REVIEW: ‘The Good Asian,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Good Asian #1

The Good Asian #1 is written by Pornsak Pichetshote, penciled by Alexandre Tefenkgi, colored by Lee Loughridge, and lettered by Jeff Powell. In this Chinatown noir published by Image Comics, we follow Edison Hark, a gritty Chinese-American detective on the trail of a killer.

With this story taking place during the immigration ban, the citizens within The Good Asian are not shy to express their dislike for the culture. It is eerily similar to the distasteful and downright shameful hatred we see in modern times, which complements the writer’s accuracy while also shining the light on what’s going on in the world today.

Edison Hark, the story’s titular character, was raised in a white family, which we see was filled with its own set of obstacles to overcome. Growing up in a privileged situation that others never had, Edison spends a great deal of this issue reflecting on those less fortunate than him. Friends he had made in the processing barracks where the law did all they could to deport any lying immigrants. Pichetshote ensured that the passing characters we meet are infused with such realism that you empathize easily with them.

say the book was a page-turning crime story and I loved the depiction of the dark side of 1930’s California society

The Good Asian #1 is a page-turning crime story whose depiction of the dark side of 1930s Californian society I loved. Appropriate to the noir genre, we open this book and descend deep into the darker corners of society where nothing good exists and continue still.

What I believe the greatest accomplishment in this book is the classic noir-style narration. From the first few pieces of dialogue, I knew Edison Hark was the classic noir figure we’ve been missing in comics.  This book has some amazing dialogue and is the very reason I gravitate towards crime noir. Pichetshote made sure that their name would be included in the pantheon of great crime fiction writers like Miller and Brubaker.

Art-wise, Tefenkgi has delivered an arsenal of emotional pages depicting loss, prejudice, crime, and one foreshadowing page of intimacy. Illuminated by Loughridge’s soft, shadowy color palette, the art truly immerses you into the world of The Good Asian. The art used to identify Edison Hark’s detective capabilities and awareness jump off the page and guide your eyes through a crime scene as if you were standing in the room yourself. This is an artistic duo that I cannot wait to see more of.

Powell’s letters do take up significant real-estate on the page, but not in a negative way. We constantly read Edison Hark’s inner thoughts while also reading dialogue and conversations throughout the book. While this sounds overwhelming, Powell brilliantly maps the pages out so that we are neither lost nor distracted during the cut-throat moments.

All in all, I think every creative mind behind The Good Asian stepped up to bat and hit a grand slam. The Good Asian #1  is emotional, intense, suspenseful and an interesting look into the crime noir genre, flashing a detective’s flickering flashlight into the dark corners of history. Not many reviews deserve perfect ratings, but this one blew me away. I will be speaking highly and recommend this story for a long time.

The Good Asian #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


The Good Asian #1
5

TL;DR

I think every creative mind behind The Good Asian stepped up to bat and hit a grand slam. The Good Asian #1 is emotional, intense, suspenseful and an interesting look into the crime noir genre, flashing a detective’s flickering flashlight into the dark corners of history. Not many reviews deserve perfect ratings, but this one blew me away.