AEROBICIDE THE EXTREME NINJA WORKOUT #1/ Written by TERRY PARR & DAVID DOUB/ Art by TERRY PARR & CAL SLAYTON/ Colors by TERRY PARR & HALO TOONS/ Letters by TERRY PARR/ Published by SHONUFF STUDIO
Pop Quiz; how do you feel about a dimension-traveling, video piracy/martial arts themed supervillain called Bootleg as a general concept? If you smiled, then congratulations. You are the target audience for Aerobicide. And if you didn’t smile, well, I’m sorry, but give me a chance to sell you on this mad little comic anyway.
Aerobicide is the brainchild of Fort Worth comic creator Terry Parr and it’s basically a loving tribute to the kinds of action movies and animated series we got back in the 1980s. Our heroine is Sheri Ken – a Korean American aerobics instructor in Venice Beach, California, who has become possessed by ninja spirits. This gives her amazing fighting skills, but also makes her a magnet for supernatural shenanigans. This is unfortunate, as Sheri also seems to have a knack for running into crime bosses and costumed bad guys, requiring her to play superhero.
This volume contains three of Sheri’s adventures. The first, written by Parr himself, sees Sheri ambushed by demons at an audition, leaving her having to find a way to drive off dozens of other aspiring TV stars who aren’t going to let a little thing like the sounds of unholy combat scare them away from a screen test. The second and third stories, by The Trials & Tribulations Of Miss Tilney author David Doub, pit Sheri against more corporeal foes. Chapter Two teams her with a familiar police detective from South Florida, who has chased a notorious drug lord to the set of Sheri’s latest commercial. The final story, “Blockbuster Night,” pits Sheri against the aforementioned Bootleg, who starts a fight as she’s trying to return her videos. These stories are all fun and action-packed, with a number of clever cameos for the older Millennials who grew up on this sort of entertainment.
The artwork captures the same 80’s aesthetic, with Parr and Halo Toons coloring the whole book in suitable neon shades. Parr’s style invites favorable comparison to the streamlined look of Bruce Timm, but there’s also a clear manga influence to his work. The same can be said of Cal Slayton, who illustrates the second chapter in a similar style.
While Aerobicide may not appeal to everyone, those who fondly remember the 80s will find a lot to love about this book. With high octane action and colorful artwork, this is one one-shot I hope to see a second-helping of someday.
Aerobicide The Extreme Ninja Workout #1 is now available on Comixology.