The struggle to be accepted by American society is one many marginalized communities have wrestled with throughout the country's history. In The Good Asian #5, police detective Edison Hark has that burden and balancing not being Asian enough for his own community, all while investigating mysteries and murders.
Through a series of flashbacks, this Pornsak Pichetshote script displays how that cultural wrestling match played out through multiple periods of Hark's life, and he tried to carve out a little joy here and there through drawing or a clandestine tryst that the world would frown upon. The artwork from Alexandre Tefenkgi, Lee Loughridge, and Jeff Powell establishes the stratified environments of this period piece with clean lines, unobtrusive lettering, and stark colors. Through it all, the pressure put on him is palatable — to be "good," to not offend, to make something of himself and prove the naysayers wrong, not only for his sake but as a proxy for an entire community.
The overarching mystery that funnels itself into this new story arc is fraught with tension as well, forcing Hark to make hard decisions as the scrutiny of law enforcement and two communities threatens to explode in manners that far outstrip the relatively smaller amounts of bloodshed that have occurred thus far. Balancing all of that with this cornucopia of characterization can't be easy, but it's done here with enormous skill and care. The research and striving for accuracy don't get in the way of powerful storytelling.
There is a literary level of quality here that should have all the awards hurling statues at this series. If you want a seat on the bandwagon, there's still room. RATING: BUY.
Good Asian #5
By Pornsak Pichetshote, Alexandre Tefenkgi
NEW STORY ARC Suffering a traumatic loss, Edison Hark relives the pivotal and contentious moments that led a Chinese-American to become a cop in 1930s America, as the 'secret origin of Edison Hark' is revealed.