Uncompromising. If there was one word that described Bitch Planet #2, it was uncompromising. The message, the tone, and the characters are all as uncompromising as the vision Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro have for the series.
The issue opens on Earth and gives readers a taste of what life is like outside of the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost, referred to by readers and characters alike as Bitch Planet. Though we’re in the future, the basic driving forces of greed and violence are still present in this society. Violence is encouraged and audience engagement with that violence seems to be the currency of the elite. It’s here we learn about a gladiatorial contest known as Megaton. Kam, the main character, is urged to join in this contest with a team of inmates of her choosing.
The writing in this issue is superb. The dialogue is punchy and a joy to read. DeConnick has created a great lead character in Kam. She’s defiant to the last, but she’s also willing to work certain angles to gain an advantage over the system that’s imprisoned her. It makes her a unique and compelling character that I can’t wait to learn more about.
This issue is focused on setting up the gladiator angle and consists mainly of conversations. There are still a few of the brutal moments we saw in the first issue, but this time around the savagery is under the surface. It captures this tone in the conversations by infusing them with hints of past violence and an incredibly effective scene that takes place entirely in the background of the panels. It’s a contrast to the first issue, but one that broadens the potential for the future of the series.
De Landro continues to do great work on the series. He has nailed the style of the book, combining a retro look with fantastic character design. Each panel brings a lot of information to the story, with some story beats taking place entirely in the background. It’s great to have so much going on in the panels and encourages readers to slow down to really take everything in. Colorist Cris Peter provides a great contrast to De Landro’s muted style with bright, over-the-top colors that surround and assault the inmates.
Bitch Planet is a series that’s off to a great start. The story is captivating and has already led in unexpected directions. DeConnick and De Landro have crafted a unique and important book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.