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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Mean Bitch Thrills
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1st/2nd Printing / September, 1971 / 28 pages / The Print Mint
Manuel "Spain" Rodriguez was one of the pioneers of underground comics, contributing to the East Village Other and producing the first all-comics tabloid, Zodiac Mindwarp. Rodriguez joined the mass migration of underground comic creators from New York to San Francisco in 1969, where he joined the exclusive club of Zap Comix contributors. His signature character is Trashman, hero of the working class, but Rodriguez produced a broad array of comics for many early undergrounds like Insect Fear, Thrilling Murder, and Snatch Comics.

After finishing the first of three Subvert Comix (a solo title featuring Trashman) in 1970, Rodriguez produced Mean Bitch Thrills, a lively science fiction space fantasy. The comic features one full-length story titled "Mutiny on Stellar Craft Nimbus 3," which is about a squad of space-traveling women led by Madam Sinicure, who pilots her crew on a mission to a distant planet to wipe out one of the last tribes of men left in the universe. Madam Sinicure is a ruthless captain of the Nimbus 3, ruling without mercy and punishing those who cause trouble.

The crew of the Nimbus 3 is an unruly bunch prone to squabbling, but they come together when facing off against the men, battling them in a violent bloodbath with many casualties on both sides. Some of the women are kidnapped and forced into domestic slavery by the men, but they're allowed (by local custom) to turn the tables on their captors if they beat them in a fight. None of our female warriors have ever had sex with men before (they rely on a nifty machine that provides erotic pleasures), so they engage in more than combat during this war.

After regrouping her embattled crew, Madam Sinicure launches the Nimbus 3 back towards space, but their ship is soon hit by a missile and forced into an emergency landing on another planet, also inhabited by men. As they land on that planet, one of the crew members begins to lead a mutiny against Madam Sinicure and tells the other women that maybe men have more to offer than they were led to believe! While visiting the new planet, several crew members take part in a wild orgy with male slaves, but Madam Sinicure breaks up the orgy and restores order with an iron fist... and hot lead.

The writing in Mean Bitch Thrills is sometimes disjointed but Rodgriguez provides dynamic visuals to bolster the adventure. His bold lines and high- contrast style are effectively employed throughout the book. Rodriguez's style is not everyone's cup of tea, but for those who enjoy his work, Mean Bitch Thrills delivers a raucous good time.
There are two printings of this comic book and they are considered indistinguishable from one another. The 1st printing was 15,000 copies and the 2nd printing was 20,000 copies.

Spain Rodriguez - 1-28