My Little Green Turtle:
A Superhero in the Making
I utterly adored The Shadow Hero written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Sonny Liew. Whoever thought that a single work could encapsulate my love of Golden Age superhero comics, Chinese martial arts lore and the Asian American immigrant experience? I can't wait to read the follow-ups to the debut volume.
Completely by chance, I dressed my son Jack in a onesie today that appeared to be the exact shade of green worn by the Green Turtle, the long-forgotten Chinese-American superhero revived in The Shadow Hero. Feeling inspired, I placed him on a green beach blanket I found (an acceptable shade), and taking a green bandanna sitting in my bureau (not really the right shade or pattern, but it worked), I dressed him up to serve as an appropriate tribute to the Green Turtle. Even better, without any coaching or prompting, baby Jack brought his hands together in a rough approximation of the kung-fu hand salute.
One of the memories this image stirred up was the fact that when I was five, my mother indulged my Superman fixation and sewed a little cape for me to wear saying "Super Dwight." But funny enough, that cape wasn't done up in the Man of Steel's trademark red, white and blue.
It was green.