Release Date: 2/18/15
Words: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Pictures: Robert Wilson IV
Bitch Planet #3 is the first of special third issues in which there will be a guest artist and the narrative will focus on the back-story of one of Bitch Planet’s inmates. This one is focused on Penelope “Penny” Rolle. Penny Rolle is a repeat offender of “insubordination,” “assault,” and “aesthetic offenses.” Obviously, Penny is non-compliant. This is her origin story.
I normally don’t revisit ongoing books on this blog because I try to focus on what’s new, the potential new starts on some different reads for the usual pull list. Only this week, I had to break the cycle. I have to admit I eagerly read, and devoured, this one before any of the others. I usually give #1’s the first, quick read of the week. This time I indulged.
My confession is really a thank you letter to DeConnick. As I have said before, somewhere in my review of Bitch Planet #1, this is the comic I’ve been waiting for since I picked up my first comic…. way, way back in the day. When I was a kid there just were not many female characters I could relate to or admire. It was so disappointing, not to mention frustrating. I didn’t want to see women depicted as the scantily clad trophy on the arm of a man, a sidekick or some other insignificant supporting character. I wanted to see more diverse women kick ass. Where were the female led books? Being an Asian American female I would be sorely disappointed for an unfairly long time.
Since then I’ve made do, like many of us do every day. I grew up and I learned how to compromise. It wasn’t perfect but neither is the world we live in every day. In recent years there have been advances but it’s painfully slow. We still have a long way to go despite it being 2015.
And then Bitch Planet happened.
Bitch Planet #3 tackles body politics, racism, and the blatant misogyny of our society. Penny Rolle is my hero and spirit guide. Just like the comic book itself, she is unapologetic. I love her with all my heart. In this book we learn her origin story, why she is where she has ended up. Despite the attempts of “the fathers” trying to help her be happy, Penny digs in and takes a stand for herself. She is not afraid to take up space and be her own person. She doesn’t struggle. She just is. Oh my goddess she is what I strive to be. She is what I hope my daughters strive to be.
Non-compliant for life.
Guest artist, Wilson, is awesome in highlighting Penny’s story. He has a softer edge than De Landro but makes no less of a point. His renditions of the compliant women and superior “fathers” are in stark contrast to every non-compliant inch of Penny Rolle. And his work on the last page was so satisfying I had tears in my eyes. No one can break a woman like Penny Rolle.
Bold, Beautiful and Baaaaaad is an understatement.
If you aren’t reading Bitch Planet already, hurry up and get it on your pull list. Share it even. You owe it to yourself, your mother, your sister, your daughter, and your lover.