Even though it only came out today from First Second, Gene Yang and Sonny Liew's The Shadow Hero is already one of my favorite graphic novels of the year. Through their revival of an obscure Golden Age character called the Green Turtle, Yang and Liew have gone back to tell a story about one of the forgotten heroes of the first wave of American comics, blending a story full of action and adventure with rumors about the true motivations behind what may have been the first Asian-American superhero.
To find out more, I spoke to Yang about how he discovered the Green Turtle, what he hopes comes out of his work on a public domain character, and why he focused on the Green Turtle's relationship with his mom.
It's already been a pretty amazing year for original graphic novels with Kyle Starks' Sexcastle being funded on Kickstarter and Box Brown's long-awaited Andre the Giant in stores now, but we're not done getting great comics yet. The latest contender for OGN Of The Year is The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew, out this July from First Second.
In their story, they tell one of the most exciting and heartfelt superhero stories I've seen in a while, and they do it by reviving one of the most interesting characters of all time. See, The Shadow Hero is actually a Golden Age character called the Green Turtle, and while his adventures on the page never really caught on, the story behind the character is fascinating -- especially how Yang and Liew use that real life story to shape the one they're telling in the book.
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