Sam Kickwell is down, but not out. His old friend, Billy is dead from bomb poisoning. His girlfriend Cynthia is on the sidelines with two broken legs due to the same explosion that took Billy’s life. Now Sam has been tasked by the President of the United States to track down the villains responsible for all this violence and “karate-f*ck the sh*t” out of them.
Every time I think Amerikarate has done everything, it comes out with more. It’s a never-ending assault on action movie clichés, explosions, and sexual innuendo. What makes it all work is that it knows it’s crazy and ridiculous. The story is aware and leans into it. Writers Corey Kalman and Brockton McKinney are laser focused on delivering non-stop and hilarious action and adventure.
Working hand-in-hand with this is Daniel Arruda Massa’s artwork. He presents a fun, cartoony style that highlights all the right areas, from Sam’s bulbous chin to the absurd bulge in his pants. Sam is the unholy offspring of Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, and Sylvester Stallone. It shows in his furrowed brow, clenched fists, and rock hard karate kicks.
To prepare for this new battle, Sam raids his arsenal, outfitting himself with an insane amount of weapons. He’s practically Cable from the X-Men during the 1990s. Somehow, even with a secret weapon cabinet hidden in the wall, he does not have anything else to carry this stuff in than old socks…so he can “sock it to crime.” Yes, that’s a lame pun, but I assure you, it just works. You’re with this book every step of the way.
Massa’s style serves the over-the-top violence of Amerikarate well, coupled with some fun sound effects. My favorite is a toss-up between the double face kick with “Blooooood! Ooooooverspray!” and Sam punching a guy into a port-a-potty with the sound effect “Poop.” It’s simple, yet effective. At one point, he kicks a guy’s face completely apart. It just explodes from the sheer force of his boot. The gore is at horror movie levels. Actually, let me take that back. It starts at horror movie levels and then takes it a few steps further.
Amerikarate is the funniest book I’ve read all year. I laughed out loud numerous times, which is something I can rarely say about a comic. This was particularly awkward as I read this at the gym, so everyone was looking at me like a crazy person. It was worth it. If your favorite action movie was produced by Adult Swim, it would still not be as fun as this comic.