The Shadow Hero (72-152)

<Hank! There are two more right behind you!>

<I know! I know!>

<How do you know? Do you have eyes in the back of your head? I’m trying to help, but you act like I’m a nuisance!>

<I just need to concentrate on fighting, alright?>

<Really, this is your fault. With promises, wording is everything! Had you asked for a more comprehensive promise, one that covered sharp objects and blunt trauma, then perhaps–DUCK!>

<Thanks.> (pg.100)

In this scene I saw that the tortoise shadow was not just there to be Hanks conscience like I had originally thought. He is there to keep his promise and, as seen in this scene, a protector. Hank is still getting used to having his shadow around, like on page 78 where he wasn’t even aware that the shadow actually existed. On page 83 we are told about the history of the tortoise shadow and how experienced he was with fighting, and about the promise that he makes to Hank’s father. However, you see the connection between the tortoise and Hank when he is fighting and the shadow wants to help him and keep him safe even though that is not the promise that he made.However, the shadow’s favorite host was Ba and because of that I believe he was more willing to help Hank and keep him safe. Also, further on in the story, you find that the tortoise shadow, out of the other brother shadows, is the good shadow, the shadow that has good intentions. This scene could been seen as foreshadowing to being a little bit surprised that there is no ulterior motive as there may have been for the other shadows, like the one that Ten Grand had in his shadow. What i questioned after learning about tortoise shadow’s elder brother, is if the fact that tortoise had both Hank’s father and hank (who are both good men) as his hosts had anything to do with him being “good”.

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3 thoughts on “The Shadow Hero (72-152)

  1. The tortoise has an interesting role in this graphic novel, because he adds to what truly makes a great superhero in the book. The tortoise has wisdom and he has intelligence when it comes to getting out of sticky situations and manipulating people or ideas. A good superhero not only has a good heart and a good power, but he needs to have the brains as well to operate in any given situation. His perspective about how the dynasty is no longer a thing and how the people need to move on to fit in with the new era portrays his wisdom regarding real world situations.
    Also, all great super heroes and great people in general have people or experiences that have influenced them for the better, and have shaped them to who they currently are, and the tortoise has shaped not only Hank, but his father too. The tortoise and his “host” act as almost 2 super heroes in one, but it takes more than just the person himself to do great things in society.
    -Vennela Gadde

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  2. The connection between the tortoise and Hank almost reminds me of a similar connection between Hank and his father. His father did everything he could to protect Hank from danger, even if that meant paying off criminals to keep him safe. However, the difference here is that now the tortoise is helping Hank fight off those criminals to make all of Chinatown a safer place. All the tortoise really wants is to protect his hosts and that can truly prove that characters can exist only for the benefit of others with asking for anything in return. I also found it interesting how Hank was twisting the help of the tortoise at first asking him to stop talking to he could concentrate on fighting but eventually he gave in and accepted his help, letting him eventually beat the criminals.
    – Caitlyn Moss

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  3. I agree that the tortoise plays an important role in the story. One of the significant lessons that the author wants readers to learn is that appearances can be deceiving. While the tortoise does not seem as powerful and fiery as the dragon or tiger, he possesses intelligence and loyalty to Hank when he protects him. One might not think a tortoise would have wisdom or intelligence, but the one in the story proves otherwise. The title of the book itself indicates the inportance and chivalry of the shadow as well.

    Nicole Schmalz

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