Read The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang Sonny Liew Chu Hing Online


A VIBRANT HOMAGE TO A CLASSIC COMIC FROM TWO MASTERS OF THE MODERN GRAPHIC NOVEL. The Shadow Hero is based on golden-age comic series The Green Turtle, whose hero solved crimes and fought injustice just like any other comics hero. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity...The Green Turtle was the first Asian American suA VIBRANT HOMAGE TO A CLASSIC COMIC FROM TWO MASTERS OF THE MODERN GRAPHIC NOVEL. The Shadow Hero is based on golden-age comic series The Green Turtle, whose hero solved crimes and fought injustice just like any other comics hero. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity...The Green Turtle was the first Asian American superhero.Now, exactly seventy years later, New York Times-bestselling author Gene Luen Yang has revived this nearly forgotten, pioneering character in a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the golden-age Green Turtle. With artwork by the unmatched Sonny Liew, this hilarious and insightful graphic novel about heroism and heritage is also a loving tribute to the long, rich tradition of American superhero comics....

Title : The Shadow Hero
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781596436978
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Shadow Hero Reviews

  • Jan Philipzig
    2019-04-30 17:56

    The Shadow Hero by Chinese American writer Gene Luen Yang and Malaysian-born artist Sonny Liew revives an obscure Golden Age superhero called the Green Turtle, providing him with the origin story the short-lived original series never got around to. Why would Yang and Liew be interested in the Green Turtle, you ask? As it turns out, he was the first Asian American superhero.Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed, The Shadow Hero starts out as a simplistic, Golden Age-style origin story with a Chinese twist, but gradually evolves into something much more complex and unpredictable. The story turns out to be the perfect vehicle for the considerable talents of Yang and Liew, as it allows them to infuse a genre traditionally plagued by racial stereotypes with their rich first-hand knowledge of Chinese culture and of the immigrant experience. The results are authentic, thought-provoking, exciting, funny, and sweet - recommended to... well, just about anybody, I'd say!

  • First Second Books
    2019-05-22 16:43

    We're excited every time we get to publish a new book by Gene Luen Yang, and we're super excited to be working on this book with him and the fabulously talented Sonny Liew, whose work we've admired for years and years!This book is also great because it's doing something by just existing: taking a problematic situation from the past and finding a way to make it right today. Changing the world in action!

  • Anastasia
    2019-05-26 13:41

    4.5/5 stars. Hank wants nothing more than to work in his family’s grocery store, but his mother has more ambitious plans. She wants him to embody the excitement of their new country.She wants him to become a superhero. The first graphic novel that I ever read was American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang himself. So, when I saw The Shadow Hero at my local library I had to pick it up. I really enjoyed American Born Chinese. The art, humor, and over all story was really unique so naturally I expected as much from The Shadow Hero. And boy did it live up to all of my expectations. The story was super entertaining. I am a huge super hero fan. Everything from DC to Marvel, if it has a superhero and a villain involved I will watch, read, listen, binge it. This graphic novel was just like an old school comic. It followed theyoung boy from a less than ideal upbringing decides to avenge his families honorroute and it worked, just like every other superhero. It also helped that the main character was loyal to his family and everything he ever did was for his mothers happiness. All of the clichés were present.Superhero gets caught up in how beautiful the villains daughter is, instead of actually killing the villain. Superhero goes through training with a family friend that just so happens to be a master in [insert fighting style].Superhero's family member dies, must be avenged. You know,allof the clichés. The art style was very minimal and bold. There are lots of strong lines and bright colors throughout the story. There are a couple of flashback scenes that are colored similar to sepia (dull browns and tans). Over all I really enjoyed the quirkiness of the art and how it complimented the story. All in all I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It was fast and really entertaining. The art was beautiful and evolved throughout the story. I will definitely pick up more of Gene Luen Yang's work in the future.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-21 17:54

