Tony gets a faceful of subs and death and rock and roll.
When we last saw Tank Girl and her mates, there were more of them than there had been for quite some time, their numbers boosted by Good Girl Magnolia Jones, who it turns out may well have been a figure from TG’s past, back from the very-probably-dead.
This issue sees the reunited gang go in search of some proper wonga – at least that’s what seems to be the plan. Turns out it’s rather more fun than that. Turns out it’s something more akin to Westworld, only without the existential angst and rebellion, and with rather more blasting the shit out of crappy hair metal dudes, in search of the Double-Choc Cake Of Ultimate Yumminess. In other words, it’s like Westworld, only shedloads better.
Tank Girl, in the scripting hands of Alan Martin, channels her inner Russell Crowe, with lines like ‘On my fart, unleash hell,’ and then the wild and crazy begins, as TG, Barney, Booga and the newbie blast the red gooey stuff out of the inhabitants of the town of Bad Rock, all of whom have 80s hair and a predilection for Van Halen and Bon Jovi lyrics.
When the target practice is done, and the Cake of Ultimate Yumminess is devoured and many many more farts are had, there is actually a proper quest in this issue – the newbie who might very well be an oldie, but who definitely isn’t Tank Girl, despite having shaved her head and nicked her tank, is feeling a bit lost and hopeless beyond the muscle memory of drinking and farting. She knows what she thinks will set her right, and the Tank Girl posse set off to get it for her.
The interesting thing is that when they find it, she’s still not particularly right; in fact, if anything, finding the thing she thinks she needs sets her wronger than ever before. When the army come after them for round two of the Allison Springs battle, there’s what looks like a parting of the ways that seems to further complicate the question of just who Magnolia Jones really is, and what agenda she might have. What’s more, it’s a parting of the ways that leaves our heroine needing to learn to breathe like a fish in a big hurry or face an interminable hail of gunfire. In the days of the ’66 Batman, there’d be all kinds of spinning questions flashing up on the last page of this issue about whether Tank Girl will be able to do something incredible to escape the deadly peril in which she finds herself. This is not ’66 Batman though, this is ’16 Tank Girl, so firstly, ooh fuck, and secondly, get a grip, dingbats, this is Tank Girl, of course she’ll find a way to survive. If this issue’s anything to go by, it will probably have something to do with noxious bottom-burps.
Or maybe it’ll have something to do with Shirley, the newbie’s pet hair-rocker. This is the world of Tank Girl, which means if you could predict it, they wouldn’t be doing it right, and they actually are.
What’s especially cool about this run of Tank Girl issues is that it’s both having its Chocolate Cake of Ultimate Yumminess and eating it. It’s managed to find a way to blow the socks off long-standing TG fans with a fantastic ‘back from the dead-as-fuck’ storyline, punched the coherence up to 11, while still delivering the anarchic sight gags and wordplay, but it hasn’t taken us down the ‘back from the dead-as-fuck’ road and left it at that. This issue starts off with that level of blatant triumphalism, and then undercuts it, so that by the end of the issue, we’re actually worried about this newbie and whether, given one thing and another, she’s entirely…well, even as right in the head as she needs to be to join Tank Girl’s gang. It’s clever writing that allows us to get our anarchistic primary-colour blast-the-fuck-out-of-everything-that-moves ya-yas out, the artwork and colourwork by Brett Parson and Ned Ivory respectively still delivering that joyous what-the-hellness of classic Tank Girl, but then digs its hooks into us deeper, making us care for Tank Girl and her crew as human beings and a marsupial, and wondering what the hell might have happened to make them the way they are.
Tank Girl – Two Girls, One Tank #3 is in comic-book stores. Get there, however you need to; grab a tank, jump a jet, go glubba-glubba-glubba in a sub, hope like a super marsupial. Do whatever the hell suits your groove. But go get it.
Tony Fyler lives in a cave of wall-to-wall DVDs and Blu-Rays somewhere fairly
nondescript in Wales, and never goes out to meet the "Real People". Who,
Torchwood, Sherlock, Blake, Treks, Star Wars, obscure stuff from the
70s and 80s and comedy from the dawn of time mean he never has to. By
runs an editing house, largely as an
excuse not to have to work for a living. He's currently writing a Book.
With Pages and everything. Follow his progress at FylerWrites.co.uk