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"Bitter Root #4" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics

bitter root 4 00

Written by Chuck Brown and David F. Walker
Illustrated by Sanford Greene
Colored by Rico Renzi & Sanford Greene
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 20th, 2019


All kinds of monsters are attacking Harlem and the Sangerye family is in the middle of it, trying to keep the city safe. These creatures are unlike anything they've faced before, so they've reached out to the extended and estranged members of the family for help. These folks split off due to a difference in opinion as to how to handle these monsters. Do they kill them outright? Or try to cure them? If they're fueled by hate, how do you cleanse someone of that?

Bitter Root #4 feels like pure chaos. Artist Sanford Greene fills these pages with creatures of all shapes and sizes. They might have once been human, but now they are monsters through and through. No two look alike either. These aren't werewolves or vampires. These are something entirely unique.

Greene adds to the excitement of the battle with a dynamic panel layout. This helps guide the eye through each facet of the fight, focusing on all the fine details along the way. It also adds to the intensity of the conflict, giving the feeling that these characters are surrounded and overwhelmed as the panels start to close in around them.

Click images to enlarge

The real stars of Bitter Root are the colors. Greene and Rico Renzi create such a vibrant and varied palette, full of purples and yellows that highlight the abnormal nature of these monsters. It's hard to look at these pages and not be impressed. There's a gritty quality to them too. These aren't bright, shiny creatures. These are pulled from the deepest pits of Hell and it shows.

Letterer Clayton Cowles adds to this evil quality of the beasts with big, oddly-shaped word balloons. You can imagine these creatures bellowing at the Sangeryes as they unleash their attack, adding to the terror.

The Sangerye family is the through line in Bitter Root. Even though they're in the middle of an all-out war, they still look out for each other and do what they can to protect one another. The bond within this family runs deep. A great example of this is Berg, who has been transformed into a monster himself, but has managed to keep his mind intact. This is great because I love the way Berg speaks. He has a definite way with words.

Click images to enlarge

Writers Chuck Brown and David F. Walker balance this intellect with the monstrous nature of Berg's current status quo. He explains what he's willing to do to keep his family safe in pretty convincing manner.

Bitter Root takes some twists and turns by the end of this issue, upping the ante considerably. This is not just a family hunting monsters. We're talking end of the world here. It will be interesting to see how the rival factions of the Sangeryes work together to combat this threat.


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Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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