    Dear Gene Luen Yang,How does the Green Turtle pay homage to its predecessor? Yang, did some amazing research and recreated the first Asian American hero from Chu Hing's previous work during the Golden Age of comics. he includes this part at the end of the book to reinforce the research he pursued in re-creating this character. I do believe in that in the nature of rumors, Hing he did all he could in his power to 'rebel against creating another Caucasian superhero.' Yang & Liew have created a graphic novel that pays tribute to the trials Chinese Americans struggled during a heavily propagated culture during the 40s. Yet, the graphic novel goes beyond what could be a history lesson, and revives the Green Turtle as a lead comic character, an extraordinary redemptive feat of showcasing a forgotten comic hero. Was this comic fun? YES! YES! The characterization was fantastically done! I'm not sure which character I loved best.... Hank's mom. Definitely his mom. I had never laughed so hard at how she decided to 'make' him into a superhero by any means necessary. Determined mothers are a force to be reckon with!What stood out in the comic? A vast array of emerging back-stories. You had the four Chinese spirits, you followed Hank's dad and mom through their journeys---and it was similar to Grace Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon where folklore meets reality---or in other words: Hanks superpower. I loved the vintage vibe of the comic. The comic tones were too light to be a straight noir---or even have that Sin City vibe, but parts of the story featured a stark menacing contrast to lighter tones on the page. The Green Turtle will help continue breathing into comics new life by representing all aspects of our American culture. I want to believe that Hing's shrouded mysterious work reflects Sometimes a fight you cannot win, is still a fight worth fighting.Any last words to the Green Turtle? The Shadow Hero helps reinforce the art of wordplay when making promises with spirits. Remember, with promises wording is everything. Congratulations to Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew---here's to your accomplishments:

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-04-30 10:55

    The Green Turtle was a Golden Age character created during World War 2 by American/Chinese comics creator Chu Hing for Blazing Comics. Green Turtle was a defender for China (an American ally) against the invading Japanese army who had a sidekick: Burma Boy! Though Green Turtle’s outfit was distinctly Western superhero with the mask/cape/pants combo, the publisher was unwilling to ever show Green Turtle’s face as Asian, instead opting to hide it every chance he got (though to be fair, because we never saw his face we could never be sure he WAS Asian). And when Burma Boy asked Green Turtle about his origins, he was interrupted before he could explain and, once the character’s series was cancelled after five issues, his origin went unexplained - until now. Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew’s The Shadow Hero revisits this long forgotten (probably) Asian/American superhero and finally gives him his origin story. The character had many odd features like his skin turning to a bright pink periodically to having a shadow creature follow him everywhere, all of which Yang brilliantly explains in this charming book. Hua Chu moves from China to the city of San Incendio in America with a dream of falling in love with a dashing man, living a glamorous life with movie stars, and basically having a totally different life to her parents. But it doesn’t work out like that. Unfortunately Chinatown in San Incendio is run by the tongs (Chinese gangs) who extort the immigrants in return for protection, and Hua is married off to a man she doesn’t love and forced into a life of servitude. Years pass and her son Hank grows up, working in the family grocery store while Hua works as a housemaid to a wealthy white family. Until one day when she’s saved by a superhero, the Anchor of Justice, and Hua comes to life for the first time in years, knowing what she must do: her son must become a superhero! But while the Anchor of Justice has superpowers (he’s basically Superman), Hank is just a shopboy, content to stock shelves and raise a family. So begins Hua’s experiments to turn Hank into a superhero and Hank’s journey from shopboy to - the Green Turtle! The Shadow Hero is a well written and nicely-paced classic superhero story. All the elements you’d expect for Hank to become a hero are there - the evil gangsters like Mock Beak and Ten Grand, the American lawman (kinda like Jim Gordon) with the appropriately corny name of Detective Lawful, and the tragic murder that spurs Hank on to make sure injustice never goes unpunished. There are some unique elements to Hank’s story like the strong Chinese stamp upon it that does away with any ambiguity and defines him clearly as an Asian/American superhero, and the origins of his only superpower are interesting - all of which are really great. But it’s the stuff we’ve seen before, like those things I mentioned earlier, that didn’t make me as involved in the story as I’d like. Parts of the book are original but a lot of them aren’t. I don’t want to give the wrong impression: this is written really well by Gene Luen Yang, drawn beautifully by Sonny Liew, and this is a perfectly fine classic superhero story. It comes down to two personal preferences for me: 1) I’ve read a LOT of superhero stories and Green Turtle doesn’t stand out to me as anything that special, and 2) street level superhero characters just don’t fascinate me that much. Green Hornet, The Spirit, and more recent characters created in that style like Francesco Francavilla’s The Black Beetle, are all characters that I just don’t “get”, for lack of a better word. They’re ok, but not particularly interesting to me. It’s terrific that Yang/Liew have taken a character from so long ago and done justice to him and his creator Chu Hing with this book. The Golden Age is full of curios like Green Turtle that shouldn’t be forgotten. The book just wasn’t for me but I can appreciate the skill, ingenuity and passion that went into it. The Shadow Hero will definitely appeal to readers who enjoy books like Eisner’s The Spirit, the Green Hornet, or other characters along those lines.

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2019-05-08 10:59

    Hank is an everyday boy who loves his father - a man who faithfully runs a small grocery store in Chinatown. His mother, an unhappy woman, gets it into her mind that her son should become a superhero and spice up their lives. Hilarity - tragedy - and bizarreness ensues. I ended up loving this one - the humor worked well without any force, making me laugh out loud - I LOVED the mother, she cracked me up. The art was quirky and fun, in the beginning being dim and gray and slowly brightening to color. The character's faces - especially some of their chins - added to the experience. I loved the theme for the superhero and the different costumes they went through to get there. The effects of the mother trying to turn him into a superhero = priceless. There was some tragedy, as there is in a lot of superhero origins. The background story for the main family was not only funny, it made sense and was interesting. The China guardians and animals spirits - not sure what else to call them - were also intriguing. There was culture, humor, realism, and fun fantasy for this graphic novel. I'm not the biggest fan of superheroes from the street without paranormal type powers, but this is still a fun story I enjoyed.

  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    2019-05-22 09:35

    Gene Luen Yang forces us to take the mask off our concept of "superhero" and confront the fact that for the longest time we have excluded many people of color from our modern pantheon. This fascinating book looks at the 'retro' origin of what may have been the first Asian superhero - hidden in the shadows for over 70 years.

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-05-19 11:36

    This is an important contribution to American comic history by Gene Yang, with art by Sonny Lieu. The art and especially the coloring are consistent with Yang's very bold, colorful work. The Shadow Hero is a great contribution because it builds on a Golden Age Asian American (Chinese) superhero comic where the publisher did not want him to be Chinese, though the artist did. This new story by Yang is well told and is grounded in Chinese mob and oppression of the Chinese in the US. The story of the reluctant superhero goaded on my his Mom who wanted America (and then her son) to be astonishing and colorful is funny. But terrible things happen to the family, too, and suddenly and surprisingly (though the death of a family member figuring into the making of a superhero is not new, of course. Syncing the world of Chinatown and the experience of Chinese Americans with superheroes is terrific, and the story is well written and interesting, maybe Yang's best work (though American Born Chinese will be his major achievement as it is now a staple in schools everywhere). The art complements the story perfectly. Yang's afterword about The Green Turtle and the inclusion of the first issue of that comic, too, makes this a terrific volume. I liked it a lot.

  • Kimberly [Come Hither Books]
    2019-05-14 14:45

    Shadow Hero is a fun superhero story with great family dynamics and a lot of humor. Hank's mom is a powerful force, and her prodding to make Hank a superhero keeps the story moving at a fast clip. Their interactions will make you laugh, as will the quiet reactions of Hank and his dad in the background.Shadow Hero reclaims a little known figure from golden age comics and brings his story into the limelight. Yang and Liew bring us the origin story of the first Asian American superhero. The comic works in details from immigrant life at the time, and Hing's artwork provides a vivid vintage feel. It's a fascinating look into the history of comics, containing an excerpt from the original Green Turtle comics and research notes. We need more kinds of stories in the comic world, and Shadow Hero is a welcome addition.Recommended for:* Light, funny superhero story* Charming family relationships* Cultural reclaiming of golden age comicsBreakdown:Genre: Superhero comic, humor, teen graphic novel, diverse readMagics/Tech: spirits from Chinese folklore grant superpowers, martial artsSetting: 1940s ChinatownProtag: Chinese American immigrant familyReader's Advisory Notes: Appropriate for teens or adults. The extra content provides lots of discussion points on racism, representation and historical context.

  • Ashley
    2019-04-30 17:00

    This is more like 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because I had such a good time reading it, and because I've never read anything like it before. Why haven't more people read this!?The Shadow Hero is actually a reboot of an old, forgotten comic created in the 1940s for Blazing Comics. The Green Turtle was the first comic written by an Asian American, and while the Turtle himself was never seen clearly enough to determine his race (he was always seen from behind, or with his arm covering his face, etc.), we can surmise he was also the first (and only) Asian American superhero. Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew's version brings him out of the shadows, and corrects all the problematic racial stereotyping prevalent in the original comic (the first issue of which is included in the trade paperback version of this book).But even without all that cool background info, this comic would still have been excellent reading. The artwork and coloring is gorgeous, and the story is clean and smooth and really exciting. Watching Hank become The Green Turtle, navigating his family relationships and his own desires versus those of his parents, gives the whole thing a grounding in reality that is sorely needed, especially when you've got a guy who even more than most superheroes is just basically running around in his underpants. (Don't worry, the comic gives an explanation for his ridiculous get-up, which is an homage to the Turtle's original 1940s costume.)I hope that more people read this comic thanks to it being nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award. It's actually coincidental that I'm reading it now. I'd ordered all of Gene Luen Yang's comics from my local library weeks ago, so when I saw that The Shadow Hero had been nominated, I was like, hey! It's that book! I have that in my pile! I also hope that this first volume isn't all we get of The Green Turtle. I like him and want him to stick around a little longer.

  • Stewart Tame
    2019-05-21 13:54

    Hmmm ...? How to begin summarizing this? So there was this obscure hero from the Golden Age of comics, The Green Turtle. His exploits were featured in the even more obscure Blazing Comics published by an unknown publisher, Rural Home. The series allegedly lasted five issues and was drawn by one of the first Asian American comics artists, the obscure Chu Hing. If it seems like I'm going overboard on the "obscure" and "allegedly" and so on, it's because I'm dubious of the whole story. I know Sonny Liew has been involved in at least one other instance of faux comics history, and quite a bit of this story seems too unique and interesting not to have come to the attention of comics fandom before now. I'll believe the Green Turtle is an authentic Golden Age character when I see the story from more sources than just Yang and Liew.Anyway, that's the backstory. Since the original GT never had an origin story, Yang and Liew created this graphic novel as a way of filling that void. Hank just wants to grow up to be a grocer like his father. His mother wants him to be a superhero. It seems to be a line of work that he's just not cut out for, though he tries his best. And then fate steps in ... A little action, a little comedy, a little supernatural, a little crime drama, all stir-fried to perfection and served piping hot ... okay, now I'm hungry. In any case, this comic is loaded up with heaps of fun, and is a loving tribute to the Golden Age of superheroes, but filtered through a modern sensibility. The book is rounded out by what purports to be one of the original Green Turtle stories (see my comments in the previous paragraph. ) Recommended!

  • Sesana
    2019-05-26 11:39

    The Green Turtle is one of many obscure, failed heroes of the Golden Age. What sets the Green Turtle apart from the many other losers of the era is that his stories were set in China, his creator was Chinese, and, weirdly, neither his face nor his origin were ever shown in his original stories. Unsubstantiated rumor has it that this is because the publishers of the comics he appeared in refused to show him as Chinese, and that his Chinese creator rebelled by carefully avoiding showing him as anything but. Plausible? Absolutely. An original Green Turtle story is printed at the back of the book, and it's oddly obvious that great lengths have been taken to avoid showing the Turtle's face. And, like I said, there was never an official origin for the Green Turtle, and this is a modern take on a possible origin for him. Gene Luen Yang, a very talented comics creator in his own right, has given the Green Turtle a real, Asian-American backstory. I'm all for revisiting comics' weird and fascinating history, and this is actually fairly well done. It feels very much of the time and place it's meant to be, and it's very cool to see a Golden Age-style hero who isn't white. At the same time, it doesn't feel super dated. The vintage story at the back makes for a good comparison: this is definitely inspired by, but not an imitation of, the comics of the era.But, and this is kind of a minor quibble, I guess... This is really just another origin story, and it reads like so many other origin stories. It's cool to see more diversity in comics, but it isn't really special aside from that. Not that it's bad, by no means, but it's done.

