Bitter Root #9
Rage and Redemption Part Four
Created by: David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, & Sanford Greene
Color Artist: Sofie Dodgson
Lettered by: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Sanford Greene
Variant Cover Artists: Shawn Martinbrough
Backmatter: John Jennings
Previously on Bitter Root…
Last issue, the family split up and went separate ways to address both the inzondo outbreak in Harlem and the fight with Adro in Georgia. Ma Etta and Blink tried their best rootwork to slow the infection but to no avail. Everybody’s pissed at each other for something but must ride together. Dr. Sylvester meets a suffering family only to be cornered by Adro and he runs for his life.
We are on a bitter roller coaster through the various stories of three groupings of Sangeryes and Dr. Sylvester. Ma Etta is trying to figure out this new type of jinoo in the jails, Blink and Uncle Enoch run into a dragon or guizi in Chinatown, Berg, Cullen, Ford, Nora and Johnnie-Ray tussle with the possessed in Georgia, and Dr. Sylvester is running from the monstrous Adro and their horde.
As usual the team of Brown, Walker, and Greene do not disappoint with a well-paced, exciting, and interesting story around our favorite family of root-workers. The characters remain fresh and relatable, even if we are decades removed from their experience. When I read earlier issues with my students, they could relate to some of the tense familial experiences of the Sangerye family. Nothing like family in-fighting to remind you of home. Another example is at times, it seems like our elders can see through our souls. Ma Etta can see in the infected inzondo, the fear and pain that feeds the demon Adro. Then Blink runs into a friend but not before she puts Uncle Enoch in his place about “This is just the way things are.” Tradition must go down the drain in crisis. The action, the wisdom from both Ma Etta and Blink was welcomed, wanted, and appreciated. There is a lot happening but I think we’re reaching a breaking point soon.
I always rave about the color and superb art of this book and this issue is not at all different in that assessment. The vibrant color of the backgrounds and characters balances with the gritty and twisted inzondo pages. As well, I cannot get enough of the great interviews with authors and scholars in the “Backmatter” section, Jennings knows how to pick them. This provides background, context, and new material to add to the shelves and reference list. The story advances when Dr. Sylvester can not run anymore and the largest group of Sangeryes are battling heaps of folks.