A hatchet murder weapon indicates that the Tongs may be back in San Francisco! Never fear, Detective Edison Hark is on the case in The Good Asian #2 by Image Comics!
THE GOOD ASIAN #2 (OF 9)
Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Artist: Alexandre Tefenkgi
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 9th, 2021
Previously in The Good Asian: Edison Hark is one of the first Chinese-American to become a detective in the United States. An especially hard task during the Chinese Exclusion Act that prohibited scores of Chinese from entering America and made it difficult for them to get jobs. Edison was raised by Mason Carroway, a millionaire who is currently in a coma, and is looking for Ivy Chen who was Mason’s lover and has gone missing. His investigations led him to a Chinese boy who has found a dead body killed by a hatchet; the weapon of choice from the Tongs.
WHERE DO YOUR LOYALTIES LIE?
The Good Asian #2 reveals that Edison Hark decided to side with Detective O’Malley instead of the Chinese kid. This led to the kid and his family getting into trouble and Hark still on O’Malley’s bad side. Hark ultimately decide to see what he can do about the case at hand. He meets with Terence Chang who works for Six Companies and help Chinese immigrants. Terence believes that someone is impersonating Hui Long, a “dead” and deadly Tong Member. After some more investigation, Hark follows the trail to the Jade Castle where he runs into Victoria Carroway, Mason’s daughter, and Terence. Before Hark can question anyone, there is an attack with a hatchet and a dead man on the floor. Edison pursues the assailant but is caught off guard. Losing this fight, Edison ends up with a hatchet embedded in his shoulder. When Victoria goes and checks up on him, she reveals that her father had many secrets; including one that may involve Edison’s mother’s murder.
The Chinese Exclusion Act made it difficult for a Chinese American man to figure out his own identity. The Good Asian #2 showed Edison having difficulty showing his mother his detective badge because of the implication. The implication that he may be a part of arresting immigrants that come into the city. Which is a difficult decision for anyone to explore because he makes enemies from his own family and the people he is working with. I mean, Hark somehow is on the bad side of O’Malley even though he sided with him.
This story takes some of the best aspects of Noir and put it in a context of very real issues. Themes like the sexualization and orientalism of Asian women is incredibly important topic of discussion. The end of The Good Asian has a blurb from the author about the modern-day implications and even tied them to a recent shooting in Atlanta. This proves that the racism in this story, like Detective O’Malley threatening Edison, isn’t just an issue in the past or in fiction but an everyday problem. These themes work because the writing is solid, and the art is in the proper style to give us the setting and tone that we would expect from a noir book. Great work from the creative team.
BOTTOM LINE: A WELL-WRITTEN MYSTERY
There has been an increase in comics that are both intentionally and unintentionally informing the audience about very real issues. The Good Asian #2 is no exception and points a critical eye on a theme that is relevant to modern day problems. I greatly appreciate the focus on the topic and being told with an intelligent and informed voice. The Good Asian #2 is a 4.5 out of 5 from me. I am excited to see what they do in the next issue and how everything is going to work out for Detective Edison Hark.
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The Good Asian #2 (of 9)
The Good Asian #2 has a respectable approach to a complex topic while also respecting the genre that it is in.