By Brandy Dykhuizen. Bitch Planet returns with an almost painfully poignant collection of satirical stories. I’d imagine pulling off clever, creative satire is a bit tricky these days, as we’re being spoonfed strings of ludicrously surreal scenarios on a daily basis and calling it “news.” But Bitch Planet rises to the occasion, leaving us with a quick commiserative chortle before we go back to crying in our coffee.
This triple feature comes out the gate with its sharpest piece, an Alissa Sallah and Alec Valerius story called “Those People”. All three pieces focus on law enforcement of some sort, but “Those People” hits the systemic racism nail right on its fear-mongering head. Rife with dehumanizing language designed to draw a deep line in the sand between those with the guns and the folks just trying to go about their lives, Sallah and Valerius show how something as innocuous as a low-key sock hop can incite SWAT-level carnage in a moment of “preemptive self-defense.” It’s not exactly ripped from the headlines, but few of us would be surprised to see a similar account in the paper tomorrow.
“Love, Honor and Obey”, by Kit Cox and Vanesa R. Del Rey, closes the compendium with a scratchy noir detective story, following a woman charged with killing her husband when his heart gave out during sex. I won’t give anything away, but it’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t kind of tale, which is a familiar feeling for many women as they navigate various boys clubs and less-than-fulfilling relationships. There’s a twist, mind you, as any good noir will provide, and these two stories alone make it worth picking up a copy.
That’s not to discount Dylan Meconis’ “Big Game”, sandwiched in the middle. There’s some great character writing in there, but I found it to be overshadowed by its bookends, with a plot twist more or less visible from page one. All three pieces will stick with you, however. Grab a copy and be inspired by the highly acidic lemonade these creators were able to make with today’s rotting fruit.
Written by Alissa Sallah, Dylan Meconis and Kit Cox.
Art by Alec Valerius, Dylan Meconis and Vanesa R. Del Rey.
Letters by Clayton Cowles.
8 out of 10