“So you’re still playing superhero, then? Hank, be honest, do you really think dressing up in that silly costume will make them accept you? Do you really think it will make you a part of them?”
I didn’t know how to answer Red Center back then.
“Anchor of Justice!”
“My goodness, am I honored to shake your hand! I’ve been hoping to meet you for quite some time now!”
“Uh… yeah! Me, too!”
“Have you been following the new out of Europe and Asia? Sooner rather than later, America will be called upon to defend our allies. The President’s already spoken with me about it. They’ll need people like you and me to bolster our troops. If your country needs you, would you be willing to lend a hand?”
“Oh yes! One more thing… I’ve never told anyone this — but my parents aren’t from around here, either.”
There are several subtle, yet important details at the end of this graphic novel. First, Red Center asks Hank a very important question, one that he is unable to answer. She wants to know if “playing superhero… will make [Americans] accept [him],” and that even as readers, we are unable to answer fully. During the time period that this story is set in, Asian Americans were an untrusted minority in America, so this is a difficult question to answer. Despite this, however, it is clear that Hank fully intends to continue to be the Green Turtle and fight for justice, even though he may face racism and adversity, as he did several times throughout the graphic novel.
The final conversation between Red Center and Hank stands in stark contrast to the one between The Anchor of Justice and Hank that we see at the very end. In this scene, readers see Hank on a rooftop, a position often seen in other superhero comics and movies, clearly watching over San Incendio. What may be the most important part of Hank’s story happens at the very end as The Anchor describes to him the predicament America is in at the beginning of World War II and how people like them – superheros – will be called upon to help the troops. He asks, “If your country needs you, would you be willing to lend a hand?” It becomes clear here that Hank is accepted. Despite being the son of immigrants, The Anchor calls America “his [Hank’s] country,” implying that he is where he belongs. I think that both Hank and the reader are able to answer Red Center’s parting question at this point.
Also at the end, in a slightly humorous twist, we find out that The Anchor of Justice is also an immigrant to America, although he appears to be from another planet, not from another country. As an Asian American, Hank faced many more challenges than The Anchor would have becuase his differences can be seen at first glance. The fact that The Anchor of Justice is the person who says this to Hank is important because it solidifies the idea presented in this story that it does not matter where someone is from, home is where they choose to make it and they should feel accepted there.