  • Raina
    2019-04-26 10:49

    Really appreciate the academic approach Yang took with this. He's a very thoughtful storyteller. Hooray illuminating Asian-American superhero history. I think this would have delighted me on a more personal level if I was more into superhero comics. Also, my expectations get raised with Yang and all the acclaim this got. Extra star for the Importance.

  • Andi
    2019-05-26 14:33

    I'm not going to spoil this for anyone, but I will say that I love how Yang has levity woven throughout his stories. It sort of neutralizes some of the stress of the violence and makes his characters very natural, I'm able to suspend my belief. I also really enjoy the historical perspective, and the truth vs. rumor offered at the conclusion. Just go read it!

  • Maria Kramer
    2019-04-29 13:54

    An enjoyable, unusual volume, in which a distinctly Chinese-American pulp action hero comes into the spotlight. This is a fun, fast read, with humor and action in equal measure. Make sure to read the afterword, in which Gene Luen Yang explains the Golden Age origins of the Green Turtle - the first superhero created by a Chinese-American writer, back during WWII.

  • Edward Sullivan
    2019-05-02 12:37

    The Green Turtle, the first Asian American superhero, who had a short-lived run in Blazing Comics in the 1940s is resurrected in this origin story that depicts him as a first-generation American living between two cultures and dealing with prejudice while figuring out how to be a superhero. Great story and superb illustrations by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew.

  • Jacki
    2019-05-02 10:36

    Phenomenal, which is entirely to be expected. The sequel (and there had better be one!) cannot come soon enough.Rambling fangirl review at http://storytimehooligans.wordpress.c...

  • Donalyn
    2019-05-12 14:48

    Gene Yuen Lang reimagines the 1940's comic The Green Turtle. I particularly enjoyed the historical information about comics and the racism and prejudice toward Asian-Americans that appear in the original Green Turtle.

