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review 2017-02-22 19:20
Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Bitch Planet Volume 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Robert Wilson IV,Valentine De Landro

Bitch Planet is one of those graphic novels everyone seems to recommend. And I can see why! It's about a group of women who are deemed "disobedient" from the male-dominated government and are sent to a distant prison planet called "Bitch Planet" to be "straightened out." There they have to do what they're told if they hope to survive. But the main group of women we follow are definitely not keen on such a notion. Then, obviously, rebellion ensues.


I first heard of Bitch Planet through BookTube. When I heard so many people talking about how feminist and inclusive it was, I had to give it a read. And I'm so glad I did! The entire first volume is incredible! The art is gorgeous! It's very colorful when it wants to be and gritty when it has to be. I love the character designs the most! All the women have different body shapes, skin color, and sexual orientations. I love the diversity within these pages and the women portrayed therein.


The plot itself is so intriguing. I want to know what our characters are going to do now that they are within this prison. We got to see some background stories for a couple of characters. I love Penny's background story the most. It's tragic, yes, but it helps the reader understand who she is as a person. It helps the reader understand some of the actions she chooses to make. I love her so much. I love ALL the characters so much! Well... except the ones we're supposed to hate... I don't like them as much.


And that's all I'm going to say about it! Read this graphic novel! It's fun, engaging, intersectional feminism, daring, and intriguing! However, this is for a very mature audience. There's violence, nudity, sexual content, and gore. But if you're okay with that sort of content, then I highly recommend you pick up this graphic novel. It's filled with a diverse cast of women trying to make it in a world that refuses to allow women to be themselves. It's a fantastic read.

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review 2016-07-11 00:49
#CBR8 Book 76: Captain Marvel, vol 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez
Captain Marvel Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More - Kelly Sue DeConnick,David López

Carol Danvers, who is apparently a hot-shot pilot and one of the Avengers, lives in the crown of the Statue of Liberty (you can do that?) with her sister and niece. When the Avengers find an escape pod from a spaceship with an alien refugee inside it, they decide that Carol be the one to return the girl to her homeworld, as well as take up a more permanent presence in space as a representative for the Avengers Initiative. As she returns the girl to her home planet, she discovers that they are in dire need of help, as much of the populace (already relocated from another planet) is sick and dying. Now the aliens are fighting another forced resettlement and Carol decides to help them.


Considering this is the first trade of a new Captain Marvel run, extremely little was done to explain who Carol Danvers is or what her powers are. At the end of the first issue, there is a brief one page explanation of how she ended up where she is (rendered as a child's drawing), but I really didn't think I learned enough to really feel like I got to know the character. She's brave, she can fly, she's apparently part alien. She likes Star Wars, she has a cat called Chewie (who may or may not be some sort of alien beastie that Rocket Raccoon really wants to murder) and she's a very good pilot. She was possibly in a relationship with Rhodey, the Iron Patriot, but decided to go off and live in space for an unspecified amount of time instead. I just don't think I was given enough to decide whether I even like this character or not.


This trade collects the first five issues of the run and I sadly found the story a bit too disjointed and confusing to entirely engage me. It starts with a dramatic action set-piece and then flashes back to several weeks previous. There is a guest appearance by the Guardians of the Galaxy (who I now care a lot more about because of the movie). I had trouble caring about what happened, even if there were quite a few quips and the art was well done throughout. I wasn't expecting a full and drawn-out origin story just because this was the first trade in an ongoing series, but a bit more back story would have been appreciated. As it is, I'm not sure I care enough about Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel to seek out further issues of this. I have enough ongoing comic books to follow as it is.


