Unearthed by Lilliam Rivera: A Review

Unearthed reimagines Jessica Cruz, a Green Lantern and superhero from DC Comics, as a teenaged girl with anxiety over the undocumented status of her family. It’s a powerful story, about family, immigration, and what it means to do what’s right, to trust others. I really enjoyed what it had to say, and will be recommending it to others.

Beyond this, I think my main issue was that the story used DC names, but did not use much of the actual superhero aspect of Jessica Cruz and John Stewart. Having read Nubia: Real One, I know that you can center a superhero story on social justice issues while still including their superpowers, and I think that showing Jessica Cruz, an undocumented immigrant and a dreamer, as a Green Lantern, would have been really powerful for those who read it. But, there was reference to the ring and to Aztec mythology, so I do think that it was well done within its own story. I have complex feelings on this, but would recommend looking to ownvoices reviewers for their thoughts on how this was handled.

The art style was impeccable. It’s angular and beautiful, took my breath away. I will have to look more into the artist, because I was obsessed with every page.

I really enjoyed Unearthed, and I do believe that it’s a powerful story that needs to be told. I think that teens like Jessica Cruz deserve to have a superhero story like this, one that sees them and their struggles and places them as the hero of their story.

If you have trouble with content regarding immigration, deportation, and I.C.E., I would make sure you’re in a safe place mentally before reading this graphic novel.

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