Thursday, January 29, 2015

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.


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