Bitter Root: Red Summer Special is a sight for sore eyes this summer. For those who may be new to the series, Bitter Root is a fantastic and unique comic book series with socio-political undertones that don’t bog down from the overall story. The six short stories within this new oneshot do not intertwine, aside from the simple relation that they all share in being about the Sangerye family members, but the snippets found within reveal the motivations behind every family member, even the one’s we thought were lost.
That's the best thing about this entire issue; it could’ve been easy to just do six, 3-page stories, but the Bitter Root team went above and beyond. They set up bread crumbs to what will inevitably be an enticing and explosive second arc of this series. Plus, being able to add such depth to the mythology of a new fantasy series in such a short time is something that needs to be praised.
The artwork itself is something that should be highlighted here. Sanford Greene is back at it again with his wonderful stylistic choices, but we’re also given a treat at five other artists. Lisa K. Weber, Daniel Lish, Dietrich Smith, Chris Brunner, and Khary Randolph add something to each of the Sangerye clan’s stories. They really add a uniqueness and atmosphere to the stories, elevating the issue even more than it is. In short, they are awesome.
One of the best things about the oneshot is that it’s very friendly to new readers. You don’t need to have read the previous issues to get into this one. In fact, if you’re on the verge of deciding whether to put the series into your pull list at your local comic book shop, this issue should convince you that the answer should be a definitive YES!
Nevertheless, the team of Walker, Brown, and Greene (and Weber, Lish, Smith, Brunner, and Randolph) have crafted a story that is engaging, insightful, and promising.
Creative Team: David F. Walker and Chuck Brown (writers), Clayton Cowles (letterer), John Lennings (backmatter), Joe Highes (editor); Etta - Sanford Greene (artist), Daniela Miwa (color artist); The Arsenal - Lisa K. Weber (artist), Kelly Fitzpatrick (color artist); Red Summer - Daniel Lish (artist); Tulsa - Chris Brunner (artist), Rico Renzi (color artist); Ladies Night - Khary Randolph (artist), Matt Herms (color artist); Barzakh - Dietrich Smith (artist), Anthony George (cover artist)
Publisher: Image Comics
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