The Good Asian #1 arrives on shelves on May 5th from Image Comics. The story follows Edison Hark, a Chinese-American detective as he works to hunt a killer during the time of the Chinese Exclusion Act. This intense and gripping drama comes from the creative team of Pornsak Pichotshote (writer), Alexandre Tefenkgi (artist), Lee Loughridge (colorer), and Jeff Powell (letterer).
THE GOOD ASIAN is a Chinatown noir starring the first generation of Americans to come of age under an immigration ban, the Chinese, as they’re besieged by rampant murders, abusive police, and a world that seemingly never changes
The Good Asian is not a book for the faint of heart. It is brutal, harsh, and uncomfortable, but in a very engrossing way. Edison is an intriguing character, quickly shown to be incredibly skilled as a detective thanks to a photographic memory and high attention to detail. He just wants to solve a missing person’s case without getting involved with the bigger issues around him. Sadly, it won’t be so easy for Edison, as he finds everyone he meets carrying some kind of prejudice.
Pornsak Pichotshote is able to capture the audience with the first two pages and keep them invested with each turn of the page. Much like how his previous book, Infidel, captured the feel of a horror film, The Good Asian makes the reader experience a classic detective story as Edison gathers clues and faces consequences for every choice he makes.
The artwork by Alexandre Tefenkgi offers great attention to body language and an insight into what the characters are going through in a particular scene. Looks of disgust, fear, and anger are palpable from frame to frame. The use of the square boxes to show clues is a fascinating touch to aid the visual storytelling.
The colorwork by Lee Loughridge makes the square boxes showing the detective clues more noticeable and defined. The colors also help deliver the story’s emotional impact in a big way. Scenes conveying energy and optimism are distinct, while the moments which are supposed to be hopeless and dirty come through perfectly thanks to Loughridge’s precise use of color on top of Tefenkgi’s thoughtful line art.
Jeff Powell’s letter work offers a great sense of flow and urgency to the issue. Edison’s internal monologue comes through so the reader can hear the detective’s train of thought in an engrossing way. And looking through the panels, it’s surprising and refreshing how often a character’s reaction, like a grunt, is used to convey the impact of each scene instead of through big sound effects.
The Good Asian #1 is the start of a gritty, intense, and engaging comic series. This is a book every fan of mystery and intrigue needs to read — not only because it is a good detective story, but also because it conveys a deep look at humanity beneath it all. It’s the start of something big, and everyone needs to pick up the issue so they can enjoy the ride.