Mini Review: “The Keeper” by Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Marco Finnegan

Release Date: September 27, 2022
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Genre: Comics, Horror


A young Black girl finds herself trapped between desperation and her family’s dark history in this horror graphic novel

Aisha has suffered a devastating loss. Her parents were killed in a car crash, and now she must move to decrepit and derelict Detroit to live with her ailing grandmother. However, shortly after moving in, Aisha’s grandmother’s health rapidly deteriorates. With her dying breath, she summons the dark spirit that has protected their family for generations to watch over Aisha.

At first it seems that this spirit, whom Aisha refers to as the Keeper, is truly doing as her grandmother asked, caring for Aisha and keeping her safe; however, it soon becomes clear that this being can only sustain itself by stealing life from others. As the Keeper begins to prey on the apartment building’s other residents, Aisha and her friends must come together to destroy it . . . or die trying.

Written by masters of horror Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes and illustrated by Marco Finnegan, The Keeper reflects on the horror Black Americans face every day, while still staying true to the genre.

My Thoughts

Not to put too fine a point on it, but The Keeper is fantastic. It’s a horror comic with something to say about the world. It has all the incisive racial commentary and deep-rooted fear of a Jordan Peele joint. It’s not just about a monster that eats people but about the insidious ways racism haunts the lives of Black folks, how the monster isn’t always the monster, that sometimes the monster is the white men with violence in their hearts and power on their minds. 

As soon as I finished The Keeper, I thought what a great movie it would’ve made. Sure enough, when I read the acknowledgements it turns out it was originally a script some studio made the absolutely ridiculous choice to pass on. Well, no matter what the format, I’m just glad to have the story available.

Buy it at (affiliate link)

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