The Keeper explores the horror of generational trauma and foster care

The Keeper
(Image credit: Abrams ComicArts)

In the lead-up to Halloween, Abrams ComicArts is releasing a new horror graphic novel, The Keeper, written by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes and drawn by Marco Finnegan. The story follows a young Black girl named Aisha, who's orphaned when her parents are killed in a car crash and then sucked into a dark family secret when she moves in with her ailing grandmother.

(Image credit: Abrams ComicArts)

The Keeper explores grief, generational trauma, racism, and the inherent violence of the foster system in the United States. 

Aisha's grandmother isn't doing well, and everyone seems concerned about her staying with the old woman as her health deteriorates. However, Aisha's grandmother would do anything to keep her granddaughter out of the foster system, and Aisha heeds her warnings very carefully... even when it becomes increasingly dangerous.

Aisha's grandmother's final words are used to summon a dark spirit that's protected the family for generations. She asks it to protect Aisha now, and Aisha is careful not to tell anyone about her grandmother's death or the spirit for fear of being taken away and put into foster care.

At first, the spirit - which Aisha calls the Keeper - does what it was asked to do. Unfortunately, for the Keeper to sustain itself, it has to steal life from others. Now that Aisha's grandmother is dead, it begins to prey on other residents in their apartment complex, and Aisha and her friends struggle to destroy it before it goes too far.

Newsarama can reveal pages from The Keeper, wherein Aisha and her grandmother visit Aisha's great aunt, who warns against keeping the spirit around.

The Keeper will be available September 27 from Abrams ComicArts.

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Samantha Puc
Editor, Newsarama

Samantha Puc (she/they) is an editor at Newsarama and an avid comics fan. Their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., The Beat, The Mary Sue, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School.