Good Minds Suggest—Gene Luen Yang's Favorite Superheroes

Posted by Goodreads on July 8, 2014
Superheroes stories, as comic book creator Gene Luen Yang explains, are often immigrant stories. Look at Superman—just a kid from Krypton who's trying to make it in America. With his latest book, The Shadow Hero, a collaboration with illustrator Sonny Liew, Yang resurrects a lesser-known character from the 1940s with a less-than-inspiring name: the Green Turtle. Rumor has it that the hero's creator, Chu F. Hing, wanted a Chinese American star, but his publishers disliked the idea. Hing's solution: His character's face was never fully visible in a comics panel. Yang says this allowed Hing to imagine his superhero as he intended, as an Asian American. The Shadow Hero gives Hing his wish, with a moving origin story in 1930s Chinatown.

This isn't the first Asian American star Yang has written. The comic artist got a prestigious Xeric Grant for one of his first books, Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, and was nominated for a National Book Award for American Born Chinese. He also contributes to the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Get ready for some tales of derring-do as Yang gives us his five favorite superheroes!

Fourth World by Jack Kirby
"There's a reason they call Jack Kirby the King of Comics. Fourth World is his epic masterpiece. A despot searches for the Anti-Life equation! Fathers betray their sons! Space hippies ride around on a giant space motorcycle! My favorite hero and villain of the DC Universe come from Fourth World—Mister Miracle, the world's greatest escape artist, and his adoptive father Darkseid! Talk about family dysfunction!"

Daredevil Legends: Born Again by Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli
"Until Frank Miller and Mazzucchelli got ahold of him, Daredevil was a pretty forgettable character. Sure, his costume looked cool, but he was really nothing more than a moody Spider-Man knockoff. In Born Again, Miller and Mazzucchelli give Daredevil a voice all his own, making him arguably the most fascinating hero in the Marvel universe."

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (Goodreads Author)
"Zita's [not only] one of the youngest superheroes ever to grace a comics page, but she's also one of the bravest. Without a second thought, Zita jumps to another dimension to save her friend from doom. Ben Hatke's heartfelt writing and charming artwork are sure to win you over no matter what your age."

Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka
"Astro Boy is both Japan's Mickey Mouse and Japan's Superman. He's a kid robot born of tragedy—his creator's son was killed in an accident, so Astro Boy was built as a robot replacement. Armed with jet rocket boots, an electro-heart, and a machine gun in his butt, he protects his futuristic utopian city from crime."

Miles Morales: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli
"I grew up with Peter Parker. I love Peter Parker. I wanted to be Peter Parker. Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli pulled off the impossible by replacing Peter Parker with a kid I love just as much."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Superhero Fiction

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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* I got The Shadow Hero the other day and can't wait to read it. It was a delight to see your recommendations here, thank you.

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