BITCH PLANET #3 Is All About That Rolle, Penny Rolle, All Trouble – Comic Review
Bitch Planet #3 is the first of the “special third” issues, e.g. issue three, six, nine, etc. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick made plans to feature a story focused on one of the many characters in Bitch Planet with a guest artist for each “special third”. This issue features the ragin’ rampagin’ rumbler, Penny Rolle. Penny is a great character who brings the pain, and in the last issue brought the laughs with her actions. My review of issue two touched on the humor, but didn’t spoil the clever use of Penny Rolle in the background taking out guards. It was pure genius.
As we take a break from the main story, Bitch Planet #3 takes the time to flesh out Penny Rolle’s past and character. We get a quick outline of Penny’s offenses in being noncompliant, an introduction to the intrusive “cerebral action-potential integration and extrapolation matrix”, how the world views Penny, how Penny reacts to the world and her relationships with others. Though straying from the main story, we are still given defining moments for the world DeConnick has built through the course of the issue. From the reactions of the “fathers” to the ideal, compliant blond Penny is denigrated by, it makes the world feel more real than fictional. At times I felt my anger bubbling to the surface, just as much as Penny. I really enjoyed relating to this character and understanding why a woman would, and rightfully so, be angry with the world around her.
Presenting the world of Bitch Planet as the first guest artist for the “special thirds” is Robert Wilson IV. Wilson’s clean, thick line style gets the job done, but I definitely missed Valentine De Landro’s art. However, the change in art really helps a reader realize the importance of colors. Cris Peter’s colors keeps the awesome visual vibe of Bitch Planet intact. As long as Cris Peter is on colors, Bitch Planet will feel like Bitch Planet no matter the artist.
Even though the art is different and the conclusion was given away when the “cerebral action-potential integration and extrapolation matrix” was introduced, this issue still hit home and provokes self-reflection. It’s about the journey and message that’s presented. I recommend sharing this issue with any youth or young adult dealing with low-self esteem or alienation/isolation. More people should be like Penny Rolle, but not necessarily the ragin’ rampagin’ rumbler side.
Bitch Planet #3
Published by Image Comics
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Illustrated by Robert Wilson IV
Colors by Cris Peters
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Valentine De Landro