choices a lot more than I enjoy the story. The plot is definitely the weak point here but I am interested enough to keep holding on the the ride to see where it all goes in the end.

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