The Shadow Hero – By Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

This was the second graphic novel that I read for my Introduction to Comics and Graphic Novel class, and definitely the first that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Despite not being a big fan of superheros.

I liked The Shadow Hero because it follows not only the narrative of the main character and superhero, Hank. But it also follows his mother and father and their journey as immigrants from China. I loved the way the family was portrayed in this comic, despite the various cliches.  Hank’s mom is my favorite character. She goes through so much development over the story and was definitely the most well-rounded of the female characters.

So yes, like I mentioned the story is full of the normal superhero cliches. But for me it didn’t come off as boring or old. It was a really fun twist on a classic story. Hank is a great character, I loved seeing his love for his family. And it’s beautiful to see how his relationship with his mother changes over the comic. I would love to see his story continue in further stories.

The art style is also fantastic. I loved Chu Hing’s use of bold colors and the color themes added so much to the narrative. I’m walking away from this book interested to see more by all the creators involved in this book.

In the end I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, 3.5 stars here.

 

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