Publisher's Note:  

In the comics boom of the 1940s, a  legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. 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 super hero.

The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but the acclaimed author of American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang, has finally revived this character in Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle.

With artwork by Sonny Liew, this gorgeous, funny comics adventure for teens is a new spin on the long, rich tradition of American comics lore.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by First Second Books

The Shadow Hero

by Gene Luen Yang

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Overall Review:  

Gene Luen Yang's storytelling is both witty and poignant--a perfect combination for Green Turtle's tale of mishap and underdog victory. Along with Sonny Liew's fantastic artwork, this graphic novel brings much needed diversity to the comic world--and to literature in general. We need more diverse heroes, and Green Turtle fits the bill. 


Despite the mob shakedowns and frequent fighting, this story has a sweet innocence to it. Hank is loveable and easy to get behind. The supporting characters are all highly enjoyable--both for their ridiculousness and their knavery. While many graphic novels are hard to follow and sometimes confusing, this story is straightforward and clear. I almost find myself in perfect sympathy with all those boys of the 1940s and 50s, waiting impatiently for the next issue of their favorite superhero comic to come out. I'd love several more issues of "The Shadow Hero," please. I'll read every one.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation; 3 mild obscenities; 3 derogatory names.


Violence/Gore:  Several (5) instances of martial arts fighting with no serious injuries (3 extended scenes); two characters are shot and killed with little blood; characters fight with guns and knives with some blood (2 times); a character is shot and killed with no detail.


Sex/Nudity:  Two characters kiss briefly; a character refers to another character's body; a character is harassed.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of family members, racism, gang violence.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A minor is given alcohol; adults drink and smoke.

Reviewed By Leslie
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