  • Barb Middleton
    2019-04-30 15:51

    The Avengers can add an Asian superhero to their team, Hank Chu, a.k.a. Green Turtle. Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew pay homage to the first ever Asian comic superhero that came out in the 1940s, the golden age of comics that produced Batman, Captain America, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and so on. Chu Hing created a character in 1944 called, The Green Turtle, that was a superhero from WWII. Hing only had 5 issues published and was told his character could not be Asian. An appendix explains in more detail how Hing worked around this issue and the history of the first Green Turtle superhero. While Yang and Liew remake elements of the original, their story is their own concoction of action, humor, and Eastern culture. Gobble up this graphic novel with a boazi and enjoy.Hank Chu, is a carbon-copy of his father who runs a grocery store during the 1930s in San Francisco, CA. His mother, Hua Chu, wants more in life. One day while tooling around town on errands in a big sedan chauffeuring her employer, Mrs. Olson, a carjacker steals the car at gunpoint making her drive him to an unknown destination. Hua is saved by the Anchor of Justice, a superhero that flies the car up over a body of water and shakes the occupants out catching Hua mid-air and letting the villain crash in the water below. With goo-goo eyes, Hua is inspired and admires her rescuer. She becomes obsessed with Hank becoming a superhero by making him a costume, setting him up for fighting lessons with uncle, and putting him through experiments so he'll gain superpowers. She is a hilarious caricature of a Tiger Mom and her illustrations are some of my favorite ones in the whole novel. Gangs run the streets and when Hank's father doesn't pay the street Lord, things start to fall apart. When a relative is killed, Hank seeks revenge. He discovers another gang and falls for the Ten Grand's daughter. She's a strong female that rescues Hank on his first disastrous outing as a superhero. Ironically, Hank was trying to save the daughter from thugs but she is perfectly capable of protecting herself. Later, she deliberately doesn't kill Hank when her father asks her to.I live in Asia. I recognize the goofy kung fu fighting uncle, the dedicated son that obeys his parents, and the ambitious pushy mother. And while these stock characters are going to be familiar to Asians, I'm not sure Americans will recognize them which makes this novel a good way to introduce others to an unfamiliar culture.The snappy dialogue is fun. The mother's character, Hua, is one of the main forces that drives the plot and she embodies so much of Eastern culture making her an important person to the story as a whole, but her verbal criticism of how Western women dressed and looked from being drab to fat made me wonder if she was going to be a stereotyped unhappy, gossipy, older woman who has lost her looks and criticizes those around her. Fortunately, she doesn't take that one-dimensional route and shows that she really wants what is best for her son even if she is misguided.The authors capture Eastern culture and humor loaded in action-packed illustrations and text. Hua is sitting in the car eating a pork bun or boazi. In Taiwan, they sell these buns everywhere. The students want them as a snack after playing sports or for meals. The old men are playing Mahjong, a fun board game that people play in the multiple parks around the city of Taipei. When Hua makes Hank his first costume it is with the Chinese character for gold. The money god or god of prosperity is worshiped or invoked during Chinese New Year. Common Chinese traditions and beliefs are what make this novel special for the reader is absorbed in the culture; it isn't explained. Eastern culture has roots in Confuscius teachings who championed strong family loyalty, respect for elders by children and husbands by their wives. This book gives the reader a bite of a different culture and it is delicious.Derogatory words are used in the story. When I first came across them it was jarring, but then it became apparent that they were intentional and are an effort to make the characters authentic. By drawing attention to racial slurs, the authors are showing how they were used at that time in history. Slurs are still used today and people are victims of prejudice all over the world.The character arcs show Hua changing from wanting her son to be a superhero at all costs, to worrying that she went too far and he will kill himself. At the end, he shows he's capable and no longer a child in need of a parent's protection. She's proud of him. Hank embraces his new powers, suffers many setbacks, but learns to believe in himself. He gains respect from the community while championing the common Asian person. Ultimately, the superhero is successful at avenging his relative's death and bringing peace to the neighborhood.I plan on using this for book club and get my students opinions. Most grew up in Taiwan and their take on the story would be enlightening and rich. This graphic novel is corny, fun, and introduces a culture I have fallen in love with. Check it out. Better yet, check out Taiwan.

