When I’m not busy getting internet randos in their feelings, I’m generally reading a large amount of comic books. Bitter Root is one of the best series I’ve read in recent years, with every issue leaving me going “Man, if only Hollywood made cool Black shit.” Well, apparently my call has been answered, as a live-action adaptation of the book has been announced and the queen herself, Regina King, has been tapped to direct.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie is intended to be King’s follow-up to her Oscar-nominated debut, One Night in Miami. The movie is an adaptation of the Image Comics title of the same name created by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene and Chuck Brown. King will also produce the movie alongside Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, and Sev Ohanian, with Bryan Edward Hill currently rewriting the script. King is no stranger to good-ass comic book adaptations either, as she starred in the phenomenal Watchmen TV series in 2019.
If you haven’t read Bitter Root, then you’ve really been sleeping on a banger, b. The book, primarily set in 1920s Harlem, is about a family of monster hunters with a unique twist. The Sangerye family uses the titular bitter root as one of their primary weapons in their battle against the jinoo. Instead of just being your regular crop of creepy creatures that go bump in the night, the jinoo are actually monsters that are created from racism and hatred. Racism is a monstrous thing, and Bitter Root takes that literally. As the book goes on, new threats arise and the already fractured Sangerye family has to work through their legitimate grievances with one another to combat a new malevolent force.
The amount of imagination on display on every page is astounding. The world-building, the design of the weapons, the look of the characters, all of it grabs you and makes you want to keep reading. The fact that the book consistently comes through with emotional and thematic depth to boot has made it a mainstay on my monthly pull list.
As the book is an ensemble story, don’t be surprised if the movie comes through with a cast filled with Black all-stars. Personally, I’m just going to throw my hat in for Sterling K. Brown to portray antagonist Walter Sylvester. Mans would eat that role up.
There’s no word on when the movie is set to be released, but you can cop the first two paperback volumes of Bitter Root at your local bookstore, Amazon, or on digital storefronts like Comixology. Lucky for you, the book is only two issues in on its return from hiatus which means you could probably catch up on the whole story within the matter of a weekend.
So, what better time to give it a read than now? Especially knowing that talent of King and Coogler’s caliber are taking it on. Shoot, I myself might just fuck around and re-read the series ahead of this month’s release of issue 13.
I’m telling y’all, it’s that cool.