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Bitter Root 7 Main

"Bitter Root #7" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics


Written by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown
Illustrated by Sanford Greene
Colored by Sofie Dodgson
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 18th, 2020


Bitter Root has presented a new and interesting look at the concept of monster hunting, split between two factions of the Sangerye family. One side looks to cure the Jinoo of this disease, turning them back into humans, while the other wants to kill them outright. This issue digs into the differences in an eye-opening way that really drives the concepts home.

Think about all the pain you've been through in your life. Every heartbreak, every sorrow, every loss. Now imagine feeling that wave of emotion combined with others' sorrow. There's that saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. That can definitely be said here where Berg, infected with a strange version of Jinoo, is witnessing all the pain and anguish that other infected folks have been through. It really puts their lives into perspective. How can you kill a monster knowing that it's had the same kind of life experiences you have? This humanizes them in a major way. Writers David F. Walker and Chuck Brown did some great work here.

Click images to enlarge

Bitter Root #7 bounces between modern day and the past. The narration seamlessly flows between them, building to the revelation as to Berg's new perspective. At times I wasn't sure who was speaking and that's kind of the point. We can switch from someone else to Berg and back again without missing a beat, as the man is seeing the world through another man's eyes.

This is a powerful concept that is amplified by Sanford Greene's incredible artwork. This kind of Jinoo, called a Hanisse'ono, is unlike what the Sangerye family has seen before. It's a hulking bird-like beast that towers over normal men. This issue shows us a more somber look at it, caring and gentle, while still large and terrifying. The human characters look meaner and more frightening in how they stalk the creature.

Click images to enlarge

While Berg's enlightenment is one side of the equation that can lead to a more peaceful coexistence, the other side is built on rage, using your pain to fuel anger and hatred. It's a startling contrast and colorist Sofie Dodgson exemplifies that in her work. This side is darker, with a slick quality to it, like nothing can stick to it, not even reason or logic. Instead, it barrels forward like a train of rage, consuming the anguish of all those around it to soldier on.

Letterer Clayton Cowles uses a variety of fonts to distinguish the characters and monsters, as well as some choice sound effects. His work really complements and amplifies the overall package.

Bitter Root blew my mind with this issue, firmly establishing the landscape and mythos around it. This is much more than just a monster-hunting family. This provides a deep look at hatred, what it means, and how it's linked to pain. It's a fascinating look at the human psyche mixed with some great horror elements.


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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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