Writers: Corey Kalman and Brockton McKinney
Artist: Devin Roth
Letterer: Dave Dwonch
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
A review by David Hildebrand
The first issue of Amerikarate was such a a kick ass good time that I couldn’t wait to see what lied ahead for Sam Kickwell! Things didn’t start out well for Sam and his brother Rick. While traveling through a town that frowns upon Karate, the pair of brothers crossed paths with Johnny Kobraski, a bad ass thug sent by his boss Neon, who wants to destroy America! But he would like to see Kickwell destroyed first. After a rough and tumble, drag out fight that leaves Rick dead after sacrificing his life for Sam, Sam packs up his nunchucks and leaves the town that didn’t want him to begin with. Breaking hearts and bones, Kickwell is on a journey to get revenge for his disabled brother, Rick in good ole 80’s fashion!
As one rule of 80’s celluloid goes, you can never have enough music montages. Kalman and McKinney agree as we open up Amerikarate #2 with a rather melancholy Sam walking down a dark and desolate road singing a sad song about losing his brother, Rick. There is no training going on here in this montage, just pure emotion! One brother’s loss! Roth’s artwork stands out as Sam travels through the landmarks of Vegas and finds his way to Hollywood Boulevard. However, there is a surprise awaiting our hero! In a case of mistaken identity, CIA agent Cynthia Weaver attacks Kickwell, believing he is one of Neon’s henchmen. After a brief scuffle, a well-placed Walk of Fame star, some sex with the ever so necessary gratuitous nudity, it becomes clear that the two will be forced to work together.
Amerikarate #2 is just as fun as the premier issue. I read it THREE times because I was enjoying dissecting the pages looking for the all the 80’s references. From Commando to Ninja III: The Domination (look that one up!) the book oozes 80’s brilliance! Kalman and McKinney continue to script an enjoyable story. They even treat us to a flashback of the brothers’ past, which is incredibly well done. Along with the scenic backgrounds, Roth continues to nail the artwork. The shades of color and character designs are gorgeous to look it. His artwork injects the 80’s sexiness that meshes with the story so well.
BUY THIS DAMN BOOK! Dripping with 80’s goodness, Amerikarate #2 is a fun, nostalgic read that makes you reminisce of the good old 80’s action flicks. Once again, I said FUN! If you start to look for deeper meaning, you start to lose the point of the narrative and the magic behind the story. If you aren’t as familiar with the 80’s films, then shame on you! You have a lot of homework to do and you should include this book with your studies! Karate on!