The Shadow Hero

The Shadow Hero

3.87 (8,140 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. 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 superhero. The original Green Turtle comic only had a short run, but now Gene Luen Yang has revived the character, creating an origin story for a forgotten hero. Hank just wants to enjoy his quiet life running the family grocery store with his father, but his mother wants him to become a superhero, and to clean up their Chinatown neighbourhood! With artwork by Sonny Liew, this dazzling, funny comic's adventure for teens is a new spin on the long, rich tradition of American comics lore.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 168 x 260 x 17mm | 430.91g
  • New Milford, United States
  • English
  • full colour throughout
  • 1596436972
  • 9781596436978
  • 173,219

Review quote

What America needs is for people to shed the expectation of translation and immerse themselves in other worlds . . . America has to start somewhere, and I'd recommend The Shadow Hero.
--New York Times

Gene Luen Yang uses his Chinese heritage to create engaging comics that are deeply personal yet rooted in centuries of stories, fictional and true. --LA Times

Yang and Liew reinvent this character in a brilliant homage that finally allows the Green Turtle to get his long overdue face time. --BCCB, STARRED REVIEW on The Shadow Hero

There's plenty of humor in this lively, entertaining adventure story . . . At its heart, though, this book is a subtle comment on China's changing cultural landscape and growing multiculturalism in America. A lovingly tongue-in-cheek homage. --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

The insight into Chinese mafia and 1940s American superhero comic book culture is wonderful. --VOYA

Award-winning author Yang and artist Liew tackle a lesser-known aspect of history, breathing new life into the Green Turtle, a 1940s comic book hero . . . A creative take on the superhero genre. --School Library Journal

"Abundant humor, strong characters and cracking good action." --The Horn Book

"A golden-age comic superhero returns with a brand new Asian-American origin story . . . An entertaining and intelligent response to classic superhero stories." --Kirkus Reviews

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 with a distinctly Chinese perspective." --Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"Masterful." --Dave Eggers on Boxers & Saints

"Remarkable." --The New York Times on Boxers & Saints

"At once humorous and heartbreaking." --The LA Times on Boxers & Saints

"Epic." --The Washington Post on Boxers & Saints
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About Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang's first book with First Second, American Born Chinese, is now in print in over ten languages and was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Printz Award. Yang's other works include the popular comics adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, DC's New Super-Man series, Boxers & Saints, and the Secret Coders series. He is the first graphic novelist to be named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

Sonny Liew is a Malaysian-born comic artist and illustrator based in Singapore. He is the author of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, a New York Times bestseller and the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize. His other comics include titles for Marvel, DC, and Image. He spearheaded Liquid City, a comics anthology series featuring creators from Southeast Asia.
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Rating details

8,140 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 35% (2,874)
4 33% (2,715)
3 19% (1,578)
2 7% (540)
1 5% (433)

Our customer reviews

I enjoyed this a lot. It was a fun romp. I'm a big fan of pulp comics from the 30s/40s, a fan of Asian-themed fiction and a fan of Gene Luen Yang so needless to say I was looking forward to this and expected to like it. It's written in the good old style of the pulp comics from that age and is the origin story of a real comic character "The Green Turtle" which ran for a total of five issues. It shows a favourable depiction of the Chinese for the first time during this period as this was a time when the extreme stereotypes had usually been portrayed. But because china was an ally in the war (the reason for this comic) a distinction is made between Chinese and Japanese with the "Japs" getting the stereotypical racist charactures instead. Of course, lots of racial epithets are slung around for everyone including "mick" and "*****", for realism. Overall, a fun comic hero romp. What I particularly found fascinating was the author's note at the back telling what he has been able to find out about the original author of the series and his intentions (not much is known) and the rumours surrounding this comic. The piece de resistance is a scan of the very first original issue of "The Green Turtle" which was a hoot in itself. After I'm done this review I'm going to see if this series has been uploaded to one of those golden age comic websites; I'd love to read the whole thing!show more
by Nicola Mansfield
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