This Week's Read: Bitch Planet Issue 4 / by Jaz Malone

Warning: explicit language.

This post is brought to you by non-compliant women everywhere.


After a particularly exhausting weekend involving several long work days and traveling to and from the gorgeous wedding of a friend I adore, I was left in a bit of a daze. Thank the gods I stock-piled issues of several comics to read in such an occasion. Out of that pile, Bitch Planet #4 called my attention the most, and I am so grateful it did.

Wow.

This series keeps getting better. In only four issues so far, it's managed to tackle gender inequality, body shaming, hygiene, and general tomfuckery in modern society with enough brutality to both disgust and insult people who still think slut shaming should be a thing.

While the previous issue focused mainly on the character Penny Rolle and her body image journey, BP#4 continues the main arc. The ladies of the Planet are teaming up to fight in the Megaton tournament (Megaton, or Duemila, is a fictional sport, similar to soccer but with more body slamming).

One of my favorite aspects of this story is the artist's ability to tackle nude scenes without focusing on the male gaze. While many comics (and books and movies) equate female nudity to sexuality, De Landro doesn't seem to feel the need to insert sex into a scene simply because a woman happens to be naked. There is a sexual scene in BP#4, however it is clear that it has a purpose other than to say, "Hey, look! Boobs!"

Bitch Planet is recommended for mature readers. I also recommend reading the readers responses in the back of each issue, as well as the back covers, which contain a mix of fake advertisements for feminine hygiene products and real messages. I shouldn't toss around the word "genius" all willy-nilly, but it's pretty damned genius. My favorite ad so far, from issue 4, is for a fictional pill to keep women from being disagreeable: "Because without thoughts, feeling or inconvenient opinions, you're more fun to be around."

Bitch Planet team: DeConnick (writer), De Landro (artist), Peter (colors), Cowles (letters)

Go read.