A new piece of Stranger Things fan art sees Murray Bauman practice his illegal crane kick in a hilarious crossover with The Karate Kid.
Warning: SPOILERS lie ahead for Stranger Things season 4.
Stranger Things‘ Murray Bauman channels his inner Danny LaRusso in a new piece of The Karate Kid-inspired fan art. The 1984 action classic follows LaRusso as he trains with Mr. Miyagi and takes on the Cobra Kai dojo, beating Johnny Lawrence at the All Valley Karate Tournament with what may have been an illegal crane kick. Nearly four decades later, the nostalgia-laced spinoff Cobra Kai streams on Netflix alongside Stranger Things—which now has a karate master of its own.
A former gonzo journalist, conspiracy theorist, and devotee libertarian, Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) was first introduced in Stranger Things season 2. After being featured in a recurring role in season 3, Gelman was promoted to a series regular for season 4, which premiered on May 27. Season 4 volume 1 sees Murray accompany Joyce to Russia to retrieve Hopper from the Kamchatka facility. While en route, the pair are betrayed by the smuggler Yuri. Thankfully, Murray’s fingers are like arrows, arms like iron, and legs like spears, In short, he knows karate.
Artist Zascanauta recently posted some art to Instagram, which sees Stranger Things‘ Murray replace Daniel as The Karate Kid, The piece capitalizes on the two projects’ similar settings and depicts Hawkins’ resident black belt practicing his crane kick. Check it out below:
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When Murray first informs Joyce that he’s been taking karate classes with a bunch of teenagers, the audience is led to believe his abilities would be a joke. Much to everyone’s surprise, Murray not only bests Yuri but a room of Soviet soldiers in Kamchatka in an awesome blend of action and comedy. That said, Gelman actually took his karate prep for season 4 pretty seriously. In past interviews, the actor has opened up about training for three months during lockdown with Taekwondo masters, Simon Rhee and Phillip Rhee—who starred in the 1989 karate movie Best of the Best,
Suffice to say, Murray’s skills are one of the many surprises in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1. In “Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab,” Murray and Joyce manage to save Hopper and Dimitri from the Demogorgon and reunite with their long-lost friend. Now, they’ll have to make their way out of Kamchatka and return to the kids in Nevada, with Eleven having regained her powers, and remembered Vecna—who currently threatens Nancy and the rest of the Party. Unfortunately for Murray, a crane kick likely won’t have any effect on the spell caster when volume 2 drops on July 1.
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