Written by Lilliam Rivera
Illustrated by Steph C.
My Rating: 5 stars!!!
Cover Rating: 10/10 the cover is absolutely stunning. My god is it gorgeous. They did a stunning job with it.
Publisher: DC Comics
Publish Date: September 14th, 2021
Number of Pages: 208 pages
Received: digital copy provided by DC Comics. Physical copy purchased at Barnes and noble.
Acclaimed author Lilliam Rivera and artist Steph C. reimagine one of DC’s greatest Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz, to tell a story about immigration, family, and overcoming fear to inspire hope.
Jessica Cruz has done everything right. She’s a dedicated student, popular among her classmates, and has a loving family that has done everything they can to give her a better life in the United States. While Jessica is a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allowing her to go to school and live in the U.S., her parents are undocumented. Jessica usually worries for her parents, but her fears and anxiety escalate as a mayoral candidate with a strong anti-immigration stance runs for office.
As the xenophobia in Coast City increases, Jessica begins to debate whether it’s worth renewing her status to stay in the U.S., or if her family would be safer and better off moving back to Mexico. And despite her attempts to lean on her friends and family, she finds herself constantly visited by visions of Aztec gods, one pulling her towards hope and the other towards anger.
But when her father is detained by I.C.E., Jessica finds herself being pulled into an abyss of fear. With her father gone and feeling helpless, Jessica must find her way out of her fears and ultimately become a voice for her community.
‘Unearthed’ has my heart. This gorgeous comic brought me to tears several times and the balance of the words and the illustrations blended together so perfectly to tell the story of Jessica. From the beginning her general anxiety about school and needing to do well paired with her fear of losing her family to I.C.E. Due to being undocumented felt so real. There are so many D.A.C.A program and undocumented students that would relate deeply to this story.
Something I also loved was all the Spanish when the parents were speaking to their daughter. For me, growing up in a latinax household it felt so normal to have that mixture of Spanish and English reading this. Also the lovingness of ‘Mi hija’ made my heart so happy.
One of the big themes of this was Fernanda running for office. She discusses ‘cleaning up’ Coast City and cracking down on immigration. The fear Jessica’s family feels towards this women and the ideas she represents is palpable. Jessica even goes so far into her anger because of it that she loses sight of what is truly important for a while.
Her anger has her feeling one with the ideas of the God of the Smoking Mirror. He says that destruction will create a new way forward.
It is also interesting to me that her anxiety is also colored by the fire of the God of the Smoking Mirror. It seems to suggest a fear based thinking in the ideology of his anger.
When the Goddess of the Jade Skirt shows up in a dream and first tells her to let herself be a bridge and to connect with her friends to make change she doesn’t quite connect to it at first. It takes her a long while to understand the ideas this goddess was trying to teach her.
All in all:
This was an amazing read! I loved it with every part of me. The art so stunning and rich in color. The story so full of raw emotion. The hope a steady beat that brings Jessica to step forward and make her stand. It’s such a powerful read. I cannot recommend this comic enough.
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