One of the most underrated filmmakers of all time is Mario Van Peebles. His movies both entertain and provoke thought. New Jack City brought the world to the inner city and made it face the crack dilemma. Panther told the story of the Black Panthers through a rather unique perspective. Then there is the movie which I consider his best, Baadasssss, about his father’s monumental film that started the conversation of what Black people would like to see in theaters.
His movies filled a space where people rarely saw themselves on screen. The films sometimes were based on real life and sometimes delved into other genres where he made sure to change the game. He challenged the trope that black people usually died in fantasy and horror films by making them the heroes. His most recent show on Syfy, Superstition, revolved around a demon hunting family in New Orleans. This last foray into television yielded mixed results. It lacked a few things but was an exceptional concept. In the first issue of David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene’s Bitter Root, the promise shown in that show is fully realized in a similar concept with a few twists.
We are transported to 1920s Harlem where a young couple is killed by mysterious circumstances. In the comic we meet the Sangerye family, a group of demon hunters whose purpose is to protect New York and cancel the apocalypse. We also meet Doctor Sylvester who is searching for a serum to control his supernatural condition. The Sangeryes may be his only hope.
Overall, the first issue is an excellent debut that unfolds like Dirty Dozen meets the Italian Job where one badass family is about to save the world. The story by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown is action packed, epic, smart, funny and challenges just about every supernatural trope. The art by Sanford Greene is stunning and luminous. Altogether, one of the best books to come from Image in a while, one that already has changed the game.
Story: David F. Walker and Chuck Brown Art: Sanford Greene
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review