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‘Tank Girl: The Wonderful World of Tank Girl’ Vol. 1 (review)

Written by Alan Martin 
Illustrated by Brett Parson
Published by Titan Comics

 

Let me say right up front I’ve never been particularly enamored of Tank Girl.

She came along at the end of the ‘80s as maybe the ultimate representation of the anarchist, post-punk movement in comics that to me had peaked early in the decade with Alan Moore’s D.R. & Quinch in 2000 AD.

A bald, bandaged, mentally ill killer with a cigar-chomping anthropomorphic kangaroo boyfriend and a small posse of equally murderous, not quite all there, fashion-challenged females, she is, of course the hero of this series.

I was quite surprised when the mid-90s saw a big budget feature film version of Tank Girl, but I wasn’t that surprised when it…well…tanked.

Over the years the movie has become a cult favorite, though, and so have the comics. Tank Girl has been revived many times in a number of different series by a number of different creators from a number of different publishers, none of which changed my original opinion.

No, that didn’t happen until now.

The Wonderful World of Tank Girl Collection comes from Titan and I have to admit, I liked it!

Alan Martin and Brett Parson are the folks behind it and unlike many other versions of the strip, they use a very traditional comic book art and coloring style which immediately makes things more accessible to the casual reader or the reader, like myself, who had developed an aversion to the more experimental art on some editions of the series.

The stories aren’t exactly traditional, though. In fact, they’re very much in keeping with the anarchist renderings of the strip. In the four of them, loosely interconnected but operating on their own quite nicely, Tank Girl and her cohorts in crime watch TV, eat and drink a lot, perform a play, and shoot or blow up a lot of people, places, and things.

There are wide ranging parodies of James Bond, Mad Max, fairy tales, hippies, surfing, and the theaTUH! My favorite was The Man from T.A.N.K. G.I.R.L.

The book is rounded out with extra art, behind the scenes art, covers and their variants by several different artists, and ads for older Tank Girl merchandise which again plays up how this particular series has changed from earlier ones.

If you’ve been a Tank Girl fan all these years, I suppose you might not like the bright, colorful, perhaps slightly watered-down version of the character and her strip that we find in the volume at hand but I certainly did and I can’t help think others will, too.

If you haven’t tried Tank Girl before, or maybe not in years, read The Wonderful World of Tank Girl Collection before giving up on her completely.

Booksteve recommends.

 

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