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Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    I would not call this a reimagining of Jessica Cruz as DC's book blurb details. The story has nothing to do with Green Lanterns or DC in general. It's a story about DACA and undocumented workers living in America with the main character renamed Jessica Cruz to presumably sell more copies. Yes, John Stewart is also a character and a green ring appears in the story (It's just her father's ring), but they were cursorily thrown in there so there would be some tangential ties to DC. Jessica's charact I would not call this a reimagining of Jessica Cruz as DC's book blurb details. The story has nothing to do with Green Lanterns or DC in general. It's a story about DACA and undocumented workers living in America with the main character renamed Jessica Cruz to presumably sell more copies. Yes, John Stewart is also a character and a green ring appears in the story (It's just her father's ring), but they were cursorily thrown in there so there would be some tangential ties to DC. Jessica's character is nothing like the comics. She doesn't suffer from agoraphobia or have any other traits of her character in the DCU. The story itself is OK. It is certainly written for YA audiences or even younger. The tone and writing are obviously meant to appeal to younger audiences. It's about Jessica living in fear and dealing with her feelings after a family member is detained by I.C.E. She is also undocumented but still in high school. Steph C.'s art is terrible. Jessica Cruz looks like she has a mullet. She's often drawn with the huge, squared off body of the Hulk with a tiny head. Some people will try and justify it as Steph C. is drawing different body types. I'll say that Steph C. can't draw human anatomy consistently. The art is strange too in that most of each panel is really only thumbnail sketches with Jessica being the only finished part of the panel. It looks like she was running out of time and couldn't meet her deadline.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kadi P

    What on Earth was this? The most mind-boggling random dumpster heap on fire, that's what! What did this have to do with Jessica Cruz? Or Green Lanterns? Nothing!! Jessica was a paranoid oddity of a protagonist who repeatedly and infuriatingly defied logic by being unable to understand the benefit of filling out an immigration form. She was mad at things with little logic, repetitive in her nature, and constantly unable to share her feelings with her friends, one of whom was also black and I found What on Earth was this? The most mind-boggling random dumpster heap on fire, that's what! What did this have to do with Jessica Cruz? Or Green Lanterns? Nothing!! Jessica was a paranoid oddity of a protagonist who repeatedly and infuriatingly defied logic by being unable to understand the benefit of filling out an immigration form. She was mad at things with little logic, repetitive in her nature, and constantly unable to share her feelings with her friends, one of whom was also black and I found it laughable that this graphic novel tried to pass her black friend off as a clueless fool who had no understanding of Jessica's weariness for the police. Jessica's constant pessimistic attitude made me feel as though I should've thrown my hands up and shouted at her to go back to Mexico if she didn't want to stay in America. I get that she felt a level of uncertainty surrounding her future, but portraying her as a teen who no longer wanted to be in America simply due to the treatment of I.C.E. officers or the ordeal of having to fill out immigration forms is disrespectful to the struggling young generation of immigrant children in America who continue to want to be in the US despite the hardships they face. There was nothing to salvage in this. It was a shipwreck from start to finish. The art was absolutely awful, with every page looking like a 5 minute sketch and every character being drawn with completely black possessed demon eyes. Paired with the completely wooden dialogue there really was nothing of substance in here. And then in the second half it took a deep swerve into insanity where Jessica went around plotting revenge on a sole I.C.E. agent as if he was some kind of villain simply for doing his job. The way this graphic novel condoned and even supported Jessica unexpectedly attacking an actual I.C.E. agent shook me. How could DC publish this kind of lawless rhetoric? You fight the system peacefully, through protesting and other meaningful actions. But physically attacking a man, a single officer of the law, is abhorrent, regardless of the situation and your stance on immigration. The half-hearted attempt at the end of the graphic novel to portray the true complexity of the incorrect nature of labelling the I.C.E. agent as a bad guy was a gigantic failure and came across as some sad additional afterthought wrangled in there by a DC editor conscious of maintaining some semblance of lawfulness. This graphic novel left me completely flabbergasted. Where was the quality? Where was the complexity? Nowhere in this 200 pages of rubbish, that's for sure.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I guess it's on me that I had preconceived notions that a DC graphic novel about Jessica Cruz would involve a Green Lantern ring at some point. And while there is a green ring, it has no powers beyond invoking sentimentality. And some figures from Aztec mythology show up, but only as part of some odd hallucination or dream sequences where they might as well have been a little angel and devil yapping from Cruz's shoulders. Cruz is rebooted as a high school junior dealing with the stresses of being I guess it's on me that I had preconceived notions that a DC graphic novel about Jessica Cruz would involve a Green Lantern ring at some point. And while there is a green ring, it has no powers beyond invoking sentimentality. And some figures from Aztec mythology show up, but only as part of some odd hallucination or dream sequences where they might as well have been a little angel and devil yapping from Cruz's shoulders. Cruz is rebooted as a high school junior dealing with the stresses of being an undocumented immigrant in the U.S.A. in a city where the frontrunner in the mayoral race is running on a platform of more ICE arrests and deportations. When not hallucinating, Cruz gets increasingly scared, frustrated, and angry, withdrawing from her friends, including a teen boy named John Stewart. It's an emotional journey, not a plot-driven one, which wasn't of much interest to me. And the art was angular and off-putting with the characters experiencing weird inconsistencies in proportions and height throughout.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    4.0 Thank you to DC Comics for Young Readers for a copy of this book! I really loved this story full of background for Jessica Cruz, one of the Green Lanterns. This was such an important story about immigration and what it can be like to be an undocumented citizen in America. I think it did a great job hitting these emotional topics and covering them. I love love love the art style of this one! It is so cool and I love the way the body diversity shows up in this one! Great style. Content Warnings 4.0 Thank you to DC Comics for Young Readers for a copy of this book! I really loved this story full of background for Jessica Cruz, one of the Green Lanterns. This was such an important story about immigration and what it can be like to be an undocumented citizen in America. I think it did a great job hitting these emotional topics and covering them. I love love love the art style of this one! It is so cool and I love the way the body diversity shows up in this one! Great style. Content Warnings Graphic: Xenophobia ICE Arrests, Deportation

