The Shadow Hero – Gene Luen Yang
The Shadow Hero
by writer Gene Luen Yang and artist
Sonny Liew revives the Green Turtle, an obscure Golden Age superhero, the first (albeit shortlived) Asian American superhero as a matter of fact. (The Green Turtle was originally created by cartoonist Chu Hing. The Green Turtle’s superpower seemed to be that he could dodge bullets. He helped to defend China against the invading Japanese army.)
It’s a wonderfully funny, sweet, exciting and thoughtful book. Anyone who knows something of the immigrant experience can relate to this, whether their background is Chinese or not. The “Tiger Mother” mother is one of the best characters I’ve read in a graphic novel in some time. She provided several laugh out loud moments. She doesn’t want her son, Hank, to become a boring shop owner like her husband. Instead of driving him to be a doctor or lawyer, she gets on his ass to become a superhero. Adventure, both hilarious and tragic ensue, as he sets out to battle crime. Does he actually have any super powers? Well, some Chinese guardian spirits seem to be helping and protecting him. Will he get the pretty girl he meets along the way? You’ll have to read it to find out.