Comic Review: Bitter Root Vol. 2: Rage & Redemption (Image Comics)

How sweet it is to have Image collect recent issues of its supernatural / action/horror title Bitter Root. Volume 2 collects the Red Summer Special plus issues 6-10 of the […]

How sweet it is to have Image collect recent issues of its supernatural / action/horror title Bitter Root. Volume 2 collects the Red Summer Special plus issues 6-10 of the regular title. So, while Bitter Root hibernates until March 2021, pick up the trade.

Bitter Root, the fictional (mostly) saga of (mostly) the US-based struggle in 1920s Harlem against rage-filled “jinoo” monsters, involves (mostly) the Sangeryes family. They carry on, aided, abetted, and comraded by Chinese Americans, who are battling their own hate-filled monster foes.

While ostensibly a parable or perhaps a visual and visceral interpretation of how hate and racism creates monsters who run amuck and kill with abandon, there is much more going on in Bitter Root.

As the extensive closing notes and essays explain, the black culture of (mostly) US has experienced and endured an astounding amount of racism, entrapment, stereotyping, and harassment.

These themes are entwined and wrapped into and around the main Bitter Root narrative, and better explained in those essays than I could ever hope to describe here. The bitter experiences inform and inflame the power behind the narrative in many splendoured ways… the tensions, the fears, the collective consciousness.

Trust me when I say that this volume is vigorous read, full of full force violence, human drama, and heaven-to-hell ‘sturm und drang’. No wonder it’s an Eisner Award winner.

The creative team of Chuck Brown, David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, the colourists Sofie Dodgson and Sanford Greene, letter Clayton Cowles, the essay coordinator John Jennings, and editor Shelly Bond all deserve big credit for producing this joint effort of black voices, experience, and entertainment in comic form!

Image Bitter Root Vol 2, $19.99 for 204 pages of content. Mature

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!