After defeating the evil super-ninja Neon, Sam and Cynthia are back in the city to fight crime with sweet karate kicks and sexual tension. They’ve joined up with the President’s new U.S.A.C.T.I.O.N. Force, described as an American karate special operation. Joined by their old friend, Billy Wang, they’re ready to clean up these streets.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Amerikarate doesn’t take itself too seriously. It pulls from every ’80s action movie cliché you can think of and shows you how silly they can all be. For example, you know Billy’s fate from the first moment he pops on the page, especially when he starts talking about how close he is to retirement. Every time I think the comic has reached peak levels of hilarity, I turn the page to find even more.
Much of this is due to the over-the-top action and violence from artist Daniel Arruda Massa. It is absolutely insane. Cynthia punches a man’s jaw right off his face. Sam kicks a guy so hard, his ribs pop out of his chest. Blood sprays everywhere. At one point, it gets to cover so much of the panel, there’s just a big sound effect that says “BLOOD SPLASH.” That’s just the beginning!
Massa’s artwork is cartoonish and vibrant. If you were flipping channels and happened to catch this on TV between the sex and violence, you’d think it’s a weird animated kids show. Then someone would get their head blown up and you’d re-evaluate the matter. This works so well with the story from writers Corey Kalman & Brockton McKinney.
There are so many little gags sprinkled through Amerikarate too. They could be little one-liners here and there or fun details like the bald eagle perched on the President’s shoulder. I mean, of course, the President would have a bald eagle as a pet in this comic. Even the sound effects are funny.
This issue kicks off a new story arc. In bears some similarity to the first issue of the series with a loved one in danger and near death empowering Sam to bring the hammer down on the bad guys. It’s formulaic in that case, but it’s a great formula and one that you can’t help but love.
Amerikarate from Action Lab: Danger Zone is an action movie fan’s wet dream. It’s got ninja stars, karate, an epic car chase, bombs, and robots. What more could you ask for? This comic can serve as a nice companion to Shirtless Bear Fighter. They both represent this over-the-top, ridiculous action with non-stop quips and snappy dialogue. This is a book you will read with a smile from ear-to-ear and you’ll definitely let out a few chuckles along the way. If you liked movies like Die Hard, Commando, and Lethal Weapon, this comic was made for you.