Title: Bitter Root #1
Writer: Chuck Brown, David F. Walker
Artist: Sanford Greene
Cover: Denys Cowan, Sanford Greene, Mike Mignola, Brittney Williams
Publication Date: November 14, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, and only the Sangerye Family can save New York—and the world—from the supernatural forces threatening to destroy humanity. But the once-great family of monster hunters has been torn apart by tragedies and conflicting moral codes. The Sangerye Family must heal the wounds of the past and move beyond their differences… or sit back and watch a force of unimaginable evil ravage the human race. DAVID F. WALKER and SANFORD GREENE, the creative team of Power Man and Iron Fist, along with indie veteran CHUCK BROWN (Trench Coats, Cigarettes and Shotguns) bring you 24 action-packed pages of monsters, mayhem, and family dysfunction in a brand-new ongoing series. BITTER ROOT Cover As by SANFORD GREENE will be connecting through the first story arc.”
The Sangerye Family protects the world from monsters, undetected from most of the outside world. In their attempt to keep the world safe, the family has suffered serious tragedy, loss of life. But what is the alternative? Unstoppable, unspeakable evil spreading through the world? Against all odds, the Sangerye Family stands between evil and humanity, ready to lay it all on the line to save the world.
Chuck Brown and David F. Walker introduce us to the world of Bitter Root, set in 1920’s during the Harlem Renaissance full of supernatural entities set on mayhem and destruction. At the center of their story is the Sangerye Family tasked with saving New York, America, the world, hell all of humanity. Brown and Walker crafts their story around fear and monsters. The pair create a world that is dark and dangerous, but also complex. Brown and Walker blur the lines between reality and fantasy, depict monsters of all varieties. The story has familiar elements, particularly in their depictions of the supernatural elements, but with a fresh approach to horror. Immediately, readers will connect with the strong family dynamic, as familial bonds, legacy, duty are all present throughout the issue. For an added bonus, Brown and Walker pepper in an impressive vocabulary rarely seen in the comic world. Bitter Root #1 sets up a dense storyline with a large cast of characters, promising to be a thoughtful, timely series exploring the root of fear and monsters.
Sanford Greene crafts the world of Bitter Root in moody colors, taping into the nature of the Sangerye Family business. The monsters are pretty spectacular, familiar yet original. However, it is the more realistic elements in the issue that truly terrify, both in the script and the artwork. Greene draws on elements of the Harlem Renaissance in the artwork, but crafts characters with timeless elements, keeping with the relevant storyline.
The Bottom Line:
Bitter Root #1 explores the nature of fear and monsters in the debut issue. Chuck Brown and David F. Walker introduce the Sangerye Family in terms of their profession, setting up the good vs. evil dynamic alongside the other plot line.