Hooking The Red Hook: Brooklyn Gets its Own Cape-less Crusader

Dean Haspiel. (Flickr)

Dean Haspiel. (Flickr)

Brooklyn finally has its own superhero—and he’s got a mean right hook.

Comic book artist Dean Haspiel has created “a hero for hipsters” with The Red Hook, a retro superhero with a checkered past and a spandex suit the color of a fire truck (and no cape, actually). The Red Hook comes from inauspicious beginnings as a thief who roves his eponymous neighborhood, and even steals his identity from a fallen foe.

“He’s a reluctant hero,” Mr. Haspiel told The Observer, without giving away any future plot points. “It’s been forced upon him, a life and death situation almost. In a way, I’m commenting on other superheroes–that Stan Lee line, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ I’m taking a different look at that mantra with this characterization.”

A native New Yorker, Mr. Haspiel has illustrated big-ticket comics like Spider-man, X-men, The Fantastic Four, and American Splendor, and founded the multi-media “arts salon” Trip City, where he released the seven-page teaser comic for free. The comic is economically illustrated with a limited color palette, in an homage to the style of the 1960s and 70s. Mr. Haspiel hopes to crowd-fund a series based on The Red Hook in the future, he told us. 

(Trip City)

(Trip City)

Mr. Haspiel never intended to create a “hipster hero” with The Red Hook. The nabe is simply one of his favorite Brooklyn haunts–he even set a comic outside a neighborhood bar–and he lives in nearby Carroll Gardens. “I’m a Manhattanite born and bred, but Brooklyn is where I found my heart and my home,” he said.

Although the teaser comic has gotten a lot of buzz, Mr. Haspiel hasn’t concretized his plan to crowd-fund a series yet.

“I’m under contract, so I can’t imagine kick-starting anything until 2014,” he said. “But I have the story written, and I’ve got a teaser out there. This is me putting my money where my mouth is, Red Hook style.”

(Trip City)

(Trip City)

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