An edgy new Web comic by an award-winning artist centers on “The Red Hook” — a street-smart superhero inspired by the gritty waterfront neighborhood.
Dean Haspiel, 46 — best known for his work on the late alt-comic legend Harvey Pekar’s “American Splendor” series and mainstream comics such as Marvel’s “X-Men” — says his newest pulp character is unique because of his human flaws.
“He has a sordid past and that’s part of why he’s interesting,” Haspiel, of Red Hook-neighboring Carroll Gardens, told The Post.
LOOK OUT, METROPOLIS: Brooklyn moves into the big leagues with The Red Hook, a new superhero from artist Dean Haspiel (below).
“Who wants to read about a knight in shining armor? That’s boring,” he said.
The Red Hook is a former boxer and street thief who sports red spandex — and, of course, packs a mean right hook — and who accidentally falls into the business of saving lives.
“He’s sort of forced into the situation,” Haspiel said. “He’s a reluctant superhero. He’s not out to save the world.
“Who thinks that way?”
The story is set entirely in the eponymous Brooklyn neighborhood, where “The Hook” bounds across rooftops, smacking around bad guys and making quick getaways.
Haspiel set the story in the area due to its lingering feel of small-town lawlessness — making it ripe for a tale about crime and mayhem, he said.
“It feels to me like the setting for a modern-day Spaghetti Western,” Haspiel said.
He said the neighborhood attracts independent thinkers, artists and even some crafty criminals. “It’s home to a certain kind of people,” Haspiel said.
The comic artist’s past projects include Emmy-award-winning art for the HBO series “Bored to Death” and freelance work on characters ranging from Batman to Spider-Man.
He recently published a preview of “The Red Hook” on his lit-art Web site Trip City and plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign to publish a full-length graphic novel next year.
“It pays homage to Brooklyn,” he said. “Hopefully, it attracts some buzz.”
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