By Alec Deacon
‘‘Shit-sticks! It’s that freaky-fakey Tank Girl!’’
Celebrating her 30th Anniversary this year, Tank Girl has had an exciting and often controversial career over the years and now the anti-hero is back with a brand new series of stand-alone far-out adventures to coincide with the comic’s big milestone.
The Wonderful World Of Tank Girl series from Titan Comics reunites TG duo – writer creator, Alan Martin and new artist on the block, the very skilled, Brett Parson, and the good news is, the series is a blast so far. Each issue also comes with variant covers as you would expect, but one rather clever design is replicating a vintage book dust-jacket theme from the 1950 and 60s.
The penultimate issue, The Man From T.A.N.K. G.I.R.L. (as Thor might say, ‘‘I get that one’’), continues the previous two installments’ trend of choosing a one-off genre and spoofing it for all its worth in this case the spy-fi genre of yesteryear.
TG finds herself framed for murder (‘‘shitberries on toast’’, Tank Girl announces) and pursued by one of Australia’s nastiest crime syndicate, what can she do… became a 1960s inspired secret agent of course! Tank Girl has never been about well laid out plots, story lines or character development in all honesty, but that is part of the great charm of the comic. You buy the ticket and you take the ride, which usually involves profanity, mindless violence, and buckets of fun.
The Wonderful World of Tank Girl series is perfect fodder for the uninitiated TG reader and fans wanting to see the Tank Girl gang tackle new things. It embraces its new anthology format, with balls and excitement, and is a breath of fresh air because of it allowing the characters to go wherever and give readers something a little different without them having to rely on past knowledge.
Take it with an open mind, enjoy the references, a less than subtle Bond-ish Aston Martin crossed with Lt. Columbo’s dilapidated jalopy for one, and sly winks to Tank Girl’s age – ‘‘this baby was state-of-the-art thirty years ago’’ and it is a great read. The art work is sharp and Parson’s artwork is bold, sharp and captures the gang brilliantly, and Martin, as always, delivers his trademark, quick, funny, no nonsense dialogue. Is The Man From T.A.N.K.G.I.R.L. the best Tank Girl out there? Possibly not but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s hope the final issue keeps the momentum going and goes out on a tank exploding high.