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carolina

    Disclaimer: I am not a Latina living in the U.S., nor I am undocumented in my country. Unearthed follows the story of an undocumented Latina girl who strives to be perfect. One day, her world collapses and she is consumed by wanting revenge, ignoring everything she worked so hard for. Eventually, she stops wanting revenge, but still attacks a cop to prevent him from taking another undocumented immigrant. There was nothing superhero related so that was disapointing, but the story was boring noneth Disclaimer: I am not a Latina living in the U.S., nor I am undocumented in my country. Unearthed follows the story of an undocumented Latina girl who strives to be perfect. One day, her world collapses and she is consumed by wanting revenge, ignoring everything she worked so hard for. Eventually, she stops wanting revenge, but still attacks a cop to prevent him from taking another undocumented immigrant. There was nothing superhero related so that was disapointing, but the story was boring nonetheless and I’m pretty sure most of it made no sense. The first thing I didn’t in this book like was how dirty the artwork for the chapter titles was. Besides being ugly, it was conflicting with the rest of the book. I didn’t fancy the overall style of the artwork, but the colors kept me interested. The conclusion to the story left me unsatisfied, as I felt some of the storylines were not finished. Jessica was not likeable nor relatable, and neither was any of the rest of the characters. I think that maybe this book was for a much younger audience, which would explain why I didn’t enjoy it much. However, being meant for kids’ does not mean it has to be a bad book. The only reason this isn’t 2 stars is that I fear I’m being too harsh because it is heavily overrated on Goodreads.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kailey (Luminous Libro)

    Jessica Cruz is terrified that her family will be deported, because they are illegal immigrants in the United States. She doesn't think her friends will understand, and is afraid to tell them that her family is undocumented. When she visits the history museum, she begins to have visions of the ancient Aztec gods who guide her in controlling her fear. I am so angry at this book! This is some of the worst representation of Hispanics that I have ever seen. I grew up in Mexico as a child, and I am a Jessica Cruz is terrified that her family will be deported, because they are illegal immigrants in the United States. She doesn't think her friends will understand, and is afraid to tell them that her family is undocumented. When she visits the history museum, she begins to have visions of the ancient Aztec gods who guide her in controlling her fear. I am so angry at this book! This is some of the worst representation of Hispanics that I have ever seen. I grew up in Mexico as a child, and I am a United States citizen. Many of my friends are legal or illegal immigrants. I have an intimate knowledge of these issues and the people who deal with them. I am appalled at the horrible way the Hispanic culture is represented in this book. It's like the author created their own version of what they WANT you to think about illegal Hispanic immigrants, instead of the actual reality of the issue. There is a very strong political bias in this book that distorts the facts and presents a picture of immigration that does not match the reality in the US today. Of course, this is a fictional world, but this book is obviously trying to address real life issues and shape the reader's understanding and opinion of real life politics. This is propaganda, pure and simple. I was appalled to see that Jessica is violent and ignorant. She's supposed to be the hero of the story, but she encourages others to violence as well. She doesn't take the time to find out about what is really happening with immigration, but instead lives in ignorant fear, assuming the worst. At one point, Jessica confronts an ICE agent. The ICE agent is depicted in the art with blank eyes and a permanent scowl, as if this officer is the devil himself. The art and the story depict all ICE agents as evil and soulless, utterly without compassion or integrity. It's sickening to see the way an entire group of people are demonized for simply upholding the law. As if that wasn't enough, then Jessica actually ASSAULTS the ICE officer! I can't believe I just saw a "hero" assaulting an officer of the law. What kind of sick story is this? Is this a villain origin story? Because the hero of this story just became a villain. Jessica becomes a criminal in that moment, a menace to society. And she encourages her friends to do the same. Is this the kind of message that is being sent out to young people? That as long as you don't agree with the laws, you can attack those who enforce them? That is so wrong! Later on, Jessica and her friends organize a peaceful protest. That is the kind of good message that actually brings change. That is how laws get changed. But assaulting officers who are just trying to uphold the law never did any good in this world. I don't understand what kind of foolish book this is. It makes me sick. The story is very obviously encouraging the reader to act in violence, and it makes me afraid that young readers will take these violent messages to heart. I worry that our society will be worse off for the way this issue has been so badly handled in the media, and for the way the facts have been distorted. I worry that this type of political propaganda with no basis in reality is hurting my Hispanic friends instead of helping them. I am throwing this book in the trash, because that is what it is. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    3.5 stars. Though I enjoyed this title quite a bit overall, while it may be a "Jessica Cruz" story, it is defintely NOT a "Green Lantern" story. (In fact this book seems very distanced from the DC Universe and Green Lantern Mythos.) While that was somewhat jarring (given the importance Jessica Cruz now has to the GL title and mythos), it didn't NECESSARILY detract from the story itself, which is quite timely and touching. And the art, particularly, really enhanced this title, especially in regards 3.5 stars. Though I enjoyed this title quite a bit overall, while it may be a "Jessica Cruz" story, it is defintely NOT a "Green Lantern" story. (In fact this book seems very distanced from the DC Universe and Green Lantern Mythos.) While that was somewhat jarring (given the importance Jessica Cruz now has to the GL title and mythos), it didn't NECESSARILY detract from the story itself, which is quite timely and touching. And the art, particularly, really enhanced this title, especially in regards to coloring (which is crucial to the GL Mythos, as reach color represents a different corps of ring-wielders). While it doesn't beat you over the head with it, they certainly use the ROYGBIV spectrum well throughout this book, to represent the emotions being experienced by the cast.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    “If I stop moving, I will crumble.” - Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story by @lilliamr, Illustrated by Steph C. CW: Deportation, I.C.E. Arrests, Xenophobia WOW! I was not expecting this graphic novel to hit me right in the feels like it did. This book is available 9.14.21! Thank you to @DCComics for the GN-ARC to read and review. The writing style punches you straight to the gut and the illustrations are so unique. This is a story about a smart, bright, and popular young woman who lives with a secret - “If I stop moving, I will crumble.” - Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story by @lilliamr, Illustrated by Steph C. CW: Deportation, I.C.E. Arrests, Xenophobia WOW! I was not expecting this graphic novel to hit me right in the feels like it did. This book is available 9.14.21! Thank you to @DCComics for the GN-ARC to read and review. The writing style punches you straight to the gut and the illustrations are so unique. This is a story about a smart, bright, and popular young woman who lives with a secret - fear of deportation even though she is a part of DACA. Her added pressures to be good in school, help at home, and take care of her family weigh heavily on her. She watches a family member be taken by I.C.E which causes Jessica to become scared, angry, and unsure of herself and her place; often times expressing feelings of going back to Mexico. Her personal growth is so inspiring to watch as we see her explore a range of feelings. Through support of her community, her friends, and her family, she finds her voice. She also has visions of Aztec Gods that begin to sway her emotions, as well as finding that glowing green ring…. This was a heart-wrenching representation of what Latinx people go through in this country. It shows me that there is so much more work to do. I really loved the unique retelling even though it hurt.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tali Sanchez

