Amerikarate Issue 5 Review: A Lost Opportunity

A fighting force has been put together to clean up the city. They’re vulgar and seem to get the job done in a lackluster fashion. Riddled with bad dialogue ‘Amerikarate’ needs work. Sam and Cynthia have no clear character development. The Creeper who makes up the other part of this force seems to have wondered into the wrong comic book. Even the gratuitous fight/sex scene is barely watchable. Is the intention gross satire or weak plot points?

If this comic book was good, then you could imagine the late Roddy Piper as Sam. Piper appeared in two iconic movies that could arguably be classified as solid B’s. Films that despite the usual science fiction tropes, or because of them, characters developed. More importantly the movies were entertaining. ‘They Live’ starred Piper as a man who, through a pair of shades finds out that the world has been taken over by aliens. On first sight you may think of the wrestler, but Piper made you believe that he was the only sane man in the midst of an alien invasion. And you enjoyed yourself. You may have gone into it expecting one thing but was pleasantly surprised at the end, mostly due to Piper’s performance.

The same can be said for ‘Hell Comes to Frog Town.’ In this 1988 cult classic the premise is that the after-effects of a nuclear war has a group of nurses acting as a government force to find someone to rescue the fertile women that have been captured by frog-like men. Piper is Sam Hell who is forced into rescuing the women. Both films have their moments. But the best parts revolve around Piper. He committed to the characters. He delivered his dialogue as if he were in this situation for real. You had a good time because he and most of the other actors took what they were doing seriously. As the audience you were in on the joke. In a sense, your participation mattered. In this comic book that’s not the case. It’s as if the writer has their head down and doesn’t care about who’s actually going to be reading their work.

The artwork however is solid. The characters are at least well drawn. The action sequences have some point in that there is some sense of timeline occurring. But there’s still no one to care about. It’s as if the writers decided to throw every B-movie cliché in to see what sticks. The thing is that sometimes things are just bad. And ‘AmeriKarate’ is that.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 549 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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