The previous issues of Grindhouse set the tone as the name implies: an exploitation of sex and violence that gave way to an endearing story. We abandon the Martian bees and their voluptuous drones for a prison spaceship of “bad bitches.” Simon Fraser comically sets the opening panels of shower ladies’ derrieres against the tail of the Antares. If you don’t have the mental capacity to understand the approach the creative team is taking by that example, then you don’t deserve to read a book as cool and tongue-in-cheek as this.
There are all the elements of an 80’s all-women prison film such as a mysterious female warden named Kalinka and her clone guards present in this new chapter of the Grindhouse series. The woman prisoners form uneasy alliances to stick out the tough trip and Kalinka’s fetish for brutal punishment.
The book is definitely for mature readers, and the story is for an adult sensibility. Alex De Campi does indulge in the finer forms of the exploitative, but she never becomes strictly gratuitous. No, there’s a damn fine story brewing in this interstellar penal ship and its motley crew. Pay particular notice to the Japanese inmate because she steals the show—which is challenging to do in such a provocative comic.
Writer: Alex De Campi Artist: Simon Fraser Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/4/13