Reintroducing the First Asian American Superhero

Read a preview tale of Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew's The Shadow Hero

This is so cool. You know I love the work of graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, author of award-winning works like American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints. His forthcoming graphic novel with illustrator Sonny Liew, The Shadow Hero is the untold story of The Green Turtle -- the first Asian American superhero!

They Came Here Not to Save Us, But to Live Among Us

The story behind character is pretty fascinating, and kind of subversive. The Green Turtle was an actual obscure Golden Age comic book hero (first appearance: Blazing Comics #1). According to lore, The Green Turtle's creator, Chu Hing, intended for the character to be Asian, but was prohibited by his publisher. So he always drew him masked or with his face partially obscured, so one could imagine he was Asian.

The Green Turtle's run was short lived, but Gene and Sonny have resurrected and reinvented the character to explore the immigrant experience through the genre of superheroes. In their take, Hank Chu, the son of Chinese immigrants, circa 1930s, dons the mask of The Green Turtle -- the first Asian American superhero!

Tor.com has posted the first seven comic strips, originally published in black-and-white in the Shattered comics anthology, in color for the first time:

Read the rest of the story at Tor.com. The Shadow Hero will be out later this year from First Second Books.

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