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"Bitter Root: Red Summer" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics

Bitter Root Red Summer 00

Written by David F. Walker & Chuck Brown
Illustrated by Sanford Green, Lisa K. Weber, Daniel Lish, Chris Brunner, Khary Randolph, and Dietrich Smith
Colored by Daniela Miwa, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Rico Renzi, Matt Herms, and Anthony George
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2019, 48 Pages, $5.99
Comic released on July 10th, 2019

Review:

Bitter Root burst onto the scene with a new and intriguing look at the art of monster hunters. The series follows the Sangerye family, who has been battling the terrifying Jinoo for generations. We get a deeper look into the history of these characters and how they got to the harrowing situation they find themselves in during the main book. This anthology collects a number of stories over the course of about thirty years, each working to show how this interesting cast of characters came to be.

Most anthologies come with a hodgepodge of quality. There are ups and downs. Bitter Root: Red Summer is not most anthologies. It maintains a consistently high level of quality through and through. It helps that each story revolves around the Sangeryes and their never ending fight against the Jinoo. Every tale is written by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown too, so that aids in its direction and focus to push the overall narrative forward.

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I'm hesitant to pick a favorite story in Bitter Root: Red Summer because they're all so solid. The last tale, “Barzakh”, with art by Dietrich Smith and colors by Anthony George, adds the most to the continuity, showing what happened to Cullen when he leaped through the portal in an earlier issue. This stands out due to the work with the character through the main series and the other stories leading up to it. Each one works to show how Cullen has evolved over time.

This tale is set in a strange place between Heaven and Hell. It's here that Cullen assumes his final form, finally understanding the stakes of his family's war against the Jinoo. You see him grow up over the span of a few pages, ready to take the fight to the monsters.

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While I love this collection, I would have been equally satisfied if each of these stories appeared as backups in the main series. The anthology serves to further establish the vast mythos at work, however it's not very accessible to new readers. That being said, if you're even casually interested in this series this offers a good primer as to what to expect, along with a nice variety of impressive artwork. It's like a sampler for you to get psyched for what I hope is a second volume coming soon.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Bitter Root Red Summer Small
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Art: Fourandahalfstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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