Review: BITTER ROOT #1

Written by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown
Art by Sanford Greene, Rico Renzi, Clayton Cowles, and Jarreau Wimberly
Edited by Heather Antos
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: November 14, 2018

Bitter Root, set against the backdrop of 1920’s Harlem, focuses on the Sangerye family stand as the only force fighting back the forces of evil known as Jinoo from taking over not just Harlem
but the entire world. The first issue is a fantastic start to a dazzling and already colorful mythos.

Walker and Brown use the first issue to introduce us to members of the Sangerye family in the midst of dispatching to Jinoo, creatures that the family seems to have been charged with protecting the world from. The two members that we focus on the most are Cullen and Berg.

Walker and Brown do an amazing job of crafting exquisitely eccentric characters who are bursting with personality from the very moment they appear on the page. During the issue, we get a great insight into the family dynamic as well as the characters strength and weakness in
terms of dispatching the Jinoo.

The story makes perfect use of its timeline and perfectly portrays the lively atmosphere of Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance while also making sure to not gloss over the very obvious racism that plagued the time period. Walker and Brown do a fantastic job of setting up the mythos of Bitter Root without ever feeling like they are drowning us in exposition-heavy scenes. The duo makes perfect use of the comic book medium in that they introduce is to the world by showing us rather than explaining us to death.

Sanford Greene scores another home run with the issues beautiful and vibrant art. He does a fantastic job breathing life into Walker and Brown’s writing. Greene beautifully illustrates the electric energy of the Harlem Renaissance with art so smooth and full of motion that it makes you feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of a juke joint dance floor. Rico Renzi and Sanford’s decision to go with beautiful, vibrant, and fluorescent colors makes perfect sense and it adds to the mystical sense of the Sangerye family.

Bursting with an interesting story, colorful art, and even more, colorful characters, Bitter Root is already shaping up to be another amazing addition to Image Comics already amazing roster.

Creators David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene have crafted something extremely special and I am interested in seeing the direction that they take the series and what mysteries unfold for the Sangerye family. Overall the series has immense potential and is off to a fantastic start. It grips you from the very first page to the final scene which adds yet another mystery to the ever growing list of inquiries about the series.

The Verdict: 10/10


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