This week, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro released BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1, which is one of a series of background comics BITCH PLANET will release. In order to create a whole world, DeConnick and De Landro have a set of side stories that do not affect the storyline of imprisoned Kamau Kogo. The book is separate from the series and works as a way to introduce new readers to the patriarchal universe. The story creates a fully formed world, giving readers a perspective of how Father and the patriarchy work within the BITCH PLANET Universe.

The comic manages to divide through the different art styles used. Each story has it’s own art style and perspective of the outside world. It depicts the issues women from this universe face and how each woman can be either powerful or powerless within the circumstance.

READ: Love BITCH PLANET? Check out our review of BITCH PLANET#7!

BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1
Image courtesy of Image Comics.

Where Do Bitches Come from?

Cheryl Lynn Eaton and Maria Frohlich call the first story in BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1 “Windows.” It depicts the story of Lupita (or Lupe), a Militia Service nurse, who is interviewing for a new job. She describes her previous position on Bitch Planet and the handling of an inmate that inevitably ended her medical career.

The story depicts how non-action is an act of violence itself. When the prisoner asked Lupe for help, Lupe was not just powerless but did not do anything to help the inmate. This ended up costing Lupe her job. But, by the end of the story, Lupe regains her power. She avenges the convict and, possibly, ends up on Bitch Planet herself.

The art in the story constantly reminds readers of what the prisoner blinked to Lupe. Morse code sits around the words and at the bottom of panels. The dots throughout the panel are to remind readers of the Morse code Lupe saw. They are in both the background and foreground, completely engulfing Lupe’s story. This reiterates to readers the importance of what the convict said and how it hangs over Lupe’s mind and conscience. The dots are ever-present, just like the convicts’ words. Neither Lupe nor the reader can forget her failure to save this woman.

BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1
Image courtesy of Image Comics

No Means No.

Andrew Aydin and Joanna Estep write the story “Without and Within.” Here, we follow Anna Winters on her first day as the secretary to Tommy Rodgers. Since Winters is new, she struggles to get her paperwork and herself in order, but she is intent on doing the job. The story takes an uncomfortable turn when Bisbee McCormick, a colleague of Rodgers, aggressively comes onto Winters.

READ: Interested in Kelly Sue DeConnick? Check out PRETTY DEADLY #6: “You Always Were a Beauty!”

The brilliance of this story is how Estep creates discomfort through the panels. This is the only scene where the gutters turn black, giving the image a darker overtone. The panels also start to tilt. It visualizes an uneasy feeling that Winters feels in the situation. The panels also line up with Rodgers’s speech, which seems to fit Winter’s situation all too well.

Women Will No Longer Be Seen and Unheard.

BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1 concludes with “The Invisible Woman” by Conley Lysons, Craig Yeung, and Marco D’Alfonso. Leslie is an aspiring businesswoman who is up for a possible promotion. She justifies getting a new hairstyle because her boss told her “being bigger up top may help her chances.” Leslie is constantly called “titless” by her male coworkers, and she is inevitably laughed out of her office. Feeling unheard and invisible, she leaves but finds a radical way to be noticed.

The panel layout for the story fits the context to a tee. There are points where Leslie’s face is divided up into panels, which shows how these microaggressions tear her apart. They also help to decipher when Leslie feels the most resentful. When the panels divide her face, she is daydreaming about ways to make the world see her.

BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1
Image courtesy of Image Comics

An additional perk of BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1 is the back matter. Although greatly ignored, this issue provides context for a lot of the ideas within the universe. It explains how these stories came into being as well as addressing issues of equality within our world today. The back matter is enlightening, empowering, and powerful, just like the issue itself is.

READ: Looking for more Feminist comics? Check out our Top 7 Feminist Comics of 2016!

Final Thoughts on BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1

TRIPLE FEATURE may not progress the main plot, but these independent stories are important to the world building. This comic gives the world a realistic feel and illustrates how women end up on Bitch Planet. The stories in this comic are perfect for readers who want to start BITCH PLANET as well as veterans of the series. It helps to create a fully realized world with characters who feel real.

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BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1 BY KELLY SUE McCONNICK AND VALENTINE DE LANDRO
Art
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Summary
BITCH PLANET: TRIPLE FEATURE #1 is the first in a series of comics that explains how women end up on Bitch Planet. The art present further embeds why women are fighting against the patriarchy.
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