Bitter Root #2 Surpasses #1 In Energy And Personality

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The mysterious stranger in Mississippi uses his strange weapon to save the last remaining Klansmen and his would-be victim from the Jinoo monsters the remaining Klansmen have become. Meanwhile in Harlem, Cullen is trying to save Berg from the strange monster that just attacked a pair of police officers and wounded Berg. Cullen thinks the creature is also a Jinoo, but Berg is less sure. In either case, it could easily kill both Sengeryes. Back in Mississippi, the surviving Klansmen isn’t so happy about being saved by a black man.

Bitter Root #2 cover by Sanford Greene and Jarreau Wimberly
Bitter Root #2 cover by Sanford Greene and Jarreau Wimberly

Bitter Root #2 achieves in surpassing the first issue by freeing itself of the formula that constricted the structure of the opening installment.
With the premise and characters no longer needing to be introduced, this second issue is able to go forward with confidence and personality. We get to see Cullen and Berg cooperate in fighting the monster, and we learn more about the armed stranger in Mississippi.
It’s also just more fun overall. There’s no longer need for the exposition, so we get to live in the moment and watch the Sangeryes fight monsters.
We also meet a potential opposition whom may spell trouble for our leading family of monster-fighting heroes.
The racial themes are expanded upon too, if only a little. Having one of the characters fight the KKK and stop a lynching is throwing the gauntlet down pretty hard, so having that same character deal with a surviving member with doubts about his cause is mostly just keeping the pace.
Bitter Root #2 art by Sanford Greene, Rico Renzi, and letterer VC's Clayton Cowles
Bitter Root #2 art by Sanford Greene, Rico Renzi, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Sanford Greene’s artwork continues to impress with its high level of stylism and visual creativity. His characters are distinct, expressive, and detailed. The environments are highly atmospheric and visually interesting. The monsters look good too, especially the one in the Harlem setting. Greene and Rico Renzi color the book excellently, adding to the atmosphere and personality with a grim and otherworldly palette.
Bitter Root #2 grabs the reader and pulls them into its world far better than the opening installment. We dig into the characters and the conflicts more deeply, and the smaller presence of exposition allows for the book to flow far more smoothly. This one earns a recommendation for sure. Check it out.
Bitter Root #2 comes to us from writer David F. Walker, artist Sanford Greene, color artists Sanford Greene and Rico Renzi, letterer Clayton Cowles, and cover artist Sanford Greene with Jarreau Wimberly.

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