I was really excited about Bitch Planet when it was first announced. I thought it had a lot of promise and I thought the premise made for a fun story. The first issue had a heavy agenda and they’ve not let their foot off of the gas. Whatever subtlety was there in the first issue was stripped away in the 2nd and 3rd issues. Honestly it’s not enjoyable to me anymore. It’s too much. I don’t even think they’re trying anymore. Issue 3 was the first of their “profile” issues. The plan going forward is 2 months of real story advancing issues and 1 month profiling a character from the series. The profile idea could work if you had an attachment to the character involved. If you’re like me however and had no real emotional tie to the profiled character then the issue fell flat. You could argue that this will help you get to know everyone better and build that deep bond but the writing here got in the way of that. This didn’t really feel like the profile of a character but more like someone wielding a big stick.
We follow Penny’s story here and see how she ended up on “Bitch Planet”. The gist of the story is she was a normal little girl who had her mom taken away by the authorities. She has not lived up to society’s standards and is shun by the average person. She snaps and is then sent away to be reprogrammed. DeConnick has a point to make and she continues to make that point and continues to make that point and continues….You get the idea. You don’t have to think here, she flat-out tells you what you’re supposed to be getting from these pages. This story of Bitch Planet could be so much better if DeConnick would get out-of-the-way and let the reader come to their own conclusions. There’s no magic here, no reason to use your brain after an issue. I’ll be dropping Bitch Planet after this issue (I shop at a small shop who has trouble moving independent titles. I won’t leave them holding a title that they can’t sell so I may be buying at least another issue).
The story that Kelly Deconnick is trying to tell isn’t unimportant. It’s very real problem in our society. Instead of feeling like I’m reading a comic book however, It feels like I’m reading a pamphlet I was given on the street corner. Unfortunately every issue feels more like a rally with little entertainment value.
** 2 stars