    Thankyou to NetGalley for the ARC! This is an amazing comic with beautiful illustrations representing Latinx communities. Following Jessica Cruz, a dedicated student who is part of DACA, which allows her to go to school and live in the U.S. As an only child, she has so much pressure to excel in school, priorities like cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. But what she really fears is her parents being deported and she often wonders if it’ll just be easy to go back to her hometown. Jessica is also Thankyou to NetGalley for the ARC! This is an amazing comic with beautiful illustrations representing Latinx communities. Following Jessica Cruz, a dedicated student who is part of DACA, which allows her to go to school and live in the U.S. As an only child, she has so much pressure to excel in school, priorities like cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. But what she really fears is her parents being deported and she often wonders if it’ll just be easy to go back to her hometown. Jessica is also visited by visions of Aztec Gods, one pulling her toward hope, while the other towards anger. This was very emotional and it showed a great representation of what many Latinx go through living in the United States. A fast paced comic that everyone needs to read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    How to describe Steph C.’s art style, and actually do it justice? This is the dilemma that I’ve been facing as I mulled over how to review this book. Her art style is unique, so very vibrant, and makes the most out of every single page. Jessica’s life is big and bright most times. The love she has for her friends, and her family, radiating off the page. In an instant though, Steph C. is able to take that same art style and show the immense fear that Jessica faces. It shows her anger and hopeless How to describe Steph C.’s art style, and actually do it justice? This is the dilemma that I’ve been facing as I mulled over how to review this book. Her art style is unique, so very vibrant, and makes the most out of every single page. Jessica’s life is big and bright most times. The love she has for her friends, and her family, radiating off the page. In an instant though, Steph C. is able to take that same art style and show the immense fear that Jessica faces. It shows her anger and hopelessness in bold strokes that are hard to ignore. I loved absolutely everything about the way this graphic novel was illustrated. It was precisely what this story needed to really hit home. Now that I’ve gushed over the artwork, which if you’d allow me I’d gush over even more, let me focus on the story. Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story is so impressive, that it’s hard to put into words. Where Jessica Cruz is normally a DC Universe character who is used to villains and violence, here she is up against something infinitely more frightening. She has to face every day as an undocumented citizen. Her family, even though they do it lovingly, puts pressure on her to be the one who achieves her dreams. Jessica has to balance all the things that every teenager faces, while also facing the very real fact that her parents could be ripped away from her at any moment. I originally thought that I would call this story a timely one, but the fact is that it’s actually a timeless one. Although this isn’t exactly a superhero story (yet), there is definitely a villain in this story. The frontrunner for mayor is a woman who pushes xenophobia in Jessica’s home of Coast City. We’ve seen her rhetoric before, many a time. Constant calls to “clean up” the city. Crime stats thrown around, all targeted at a single group of people. ICE in the streets, and people carted off with no reason. This story pulls no punches, as it showcases the realities of being an undocumented immigrant in a world that works hard to keep them small and scared. Though Jessica is protected by her DACA status, she lives in constant fear for her community. Oh, and what a vibrant community it is. I need to pause here and go back to talking about the illustrations for minute, because the way that Jessica’s neighborhood is portrayed is lovely. We see the cart vendors she passes daily, and knows by name. We see children playing games in the streets, and family parties full of loving embraces. We see neighbors who are more like family, taking care of one another whenever they can. As someone who grew up in a place just like this one, I felt the deep love that went into these panels. Sometimes a single neighborhood can feel a world apart from the larger city that it is in. What really blew me away though, was the thread of Aztec history that spans this book. Jessica grew up hearing stories of the Gods. Her mother used their teachings as a way to impart lessons, and inspire hope. So when Jessica’s world starts to slowly crumble, and it feels like every one is against her, it is so fitting that the Gods would step in. The dichotomy between Chalchiuhtlicue and Tezcatlipoca is a perfect way to highlight the war going on inside our main character. Part of her wanting to protect herself by withdrawing in fear and anger, while the other part of her screams that something needs to be done to protect everyone. I can’t say too much else, or I’ll spoil things. Suffice it to say that this internal battle feels perfect in the context of what Jessica faces. That little nod to the mystical, and the magical, is just the icing on the cake. I’ll end this review by simply saying that this is an extremely important graphic novel. What was most refreshing was just the fact that there is no sugarcoating of any kind here. Every scar, every hurt, is laid out on the page. I am genuinely impressed at this DC offering. It’s real, it’s poignant, and it provides the kind of hopeful message that I think we all need right now. Seriously, this isn’t a story you should miss out on.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Frank Chillura (OhYouRead)

    Going into this story, I knew nothing about Jessica Cruz or who she is in the DC pantheon of superheroes. Let me preface this by saying, this is not a superhero story in the least bit. It is an origin story of a sorts… but it is so much more important. Unearthed tells the story of what undocumented American immigrants have to deal with in order to survive. The fear that they will be stopped and arrested at any moment… not knowing what their future holds. It’s about finding a way to fight back tha Going into this story, I knew nothing about Jessica Cruz or who she is in the DC pantheon of superheroes. Let me preface this by saying, this is not a superhero story in the least bit. It is an origin story of a sorts… but it is so much more important. Unearthed tells the story of what undocumented American immigrants have to deal with in order to survive. The fear that they will be stopped and arrested at any moment… not knowing what their future holds. It’s about finding a way to fight back that is both legal in the eyes of the law, but can also make a huge impact. And while these stories may be ones we hear daily, it doesn’t change the fact that families are still being separated, undocumented Americans are being mistreated, abused, and sent back to, what for many can be, a deadly situation. What is supposed to be the land of the free is only really the land of the free for some. If you love graphic novels like me, definitely check out Unearthed! I loved it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This graphic novel was a hard and easy read at once. The writing was amazing. I was taught to read with comics, DC specifically and I've seen some good and bad writing. This was great. If you don't know the story of Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, for a lot of reasons I won't get into here, she suffers from severe, world shattering fear. It is her biggest hurdle. Green Lanterns are about willpower. You can see how overcoming that fear is integral to her character. Take all that and set it in modern This graphic novel was a hard and easy read at once. The writing was amazing. I was taught to read with comics, DC specifically and I've seen some good and bad writing. This was great. If you don't know the story of Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, for a lot of reasons I won't get into here, she suffers from severe, world shattering fear. It is her biggest hurdle. Green Lanterns are about willpower. You can see how overcoming that fear is integral to her character. Take all that and set it in modern America. Where xenophobia is everywhere and it's a perfect fit for the character. It was a hard read because it's prescient. Jessica Cruz is a DACA recipient who has to make the choice to renew or convince her undocumented parents to go home because the hate surrounding them is too much. And after a federal ruling July 16th, the day I finished this graphic novel, it makes it even more of the times. Jessica has the weight of her family on her shoulders. Renew. Get good grades. Go to college. Good job. Clean the house. Cook dinner. Somehow have time to sleep. She has a small friend circle and works at a museum with an amazing Aztec Gods section and her coworker? None other than John Stewart. Seeing my two favorite Green Lanterns interact as teenagers made my heart so happy. The moments the two of them are together allow Jessica a reprieve from the stress of her life and he has a first hand appreciation of a lot of what she's going through. Plus they're cute together. I ship it. As if all of that wasn't enough, there's a mayoral candidate running on a very anti-immigration campaign and her racism and xenophobia aren't hidden at all. Jessica sees someone get arrested by ICE while she's on the bus headed home. It amps up her fear an anxiety to new levels. And then her father is taken and it's hell. She starts having dreams about the Aztec Gods and I won't spoil any of that. I will say, this graphic novel was amazing. We see Jessica overcome her fear. That's not to say that her fear is gone, that's impossible. But she's got a better handle on what to do to help herself and her community. Even her friends join in and it's the support system she needs. Now for the art. At first I found it a little unnerving. Everyone has black eyes and it kind of freaked me out. By the end though it had grown on me and I found myself actually liking it by the end of the story. I actually can't picture this with any other style of art. The artist was so skilled at drawing emotion. It was so raw and real, I really loved that. So, all in all? 5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and DC entertainment for this ARC.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Baker

    Rating: 4/5 🌟 __________________________ I want to start by saying a huge thank you to DC Comics for sending me a digital review copy of Unearthed: Jessica Cruz Story. As many of you know I’m a huge comic book nerd , and one of my favorites is Green Lantern! So needless to say I throughly enjoyed this origin story. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all, however that’s what made this story so good! It tackles some very big issues , such as deportation in a realistic and heart breaking way. I look Rating: 4/5 🌟 __________________________ I want to start by saying a huge thank you to DC Comics for sending me a digital review copy of Unearthed: Jessica Cruz Story. As many of you know I’m a huge comic book nerd , and one of my favorites is Green Lantern! So needless to say I throughly enjoyed this origin story. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all, however that’s what made this story so good! It tackles some very big issues , such as deportation in a realistic and heart breaking way. I look forward to reading more of Jessica’s story in the future!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Wow. I blinked and it was over. How can such an important story, featuring alternative versions of my two favorite lanterns, go by so quickly? Well, the pacing is incredible. The story is compelling. The art is intentional. I couldn’t stop. Run, don’t walk on this one Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    *I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* I really really really love Jessica Cruz. She is such a cool character and I'm so glad I'm getting to see more of her in the popular DC world. In this story, she is an undocumented teenager worrying and fighting to keep her family together and safe from the rising xenophobia and ICE deportations in her town. First off, I adored this art. It's much more stylized but it works so well with the story. The depictions of the gods are p *I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* I really really really love Jessica Cruz. She is such a cool character and I'm so glad I'm getting to see more of her in the popular DC world. In this story, she is an undocumented teenager worrying and fighting to keep her family together and safe from the rising xenophobia and ICE deportations in her town. First off, I adored this art. It's much more stylized but it works so well with the story. The depictions of the gods are particularly beautiful scenes. I appreciated seeing Jessica's struggles so clearly represented by these two sides vying for her to join them. I wasn't a huge fan of her friends, with the exception of John, but they were realistically flawed so I can appreciate that. I think this is an excellent example of how superhero stories can tackle timely issues and resonate in any era.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Hillis

    Unearthed is not only a story of an everyday teenager doing her best with friends that love her, it’s also a story of immigration and how Jessica will question her role in a sometimes unforgiving and harsh world while trying to keep her family together. I love how these YA DC books can reimagine the origin story of your favorite superhero or introduce a character to a new reader, while also talking about very important and relevant topics. This one definitely has a powerful message and hopefully Unearthed is not only a story of an everyday teenager doing her best with friends that love her, it’s also a story of immigration and how Jessica will question her role in a sometimes unforgiving and harsh world while trying to keep her family together. I love how these YA DC books can reimagine the origin story of your favorite superhero or introduce a character to a new reader, while also talking about very important and relevant topics. This one definitely has a powerful message and hopefully will resonate with readers. The art style was really unique and I think it suited the story well. I would like to have a sequel and really see Jessica come into her own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    “Only through conflict will there be change.” Jessica Cruz seems like she has it all together on the surface—she’s a good student, well-liked, has a loving family, and is even starting a promising internship at the city museum. But beneath it all, Jessica is plagued with fear for her undocumented family as political unrest and anti-immigrant sentiments build in Coast City. On the edge of renewing her status as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Jessica wonders if h “Only through conflict will there be change.” Jessica Cruz seems like she has it all together on the surface—she’s a good student, well-liked, has a loving family, and is even starting a promising internship at the city museum. But beneath it all, Jessica is plagued with fear for her undocumented family as political unrest and anti-immigrant sentiments build in Coast City. On the edge of renewing her status as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Jessica wonders if her family would just be better off in Mexico after all. Torn between hope and anger in the form of two Aztec gods, Jessica’s mind is plagued with visions about her future. Faced with the nightmare of her father being imprisoned by ICE officers, Jessica must find a way to rise above her circumstances and become a part of something bigger. This reimagining of Green Lantern is a brilliant reworking of the classic superhero arc. Jessica is not only faced with all the normal challenges of teen life, but also with the struggle of being undocumented in a hostile environment. Though she might have been protected through her DACA status, Jessica had to constantly fear for her family and her community from the book’s beginning. Her internal struggle with these fears was beautifully illustrated in her dreams where she was tempted with opposite advice from two Aztec gods. I loved the way that these vibrantly illustrated figures drew upon her culture and were written to appeal to her varied emotions in a realistic and complex way. The way Jessica organized her community in the face of a particularly xenophobic political candidate was an inspiring mixture of superhero prowess and the fierceness of a determined teenage girl. In short, Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story is a stunningly illustrated, fast-paced read that left me desperately wanting to know what Jessica Cruz will do next. (Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.) Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, author interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)

    *3,5 stars* I ended up enjoying this, I think it does a great job of discussing the difficulties and fears that undocumented immigrants experience and I think that's the best part of this graphic novel. The portrait of Jessica's emotions was very well done and her anger and despair felt very realistic after everything that she went through. My main issue with this is that it includes Mayan gods but that element didn't really feel integrated into the story and I wish the gods played a bigger role *3,5 stars* I ended up enjoying this, I think it does a great job of discussing the difficulties and fears that undocumented immigrants experience and I think that's the best part of this graphic novel. The portrait of Jessica's emotions was very well done and her anger and despair felt very realistic after everything that she went through. My main issue with this is that it includes Mayan gods but that element didn't really feel integrated into the story and I wish the gods played a bigger role than simply being angel and devil figures whispering in Jessicas ear in a couple of scenes and that's it. Two minor things: I didn't like the art style in this, the cover is so pretty but the art inside was not my favorite. The second thing is that this was supposed to be a Green Lantern story but it really wasn't and a part of me wishes that we got to see a Latinx character actually get the "usual" superhero story (getting powers and fighting bad guys and all that)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    First things first: this book really has nothing to do with the Jessica Cruz who is a Green Lantern. Instead, it's an original story about an undocumented teenage girl. About the only thing this Jessica has in common with the GL Jessica is her anxiety. This isn't the first time that DC's YA comics have departed from their mainstream versions, but I think it's the most radical change. I think if you can approach this as an original creation, you'll enjoy it more. And on that note... It's ok. The First things first: this book really has nothing to do with the Jessica Cruz who is a Green Lantern. Instead, it's an original story about an undocumented teenage girl. About the only thing this Jessica has in common with the GL Jessica is her anxiety. This isn't the first time that DC's YA comics have departed from their mainstream versions, but I think it's the most radical change. I think if you can approach this as an original creation, you'll enjoy it more. And on that note... It's ok. The plot is mostly about Jessica grappling with her feelings about her undocumented status. An important subject, but I felt like it was more going around in circles than progressing. And I absolutely hated the art. It's fine, some people will probably love it, but I'm not one of those people.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Parker J

    I'm really looking forward to this one! I adore Jessica Cruz and I've been finding the DC INK (I know they stopped calling them by that imprint name but they will always be DC INK to me) books to be super fun (even if some are pretty bad sometimes). I'm really looking forward to this one! I adore Jessica Cruz and I've been finding the DC INK (I know they stopped calling them by that imprint name but they will always be DC INK to me) books to be super fun (even if some are pretty bad sometimes).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I kept expecting there to be more superhero in this graphic novel, but it's a powerful, timely book nonetheless. Full review to come, but you can check out a teaser mini-review on the Forever Young Adult Instagram. I kept expecting there to be more superhero in this graphic novel, but it's a powerful, timely book nonetheless. Full review to come, but you can check out a teaser mini-review on the Forever Young Adult Instagram.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Loved this so much! Thank you DC Ink for the gifted review copy 🙏

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Lovitt

    Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story is DC’s latest reimagining of a fan-favorite superhero character, this time bringing a new origin story to Green Lantern’s Jessica Cruz. Written by Lilliam Rivera with art by illustrator Steph C., Unearthed tells the story of an immigrant facing the challenges of being a DACA recipient and child of undocumented immigrants in a city run by xenophobic politicians. (READ MORE: https://yourmoneygeek.com/review-unea...) Jessica deals with a lot of difficult situations t Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story is DC’s latest reimagining of a fan-favorite superhero character, this time bringing a new origin story to Green Lantern’s Jessica Cruz. Written by Lilliam Rivera with art by illustrator Steph C., Unearthed tells the story of an immigrant facing the challenges of being a DACA recipient and child of undocumented immigrants in a city run by xenophobic politicians. (READ MORE: https://yourmoneygeek.com/review-unea...) Jessica deals with a lot of difficult situations throughout the graphic novel that reflects on her emotional state. She’s a junior in high school in the middle of planning her future, which should be an exciting time for her, but the joy is cut short when her father is taken by ICE. Before that she was already feeling conflicted about renewing her DACA paperwork, fearing the increased politically motivated hatred for immigrants.  Jessica is also interning at the local museum in Coast City, which is where she comes into contact with the Aztec Gods exhibit which eventually finds its way into her dreams. These gods end up representing her inner conflict, as the two that appear to her represent peace and wisdom, while the other represents righteous rage. Based on the illustration and color choices during these scenes, I am willing to guess that the Aztec gods will have an influence on Jessica becoming part of the Green Lantern Corp in the next installment. She even has a ring that she wears and also hangs on a chain around her neck at times. Unearthed touches on so many topical issues, from far-right politics and Trump-esq politicians to hard-working immigrants being hauled off by ICE agents. These are the kind of superhero stories we need more of today, because the forces being fought are recognizable and real. Through all of these outside forces, the heart of the story is Jessica’s coming-of-age story as she discovers what matters to her.  While Unearthed features a very different origin story for Jessica Cruz, it feels very true to who she is and who she will become as the story progresses. She still has a lot of growing and self-exploration to do, but I can see the trajectory of her future hinted at throughout the graphic novel. The gorgeously designed artwork by Steph C. paints a vivid world around Jessica, but the most stunning stuff emerges during her otherworldly encounters with the Aztec gods.  Lilliam Rivera’s storytelling draws a full picture of who Jessica is, in the span of a hundred pages she feels like a fully realized character, one that you could bump into at the local museum. Her struggles, inner conflicts, and her drive to do the right thing will resonate with readers who seek themselves in her. 

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review What a powerful and engaging new take on the iconic Green Lantern character. This was a fantastic story that really captured the struggle and strength of the Latino community, especially when the debate over immigration has never been higher in recent years. Jessica Cruz is the perfect character to bring this fight for justice and equality to light, as her DC Comics history played into the battle between fear and hope that her character has embodied since her introduction. As a half-La The Review What a powerful and engaging new take on the iconic Green Lantern character. This was a fantastic story that really captured the struggle and strength of the Latino community, especially when the debate over immigration has never been higher in recent years. Jessica Cruz is the perfect character to bring this fight for justice and equality to light, as her DC Comics history played into the battle between fear and hope that her character has embodied since her introduction. As a half-Latino man whose late grandfather came to this country as a young child and built a family of his own through dedication and hard work, the cultural element and the familial bonds that Jessica had not only with her parents but her community as a whole really spoke to me, as these core values are something I was taught at an early age. The fantastic blend of DC Comics character mythology, history, and Aztec mythology was amazing to see come to life here. The visions that Jessica had really did a great job of highlighting the inner struggle of her character between fear and hope and seeing things like side character John Stewart come into play and her father’s lessons really made this story shine brightly. The artwork itself was so engaging, striking amazing contrasts between the light and darkness that Jessica struggled with and which settled over Coast City as immigration and politics took more and more of a prominent role in the community. The warmth that the artwork seemed to invoke really spoke to me and helped convey the message clearly. The Verdict A brilliant, heartfelt, and refreshing new take on a personal favorite and iconic DC Comics hero, author Lilliam Rivera and artist Steph C.’s “Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story”, is a must-read graphic novel and a contender or graphic novel of the year. DC Comics showcases a brilliant eye for talent as both the artist and the author did an incredible job of relaying a new take on some fan-favorite characters and their history while also bringing an important topic and theme to life in a way that can highlight the issues without sacrificing entertainment and relatability.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jena

    For some reason I've been reading all of these DC young adult comics, and this one was definitely one of the more interesting ones. On the one hand, this is so far the most disconnected background-wise from the source character in the comics. This does not have Jessica Cruz as a Green Lantern. In fact, this one isn't even a superhero story at all. Jessica doesn't have any powers in this comic, nor are we following an unpowered vigilante character. However, this also has one of the most solid plot For some reason I've been reading all of these DC young adult comics, and this one was definitely one of the more interesting ones. On the one hand, this is so far the most disconnected background-wise from the source character in the comics. This does not have Jessica Cruz as a Green Lantern. In fact, this one isn't even a superhero story at all. Jessica doesn't have any powers in this comic, nor are we following an unpowered vigilante character. However, this also has one of the most solid plots of any of these YA comics, is extremely compelling, and tells a story that's incredibly relevant to today's teens. Because it's so disconnected from the source material, you can also truly read this having 0 clue who Jessica Cruz is and 0 interest in anything superhero-related and get a ton out of it. The crux of the story is following Jessica, an undocumented teenage girl dealing with the anxiety of worrying that at any moment her parents might be taken by ICE. Meanwhile, she's juggling several interpersonal struggles: a need to be extremely successful at school, a new internship she's always wanted, and the election of a new mayor who is "tough on immigration." Jessica is an only child with a lot of responsibilities and fears. I think a lot of teenagers can relate to the position she's in, especially any readers whose parents are undocumented. One thing I really enjoyed in this graphic novel as a fan of Jessica in the comics is how it weaved in some imagery of her Green Lantern origin alongside the Aztec gods. It was a really interesting combination that works in a story like this. It also adds a little extra nugget for comic readers, but it's not something that's distracting to non-comic readers. Content warnings: Xenophobia, ICE arrests and deportation (shown on page several times) Representation: Main character is Mexican. Author is Puerto Rican.

  26. 5 out of 5

    M. K. French

    Jessica Cruz has to navigate her life as a DREAMer in Coast City, but she is also a Green Lantern. Like every other Green Lantern, she has to fight for what she believes in while facing overwhelming odds. I had never heard of Jessica Cruz as a Green Lantern before, so I was drawn to her story. I know about Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart, having seen their stories in various live-action and animated movies. A quick Wikipedia search indicates that she had been used as a host for a power Jessica Cruz has to navigate her life as a DREAMer in Coast City, but she is also a Green Lantern. Like every other Green Lantern, she has to fight for what she believes in while facing overwhelming odds. I had never heard of Jessica Cruz as a Green Lantern before, so I was drawn to her story. I know about Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart, having seen their stories in various live-action and animated movies. A quick Wikipedia search indicates that she had been used as a host for a power ring, and then ultimately became the first female Green Lantern; in another comic iteration she was tested and ended up sharing its power with another Green Lantern when Hal Jordan has to leave earth on a mission. In this version, Jessica is a popular and dedicated student that worries about her undocumented parents. John Stewart is another student in the museum internship that she's part of. Her worry escalates as a xenophobic mayoral candidate increases the agitation in the city, she sees visions of Aztec gods, and her father is detained by ICE. These are topical fears in our country and in different communities. Bringing this home to the individual, we see through her eyes the sheer terror involved for the people trying to survive on the fringes. The worry is overwhelming and isolating, keeping her from talking to friends, family, and those who would be willing to help her through it. Moving beyond her fear and looking for ways she can make positive change helps bring Jessica out of her isolation. Change is slow, as the gods tell her, but it will happen. Her sheer willpower and strength of character will help create that change, and I have hope for her as a powerful Green Lantern able to use that power to help others.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    DC Comics is continuing their young adult graphic novel run, and I personally couldn't be more excited about their latest protagonist. Jessica Cruz is one of my all-time favorite DC characters and, without a doubt, my favorite Green Lantern. Naturally, that left me feeling very excited for Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story. Jessica Cruz is a woman who has always been haunted by anxiety – even as a teenager. Living in the city and knowing full well that her parents are undocumented, it's difficult DC Comics is continuing their young adult graphic novel run, and I personally couldn't be more excited about their latest protagonist. Jessica Cruz is one of my all-time favorite DC characters and, without a doubt, my favorite Green Lantern. Naturally, that left me feeling very excited for Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story. Jessica Cruz is a woman who has always been haunted by anxiety – even as a teenager. Living in the city and knowing full well that her parents are undocumented, it's difficult for her to turn away from the fear of losing them. Those fears reach all new heights when a new candidate for mayor creates a campaign on booting immigrants. It very well might have become too much for Jessica had she not found a safe space and a way of fighting back. Unearthed has to be one of the most breathtaking and timely graphic novels I have ever read. Full stop. I know I sound biased here since I adore Jessica Cruz and all, but I really do mean it. Her struggles are so painfully human here, and more specifically: it lends a voice to those that need it most. On top of loving this story's overall plot and message, there were a few pleasant surprises in the mix. One comes from the safe space Jessica found, and the other is an unlikely new friend she makes. But I'll leave that for you to learn when you pick up Unearthed to read for yourself! Thanks to DC Comics and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  28. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Jessica Cruz is a new kid on the block as far as Green Lanterns go. But in the short time since she was introduced, I have to admit, she has become a favorite of mine. I suspect it has to do with my love for one of the previous Lanterns Kyle Raynor and how he was learning as he went. Jessica is like that too. I grew up reading a lot of stories where Hal Jordan was the best and that was it. He wasn't exactly perfect, but didn't have many flaws. So for me, he wasn't an interesting character. Long Jessica Cruz is a new kid on the block as far as Green Lanterns go. But in the short time since she was introduced, I have to admit, she has become a favorite of mine. I suspect it has to do with my love for one of the previous Lanterns Kyle Raynor and how he was learning as he went. Jessica is like that too. I grew up reading a lot of stories where Hal Jordan was the best and that was it. He wasn't exactly perfect, but didn't have many flaws. So for me, he wasn't an interesting character. Long story short (too late), I like my Lantern characters to have depth, and in Unearthed, Jessica has it in spades. She's a hero, a superhero even, but this book does not feature the Guardians giving Jessica a lantern ring to protect Sector 2814 and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Jessica Cruz is an amazing character that you can take and drop her across the multiverse and get something rewarding out of it, as is the case here. Lilliam Rivera writes brilliant story as Jessica battle between hope and fear, and the art by Steph C. is simply amazing. As I've said before on these reviews for the DC Ink books, I am not even remotely the target audience, and I am perfectly fine with that. I love seeing the DC Characters I love being used to tell important stories and make no mistake, this story is very, very important in the world we live in. (Special Note: I received an digital ARC from DC Comics through Netgalley)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Gigantic thanks to DC Comics @dccomics and Netgalley for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Man, I love when comics hit right in feels and this didn't disappoint. This story follows Jessica Cruz (aka Green Lantern) as she struggles to decide whether or not she will renew her rights to remain in America or return to Mexico. The decision comes at a heavy prices because it effects not only her but her whole family! Talk about pressure. I love when graphic novels include hard lessons and r Gigantic thanks to DC Comics @dccomics and Netgalley for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Man, I love when comics hit right in feels and this didn't disappoint. This story follows Jessica Cruz (aka Green Lantern) as she struggles to decide whether or not she will renew her rights to remain in America or return to Mexico. The decision comes at a heavy prices because it effects not only her but her whole family! Talk about pressure. I love when graphic novels include hard lessons and realties. Immigration and the Latinx communities are under-fire as of late so I am floored we get to see that discussed in this novel. I loved that we get to see Jessica come into her own and become the woman she was meant to be. Girl Power! The writing was superb and struck right to the heart. I fell in love with Jessica within the first two pages and felt connected right to the end. The art is STUNNING! The color pallet was rich and fit perfect into the story. Man, I can't wait for more!! Hurry up please. Easy five stars! I'm going to be rereading this and I recommend this 100%! This is the perfect read to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Johnny Leffue

    This was a creative reimagining of both the Jessica Cruz character, and the green lantern mythos. Her personal struggle with being undocumented and losing everything to ICE makes her an easy character to sympathize with. I've always liked Jessica Cruz, and this story made me like her even more by integrating her struggles with anxiety into the looming threat of this book. Lilliam Rivera does a fantastic job with this DC reimagining, but the ending felt a bit rushed. I have this problem with a lo This was a creative reimagining of both the Jessica Cruz character, and the green lantern mythos. Her personal struggle with being undocumented and losing everything to ICE makes her an easy character to sympathize with. I've always liked Jessica Cruz, and this story made me like her even more by integrating her struggles with anxiety into the looming threat of this book. Lilliam Rivera does a fantastic job with this DC reimagining, but the ending felt a bit rushed. I have this problem with a lot of YA DC graphic novels, actually. I'm more mixed on the artwork of this book. Steph C. is great with capturing the more mystical wonder and scale of the Aztec gods present in the book. The actual people in this book are drawn a little bit more rough and sketchy, however. I love the coloring in this book, though, because it makes the art look more like a painting. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Jessica Cruz character, and open to reading about the struggles Latino/a people currently face in the United States. It's an enjoyable standalone work that I feel anyone could pick up without needing to be a fan of the Green Lantern mythos.

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