Judging a book by its cover: Fairly dynamic cover pose. Carol Danvers with a bit of a Natalie Dormer smirk pulling on gloves and looking bad-ass. I very much appreciate that unlike so many female superhero costumes, there is nothing gratuitous or exploitative about Captain Marvel's costume. It's functional and practical.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/07/cbr8-book-76-captain-marvel-vol-1.html
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review 2016-07-09 15:03
#CBR8 Book 71: Bitch Planet, vol 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro
Bitch Planet Volume 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Robert Wilson IV,Valentine De Landro

"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. Mother Earth, we used to say, before we understood. Space is the mother who receives us, you see? Earth is the father. And your father has cast you out. For your trespasses, your gluttony, your pride, your weakness, and your wickedness are such that you are beyond correction and castigation. Like a cancer you must be excised from the world that bore you. For the well-being of us all, lest your sickness spread. You will live out your lives in penitence and service here..."

These are the words, read by a woman, that the women sent to the Auxilliary Compliance Outpost, an off-world prison colony, more colloquially known as "Bitch Planet". Who is deemed non-compliant? It could be as the back cover of the trade paperback says anyone who doesn't fit in their patriarchally-assigned box, be they too fat, too thin, too loud, too shy, too religious, too secular, too prudish, too sexual, too queer, too black, too brown, or too whatever-it-is-they'll-judge-you-for-today. Compliant women all seem to be thin, demure, white and blond.

The world is controlled by the "Fathers" and anyone who doesn't fit into their ever-changing images of what a good, submissive and compliant little female should be, is sent away to prison. It is a world that wouldn't work if many women didn't also conform to these crazy standards, helping the men police their sisters, mothers, daughters, supporting the internalized patriarchy.

In the first five issues, collected in Extraordinary Machine, we meet a number of women sent to Bitch Planet, and get some glimpses into what some of them did to be deemed non-compliant enough to be imprisoned. Some of the women are offered a flimsy chance at freedom, offered to form a team and compete in the hugely popular, much betted-on, universally televised sport Megaton. Kamau Kogo, a former athlete, now accused of a murder she didn't commit, is asked to assemble a team. She initially refuses, but is persuaded to change her mind by other women in the prison, who want to grasp at the tender straw of hope the proposal brings.

So many Cannonballers have already written excellent and much-more eloquent reviews of this book than I can manage. El Cicco, SavageCat, Narfna, Emmalita, Yesknopemaybe, Jenny S, Alwaysanswerb and Bonnie. It's difficult to come up with anything clever and insightful that one (or several of them) hasn't already said. This is an important, angry and deeply feminist comic. It has many important messages about the way toxic patriarchy brings women down and how it brain-washes ladies into buying into the lies, so many of them in turn help oppress fellow women. The writing is good, the art is deliberately pulpy. The "adverts" at the end of each issue are subversive and great, but also provide terrifying facts about domestic abuse and violence against women in the US today.

I don't know when the next trade is out, but I shall keep my eyes open.

Judging a Book by its cover: Each of the issues of Bitch Planet have stylised and pulpy covers, reminiscent, as Emmalita points out in her review, of the cheap pop art of “girls, girls, girls” comics. There is the silhouette of a full-figured lady who is clearly non-compliant, giving both middle fingers to the world. The pink background shows some of the prisoners on the right side of the silhouette, with the  prison guards and their terrifying busty, and leggy Confessor Nun in a chair with her legs crossed. Above the silhouette's head, naked women wearing helmets, fighting. "Are you woman enough to survive?" "Girl Gangs...Caged and Enraged" printed at various places across the cover, again, calling to mind pulpy exploitation comics. It's a good cover, for a very good book.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/07/cbr8-book-71-bitch-planet-vol-1.html
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review 2016-06-30 14:41
Pretty Deadly
Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Emma Ríos,Jordie Bellaire

The art work is nice, but the story is pretty deadly boring.

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review 2016-03-19 00:00
Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine
Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Mach... Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Valentine De Landro,Robert Wilson IV,Taki Soma The art and the characters are great, but I couldn't quite get into the story. I wasn't in the mood for detailed views of a fictional version of patriarchy. Idk.
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