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The Shadow Hero
by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew


Overview -

Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what's popularly known as the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

A New York Times bestseller

In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle.  Read more...


 
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More About The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang; Sonny Liew
 
 
 
Overview

Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what's popularly known as the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

A New York Times bestseller

In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity... The Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero.

The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but the acclaimed author of American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang, has finally revived this character in Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle.

With artwork by Sonny Liew, this gorgeous, funny comics adventure for teens is a new spin on the long, rich tradition of American comics lore.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781596436978
  • ISBN-10: 1596436972
  • Publisher: First Second
  • Publish Date: July 2014
  • Page Count: 158
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-17
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds


Related Categories

Books > > Comics & Graphic Novels - Superheroes
Books > > Science Fiction - General
Books > > Social Themes - Prejudice & Racism

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-04-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

Yang further establishes himself as one of YA’s leading voices on the Chinese-American experience by inventing a backstory for a forgotten comic-book character who was arguably the first Asian superhero. As explained in a postscript, the Green Turtle blinked into and quickly disappeared from publication during the 1940s superhero boom; he would likely be condemned to obscurity if not for rumors suggesting that creator Chu Hing masked the character’s ethnicity so that he could be read as a Chinese superhero (the face of the original Green Turtle is almost always obscured). Yang and Liew run with this theory and cast the Green Turtle as 19-year-old Hank Chu, a second-generation Chinese American who (at his mother’s urging) takes up crime fighting, aided by an ancient shadow spirit that gives him limited superpowers and provides some hilarious banter. Racism, romance, humor, and identity all play important roles in Yang and Liew’s evocation of Hank’s life in pre-WWII San Francisco as they create an origin story that blends classic comics conventions (at one point, Hank’s mother pushes him into a toxic spill in an attempt to give him superpowers) with a distinctly Chinese perspective. (July)■

 
BookPage Reviews

A unique teenage superhero

Set in the Chinatown neighborhoods of the fictional California city San Incendio, The Shadow Hero is the tale of a young man’s discovery of his noble and ancient powers. Hank, the 19-year-old son of two Chinese immigrants, is content to work in his father’s grocery store and lead a quiet, uncomplicated life. When his mother is saved by the local superhero, she starts scheming to make Hank into a superhero as well. Out of respect for his mother, Hank trains in martial arts, but on his first night as a superhero, he bumbles into a fight with members of the Tongs gang, the Chinese organized crime ring that controls Hank’s town. Failing to wear a mask, Hank exposes his identity and puts his whole family at risk. Luckily for him, a kind, ancient spirit has been watching over Hank for years, and it makes him a promise that changes his life.

With The Shadow Hero, National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang revives and reinvents the story of the Green Turtle, the first Asian-American superhero. Accompanied by Sonny Liew’s epic artistry, the story captures the familial, racial and criminal tensions of a time, place and people as old as they are new.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews