REVIEW: 'The Good Asian' #2 by Pornsak Pichetshote, Alexandre Tefenkgi, and Lee Loughridge

Detective Hark takes advantage of his Carroway connections to stay on his feet and in pursuit of his mentor's maid. Clues may lead to an infamous killer but the deeper he investigates the more he may become a target himself. Not everything looks as it seems in Chinatown in 'The Good Asian' #2.


THE GOOD ASIAN #2

Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Artist: Alexandre Tefenkgi, Lee Loughridge
Letterer & Designer: Jeff Powell 
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 9, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

The Chinatown noir keeps flipping the genre on its head, as Edison Hark comes face to face with a killer - and more suffering, lust, and soul than he'd ever imagined in Chinatown.

Score:
★★★★★ (5/5)

After a stunning debut, 'The Good Asian' #2 follows up with Detective Edison Hark as he ends up selling out the kid at the end of the first issue revealing the murder of a white man with a hatchet. The repercussions of that decision could have dire consequences for an immigrant community already besieged with racism and police brutality. The appearance of a white man's killing by a possible Chinese gang member is going to bring a lot of unwanted attention to Chinatown. 

Meanwhile, Hark is introduced to a local Chinese-American attorney who advocates for the community. The way he sizes him up reveals Hark's attention to detail and profiling ability. The narration is classic hardboiled detective observations but also gives a cultural perspective that lands poignantly."You don't have to look hard to find a Chinaman acting perfect. 'Cuz their folks gave up too much to accept less."

Like any good detective, Hark follows the clues,  retraces the missing woman's steps, deduces where she might have gone, and simply asks the public for help. It's the tedious work of investigation that produces the biggest clues. Pornsak Picheshote understands the minutia, the little details that make mysteries so rewarding - the revelations found along the way. Not only does pounding the pavement result in more information about Ivy's whereabouts before her disappearance, but the talk among folks in Chinatown has also revived the urban legend of an infamous mob enforcer back to inflict his revenge on those who wronged him. Hui Long is the boogeyman they speak of and could the dots really connect him to recent murders? Picheshote puts that possibility into readers' heads. 

Alexandre Tefenkgi and Lee Loughridge continue to do amazingly atmospheric work with some of the best designs and story framing you'll see in comics. I've tried to find some areas to criticize and I can't. The pacing, the color schemes, the use of close-ups, flashbacks, all work in tandem with the script to produce a riveting comic. There's a lot of talking, dialogue, and narration, so you wouldn't expect a ton of action but there is. It's small moments that add to character development or fleshing out the world around Hark. Loughridge's use of color-coding scenes breaks up situations and differentiates the past from the present. The splash page in this issue is especially spectacular. 

Please pay special attention to back matter pages as they provide a lot of real-world context to the setting of 'The Good Asian.' It's an important history lesson. 

'The Good Asian' #2 delves deeper into the mysterious disappearance of Ivy Chen. Hark pounds the pavement looking for clues and comes across the legend of exiled hatchet man Hui Long. Noir crime fiction is alive and well in the hands of Pichetshote, Tefenkgi, and Loughridge. 'The Good Asian' is a flawless piece of intrigue, suspense, and historical drama. 


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