The Shadow Hero

illustrated by Sonny Liew
lettered by Janice Chiang
published by First Second Books
recommended for Middle School and Up
digital issues available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Apple iBooks
trade paperback collection available July 2014 at your comics shopyour indie bookstore, and

“It’s so much better than I even hoped.”
-Phil Yu,

I’ve loved superheroes all my life.  Superheroes are about all sorts of things, but at their core superheroes are about America.  They were invented in America, they’re most popular in America, and at their best, superheroes express America at its best.

Superheroes are also about immigrants.  Take at look at Superman, the granddaddy of them all.  His parents sent him to America in search of a better life.  He had two names, one American (Clark Kent) and the other foreign (Kal-El).  He wears two sets of clothes and lives in between two cultures.  He loves his new home, but a part of him longs for his old one.

In The Shadow Hero, Sonny Liew and I explore the immigrant experience through the genre of superheroes.  We tell the story of Hank Chu, a Chinese American teenager growing up in 1930′s Chinatown.  Hank wants nothing more than to work in his family’s grocery store.  His mother has more ambitious plans.  She wants him to embody the excitement of their new home.  She wants him to become a superhero.

Related Materials:
The Shadow Hero Comic Strip at
BoingBoing Feature on The Shadow Hero
Interview with Sonny Liew at
Alex Jay's Biography of Chu F. Hing
Blazing Comics at The Digital Comic Museum
The Green Turtle at Public Domain Super Heroes

The Shadow Hero Trailer

Gene Luen Yang Talks About The Shadow Hero