Sam and Cynthia are thrown into a competition on the hottest new television program among the cyber-punk community, Androidican Gladiators. The sinister mind behind this deadly program is RoboRick, the cyborg version of Sam’s brother. Also, the President of the United States and his pet bald eagle are held hostage. Sam and Cyn have to get through the obstacle courses in time to save POTUS from being turned into a cyborg.
If all of that sounded crazy, yet super awesome, Amerikarate is for you. The comic from Action Lab: Danger Zone has parodied a number of action movies so far. This one has a distinct Running Man vibe to it with the jumpsuits Sam and Cyn are wearing and the long trip to the arena in a little cart. That’s just the beginning of the pure, unbridled and hilarious insanity this comic has to offer.
Writers Corey Kalman and Brockton McKinney play up the TV show angle of Androidican Gladitors as there are even commercials. Artist Daniel Arruda Massa draws these in a slightly different style to make them look like you’re watching them on an old television, complete with horizontal tracking lines. This is a really cool touch that adds to the fun of Amerikarate, especially since the commercials are for Cyborg Cola and Laser Eye Surgery (but not the laser eye surgery you’re thinking of).
Where Amerikarate excels, as it always has is in the one-two punch of humor and over-the-top action. Both are on full display here, working off of one another to tell a great story. Massa delivers some brilliant fight choreography that keeps the excitement level high. Sam and Cyn’s first opponent is a devil-esque lady cyborg named Satron complete with pitchfork. Each blow hits hard, emphasized by the blood flying and the heads snapping back upon impact.
This is surpassed only by the showdown between Sam and RoboRick which is packed with excessive violence, but still played for laughs. No one thinks it’s OK to knee someone in the face repeatedly until they’re little more than a pile of mush, however if you were fighting a cyborg, you might be pushed to make such a call.
Massa’s colors add to the overall look and feel of Amerikarate. The book has a vibrant color palette with a slight neon influence that works well with the time period it’s spoofing. It’s like a more extreme version of old school Trapper Keepers.
Amerikarate never disappoints. Anyone with a sense of humor should be reading this comic, especially if you like action movies of any kind. This issue ends with a cliffhanger and a great segue into the next story arc. Seriously guys, read this comic.
Amerikarate #8 is currently available at your local comic shop.