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The Shadow Hero

(The Shadow Hero #1-6)

by
3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,889 ratings  ·  792 reviews
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 su
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Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by First Second
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TeenFiction Teton County Library Generally I'd say Young Adults. I recall a mention of testicles and some humor about the mother having a third breast (hiding a snack). I don't think…moreGenerally I'd say Young Adults. I recall a mention of testicles and some humor about the mother having a third breast (hiding a snack). I don't think the actual content goes beyond that (as far as measures for maturity).(less)

Community Reviews

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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,889 ratings  ·  792 reviews


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Jan Philipzig
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 wi
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Calista
Wow! I loved this story. 1. I want Gene to make more in this series. Come on First Second, let's see some more and 2. I want this to be made into a movie! Yes, please.

I loved the fictional setting and the whole thing starts because this crazy kids mother wants him to be a super hero, so she sorta sews a costumes, gives him some fighting lessons and sends him out in the world. The mother is hilarious. There is some great humor in this.

The Green Turtle does get some super powers from an ancient gu
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First Second Books
Jul 17, 2014 marked it as first-second-publications
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
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 exp
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Jessica
Dear Gene Luen Yang,

yesplz

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
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Sam Quixote
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
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 col
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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
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
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 th ...more
Morgan
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I still think Yang's Boxers & Saints is his best work, but this was such a fun read. Like most of the readers reading this book, I knew nothing previously of the Green Turtle. He's one of those Golden Age heroes long forgotten by the public. The Shadow Hero decides to bring back the hero, but giving him an origin story and making him more of a developed character.

I really liked this version of the Green Turtle's story. Yes, it has elements from other heroes, but I think they wanted to mix-an
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Stewart Tame
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Kimberly [Come Hither Books]
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 w
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Raina
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Ashley
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,
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Andi
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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!
Sesana
Sep 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: superhumans, comics
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 any ...more
Maria Kramer
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
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.
Donalyn
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Jacki
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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...
Barb Middleton
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 ap ...more
Dani Shuping
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(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 T
...more
Ruel
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 f
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Matthew Galloway
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 Am
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Skip
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 forget ...more
Christian McKay
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 perf
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Marc Burkhardt
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yang's stuff is SO good. This is no exception.
Beth
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This was great. And it was fun. It worked for me much more than Boxers & Saints and American Born Chinese did.
Robert
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Modern re-imagining of a comic hero so briefly published that 'obscure' is to high profile a word to describe him. Entertaining in its own right, fascinating once the back-story essays at the end are read.
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1,894 followers
Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. American Born Chinese received National Book Award.

He
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Other books in the series

The Shadow Hero (6 books)
  • The Shadow Hero #1: The Green Turtle Chronicles
  • The Shadow Hero #2: The Dawn of a Golden Age
  • The Shadow Hero #3: Fathers and Sons
  • The Shadow Hero #4: Fights You Cannot Win
  • The Shadow Hero #5: True Colors
  • The Shadow Hero #6: Enter the Green Turtle
“[S]ometimes, a fight you cannot win is still worth fighting.” 9 likes
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