  • Dani Shuping
    2019-05-17 13:39

    (edited October 5, 2014)In the Golden Age of the comics, the 1940's, a hero was created by Chu Hing named....The Green Turtle! The Green Turtle had no mystic or magical powers, but he was a superb and skilled fighter. During World War II, The Green Turtle helped the Chinese army defend itself against the invading Japaneses forces. But there's even more to this legend than meets the eye...the Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero. Even though Chu's publishers refused to allow the Turtle to ever be depicted in the comics as Asian, Chu hid the Turtle's face and gave him slanted eyes. The Turtle did not run long and soon lapsed into the night, but his legend remained and those that knew of him wondered...where did he come from? Thanks to the efforts of writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Sonny Liew that question may now be answered. And the legend of the Green Turtle is at long last revealed.Hank is just your average 1930's teenage kid. He's a second generation Chinese-American living in Chinatown with his parents. He looks up to his dad and works hard their grocery store, thinking about the future when he'll take over, and eventually pass it onto his children. But his mother...his mother isn't happy with average. One day she is saved by a superhero. And she decides...Hank needs to be the first Asian American superhero. And Hank begins a journey that will include encounters with gangsters, the police, beautiful women, and perhaps...even an ancient spirit or two. Now the only question is...can he survive what the "training" his mom throws at him?The first thing I thought of when I heard of this story is...what the heck is the Green Turtle?? It just sounds...strange. But after reading the description, that Gene and Sonny were bringing back the first Asian American superhero and giving him an origin story, I was intrigued. I mean how can you not be, after learning that in the 1940's Chu did all he could to give the world this hero and he drew and wrote the story in such a way, that the publishers, or anyone else for that matter, cloud claim that the Turtle was a white hero. And Gene and Sonny do an excellent job of bringing this character and his story to life. Gene is one of those writers that I've admired for a very long time. You know the type, that everything they do seems to come out awesome and you want to be jealous of them, but how can you be? Not only is he a great writer, but he's also one of the nicest guys around. Gene and Sonny capture the feeling of being in 1930's California. The growing and bustling population of Chinatown, the immigrants looking to make a new life for themselves, and the racism that the people must endure. Gene doesn't shy away from using racial slurs, showing inept and horrid caricatures of the Chinese and other creations. The thing that I love most about Gene's stories though, are that he starts blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, to create a world that you recognize and instantly want to be a part of. And that's what he does here. This world that he creates where heroes exist and where ancient spirits roam, and there are people that are willing to stand up and fight for the wrong in the can you not want to be a part of that? That says nothing of the fact that the characters are memorable and the journey they undertake is powerful. It leaves you to wonder...what would you do in the spot? Would you make the same choices? Would you get lost? And that's one of the best things any story can do.Sonny's artwork is just simply gorgeous. He seems to effortlessly capture the movement of the characters on the pages as they fight and battle, that it almost seems like they're dancing. But even better is just how well Sonny's art works with Gene's words. Sometimes you read a comic book and think "why the heck did they pick this person to draw? It just doesn't look the words!" But here...that's not the case. If you were to read Gene's words by themselves, Sonny's images surpass what you could even imagine.This is a great story and I'm glad that Sonny and Gene were able to come together to create and weave a great story. You can see the "secret origins" of the Shadow hero on Gene's blog, as he shares the process behind the creation of the comic, including some of the early scripts and sketches that he and Sonny put together. I'm linking to part 5 of the secret origins and you can find the links to the previous parts. I really hope that they come out with a second volume, because I want to know what happens next...and I can't wait to read it. I give the book 5 out of 5 stars.ARC provided by Gina at First Second

  • Ruel
    2019-05-20 10:33

    4.5 stars.I loved what Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew did with The Shadow Hero: they revived a character from the Golden Age of comics and re-told his story as the first Asian-American superhero. The history of long-forgotten Asian-American artist Chu Hing is the basis for Yang and Liew's take on the Green Turtle and it's a fantastic graphic novel. Supposedly, Hing wanted to make the Green Turtle a Chinese character, but his publisher wanted a white hero, so Hing drew the hero in a way that his face and ethnicity were never revealed.Decades later, Yang and Liew put the Green Turtle's face and ethnicity out front and center. The Shadow Hero is the Green Turtle's origin story, with a likable teenage protagonist, his domineering mother, and stoic father. There's tragedy, comedy, and all of the stuff that make good comic books tick, from the reluctant hero to the mysterious female foil. There's plenty of action to boot, and best of all, the Asian American history is woven expertly into the tale; it never feels false or gimmicky. It's fun, but with enough depth to warrant multiple readings.

  • Matthew Galloway
    2019-05-19 17:45

    I one hundred percent loved this -- the humor, the explorations of the immigrant experience, the quirky art, the story about making a home for yourself... I liked the folklore and the goofy explanations for aspects of the original comic (because, as the author says, rumors abound that way back in the 1940s Green Turtle might have been meant to be Chinese, but the publisher wouldn't allow it and so there are many unexplained aspects to the hero).And yeah, I plain love that we can have an Asian American superhero. There are plenty of superheroes for the caucasian side of me -- but not too many for the other half. Certainly not much in the way of out and out superheroes who are central to the story. Typically, any that exist are either sidekicks or secondary characters. Green Turtle IS the superhero of this story. And yeah, I'm half-Korean, rather than half-Chinese, but it's closer than we usually get for this genre so I'm happy. It's a great step in a great direction, without being some kind of preachy, pushy story.

