Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Bitch Planet #3
DeConnick, Wilson IV, Peter & Cowles
Bitch Planet takes a break from the first arc to focus on one of the supporting characters, Penny. The comic provides a nice origin story for her and sets up some of the mindset of the character as well as the inner workings of the “Fathers” and how someone gets locked up in the prison. The comic is an entertaining read and provides some excellent visuals to compliment the story. It’s worth a look.
Years ago, a widely popular Star Wars series, called Star Wars Legacy, took the fourth issue to break away from the narrative to tell an obscure story about a band of Stormtroopers. It was an odd placement for the comic and after the series ended, looking back, the issue didn’t do much for the narrative. This comic reminds me a lot of that scenario. The back matter states that every third issue will be a fill-in issue and a break from the story arc that’s in progress. To do this in third issue strikes me as odd that you wouldn’t take on the main character of the series (she’s not even mentioned in the book) and have the first one-shot chronicle some of her back-story. Time will tell if this Penny one-shot proves to add to the bigger story.
The comic book does two things really well: 1) it lines up how others see a person, how they believe a person should be against how an individual sees themselves and how they want to be seen. The comic compacts these ideas very well into the story. 2) The comic book brings Penny on a journey of innocence lost but not in revealing everything but giving the reader small snippets of her life. This allows this story to breath down the road, which is good when wanted to build this character as the story unfolds. The comic book also has a nice pace to it despite the limited action.
The comic book struggles with the law and order aspect of the story. Without much knowledge of how or why this group of “Fathers” came to power and control everything they come across as characters that are not capable of holding this power. They look cartoon-like, scared, overwhelmed and unsure of what they want to do. Take for example the idea that they want to analyze Penny’s brain for behavior areas to help “fix” her. When this proves to be any sort of challenge they lock her up. Why did they even go through these pains for a repeat offender? They come across as weak, which is not how a villain wants to track in a story like this.
The artwork is very good. The comic book has a sadness to it that is captured very well. As stated above, the “Fathers” appear meek and without any substance. I can only assume this is by design and the art delivers that visual well. The artwork definitely enhances the reading experience.
Bitch Planet is an ambitious book. I know this because of the back matter and not necessarily from what I read and see in the comic. I’m expecting some more character development and world building to help put this book’s puzzle together. This issue is an okay read for those that have read the first two issues. New readers probably won’t see anything in here that they haven’t seen before. Give it a look regardless.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles