Illustrated by Steph C.
Jessica Cruz is a high school junior with lots of difficult decisions to make. She has to decide to renew her DACA status, something that will put a target on her back but might help keep her undocumented parents safe. She has to fill out college applications and hope her own undocumented status won’t jeopardize her goals. She helps her family around the house as much as she can, and she has landed a prestigious museum fellowship. All of this leaves little room for friends and hanging out. When her father is taken away by ICE agents, Jessica finds herself stuck between two warring Aztec gods - one says she should be a bridge for her family and friends and lean on them, the other tells her to take action against ICE and save her father by using her anger to fuel her.
This is billed as a Green Lantern story and there’s a Green Lantern symbol on the front cover, but this really only has a smidge to do with Green Lanterns. Savvy comic readers will recognize that Jessica Cruz and her friend John Stewart are both Green Lanterns, but nothing about this story will place them in the Lantern context. Jessica also finds a green ring that belongs to her dad, but it doesn’t give her any powers. Instead, DC should have called a spade a spade and said this is an immigration story. The book itself is fine, but passing it off as related to comic characters when it isn’t seems like a major company is trying to profit off of or make themselves relevant by "commenting" on current social dilemmas. The ending is moderately concluded, so it's unclear if there will be further volumes to continue this series, so it remains to be seen whether or not this will become a Green Lantern story.
The illustrations by Steph C. are a little rough. All of the characters have pretty masculine features, so instead of Jessica looking like a teenage girl, she looks like an adult man. The scenes with the Aztec gods are absolutely stunning, though, with some really beautiful scenery and watercolors; Steph C.'s angular style lends itself well to stone statues of gods.
This is part of DC's graphic novels for YA audiences. I think this would fit better with a high school audience because of the particular struggles for college applications and other struggles that Jessica goes through that are more particular for high school students.
Sara's Rating: 6/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9781779500519 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 6/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, School Age, Family, Mythology, DC Comics
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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