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Cell by Cell: ‘Bitch Planet’ #5 (Part 8)

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Kelly Sue Deconnick (writer), Valentine De Landro (artist), Image Comics

In Cell by Cell, I look deeply into the panels of an issue, appreciating and analyzing the story and artistic composition.

Pages 17-18 Overview

This is the last part of the B-story of the issue. The 2-page scene splices together two dramatic moments: when the Makoto Maki tells his wife about the job, and the reflection in the car afterward. The merging of the two scenes is created in the familiar 8-panel dialogue page structure.

The scene is packed with emotion: Yumi’s anger at what she feels is Makoto’s betrayal of their success and Makoto’s feelings of regret and entrapment. Use of color and lighting and the juxtaposition of the two different but related moments amplify the emotional impact to lead into the issue’s climactic moments.


Page 17

Cell 1 and 2 give an establishing shot of the city split over two panels but continuous in the imagery. It’s reminiscent of the classic futuristic dystopia in Blade Runner, another setting that has off-world colonization. The city appears overcrowded, with elevated streets and tall buildings densely packed. Screens shine white on the gray, evidencing the advanced technology and importance of mediated message, while the familiar pink and blue color palette tints the asphalt. Yellow is added to the long shots, picking up the yellow in Yumi’s jacket and Makoto’s skin tone. The yellow suggests a third category to the compliant/non-compliant dichotomy symbolized in the prevalent blue/red (pink) palette. This couple finds themselves uncomfortably jockeying to stay compliant, but ultimately they’re being marginalized to another space altogether.

Read the rest of my analysis of these pages at PopOptiq.





Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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