RCCC 2017: David Walker and Sanford Greene reveal new Image series, Bitter Root

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Sep 8, 2017

Portland’s Rose City Comic Con has only just begun, and publisher Image Comics is kicking off the show by dropping a big new title announcement! Revealed at a press conference at the show on Friday, Image gave us the first look at the new historical horror series, Bitter Root, by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene!

This is the first work at Image for the creative team, with Walker and Greene having worked together previously on Power Man and Iron Fist at Marvel. Their new series will follow Cullen Sangerye, the reluctant heir to a monster-hunting family legacy, as he navigates the racially volatile world of 1920s New York.

Set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance, the series will focus on the Sangerye family’s internal conflict over whether to continue with their tradition of purifying monsters, or abandon it in favor of destroying them. Cullen is one of the last of the family, and wants nothing to do with his legacy, preferring to experience the cultural boom of the time, while his sister Blink wants nothing more than to take the lead of her family, but can’t due to her being a woman.

In addition to hunting and purifying monsters, Bitter Root will explore the less well-known aspects of African-American history, and will pull from both African and African-American folklore. The title, Bitter Root, refers to this history, and also to a certain type of magic learned by the family’s matriarch during her time in the Underground Railroad, which has a big effect on the dire straits the family finds themselves in in the 1920s.

Artist Sanford Greene promised a book influenced by the fashion of the time, as well as pulling inspiration from steampunk sources for the family’s equipment and weaponry. Walker said that the single issues will contain plenty of back matter pertaining to the history the series will discuss, and will include contributions from Walker and Greene’s (who both teach college) academic colleagues that will educate readers as well as give them more bang for their buck.

Bitter Root is set to drop from Image Comics in spring 2018, and is sure to be a hotly debated and entertaining title. If Walker and Greene’s Marvel collaboration is anything to go off of, readers are in for a wildly entertaining, action-packed, and intensely relevant story. Check out the first look at Sanford Greene’s art for the series above, and stay tuned to SYFY WIRE for more from Rose City Comic Con.