  • Skip
    2019-05-13 13:38

    Author Gene Luen Yang and artist Sonny Liew provide the back story for a Chinese superhero, the Green Turtle, a comic book character from the 1940s. Based in the fictional city of San Incendio, Hank Chu is the modest 19-year old son of a Chinese immigrant, who is content working in his father's grocery store in Chinatown. After a chance encounter with a superhero, his embittered mother sets about turning her unwilling son into a superhero. After his father is killed by triad enforcers for forgetting to pay his protection money, Hank sets out for retribution with the help of a wayward Chinese spirit. Lots of action, excellent illustrations, with deeper moral issues too, this one was fun. My only criticism is that I would have liked to have read the character history, contained in an afterword, first.

  • Christian McKay
    2019-05-16 16:36

    STOP WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING AND READ THIS. SERIOUSLY.These are the kinds of comics I want to be reading monthly. I would have loved to have sweated over the weeks between issues of this glorious collection. Smart, funny, unpredictable, strange, honest, silly, serious, beautifully drawn . . . Guh, I could go on and on. Yang did not hook me with American Born Chinese. But the man received so many accolades I read Boxers & Saints and really enjoyed it. This? The Shadow Hero? I LOVED this. A perfect blend of Chinese history, mythology, and culture, resulting in a voice and hero that's been quiet for too long. Do yourself a favor. Read this. Apex of superhero stories. Apex of comic books.

  • Marc Burkhardt
    2019-05-17 11:34

    With so many opportunistic writers and artists tapping the public domain these days for super-heroes to compete with the Big Two, it's a pleasure to find a book that pays tribute to the Golden Age of comics and its anything-goes spirit while remaining totally unique on its own terms. No cheap attempts at grim and gritty Frank Millerisms here; just respect for a heretofore obscure character and its creator.

  • Melissa
    2019-05-05 09:58

    Yang's stuff is SO good. This is no exception.

  • Beth
    2019-05-03 17:54

    This was great. And it was fun. It worked for me much more than Boxers & Saints and American Born Chinese did.

  • Jenn Estepp
    2019-05-08 17:38

    Pretty terrific

  • Kristen
    2019-05-13 12:48

    The Shadow Hero is a new comic that spins off of a 1940s comic called The Green Turtle. Hank is the main character, who wants nothing more than to take over the shop from his father when he gets older, but his mother has different ideas. When she is rescued from a criminal by a superhero, she realizes that is what her son should be. She makes him a costume and tries some very creative ways to try to give him superpowers. Unfortunately, he’s just normal and fails a bit at being a superhero. Unfortunately, his stunt leads to the money his father owes for protection not being enough and his father is killed, leaving Hank with a grudge to bear. He starts to train to become stronger so he can exact revenge on his father’s killer.Add in a bit of romance and a touch of cliche moments and I found The Shadow Hero to be one of the best graphic novels I have read in a while. I love the originality and the story line, including the heritage of how Hank eventually gets a power, of sorts. I especially love his mother as a character. She’s a sweet woman who is only trying to do what is best for her son and everything goes wrong. She speaks her mind freely and feels openly.I admire that they managed to write in other strong female characters into The Shadow Hero as well. The love interest is the daughter of Ten Grand, who rules the underground in Chinatown. She has mad fighting skills and actually fights better than Hank when they first meet earlier in the story. I love their interactions when they finally meet again and the way she seems charmed by his somewhat shy and awkward ways.Verdict:The Shadow Hero is truly a newly recreated story that tells a marvelous story and featuring an Asian American hero that you won’t forget.

  • Skye Kilaen
    2019-05-18 14:36

    Yang and Liew are two of our favorite comics creators, and their reincarnation of an almost-forgotten 40’s superhero called Green Turtle is absolutely perfect. Who was he? How did he get his superpowers? He has powers, right?Well, no. His mother did push him into a toxic spill once, but that didn't work. Her other attempts didn't work either. So she finally took him for kung fu training from her ex-boyfriend (that’s not awkward), and The Golden Man of Bravery was born! Except a name change is possibly in order. The Golden Man of Bravery is just too long.Whatever his name, I can’t think of a better way to describe this book than what’s on the back cover: “…this hilarious and insightful graphic novel about heroism and heritage is also a loving tribute to the long, rich tradition of American superhero comics.” Pick it up, y’all!