DC Comics First Look: 'Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story' - a YA Graphic Novel
This fall, pick up a powerful account of one of DC’s youngest and brightest heroes, Jessica Cruz, as she fights to overcome her fears and protect her family.
Debuting in September 2021, Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story is a new young adult graphic novel from DC that provides a fresh retelling of Jessica Cruz’s origin story, that captures the experiences of many immigrant families today. Like the Green Lanterns who came before her, Jessica must fight for what she believes in, and develop her willpower, determination, courage and tenacity - hallmarks of every Green Lantern - while facing overwhelming odds as xenophobia takes root in her hometown, Coast City.
This poignant and heartfelt tale about the trials that immigrants face in America is crafted by Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Lilliam Rivera (Never Look Back) and rising illustrator Steph C. Their modern refresh of Jessica’s story shows the budding hero take on challenges that ordinary immigrant families face every day. As she struggles with a new reality in Coast City, Jessica must overcome her fear to become a beacon of hope for her community.
I’ve always been fascinated by origin stories and I’m so glad I got to write one for Green Lantern’s Latinx superhero, Jessica Cruz.
Unearthed is a story of an everyday high school teenager who strives to make her parents proud. It’s also a story about immigration and how Jessica navigates debilitating anxiety while trying to keep her family together.
Mexican artist Steph C.’s illustrations not only beautifully capture this struggle; she’s created stunning otherworldly realms that will leave readers breathless. I can’t wait for fans to see a side of Jessica Cruz never before seen.
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.
Written by Lilliam Rivera
Illustrated by Steph C.
On sale everywhere books are sold
September 14, 2021