Tony gets out his tiny toy tank.
Tank Girl has almost always been a big hearty steaming mugful of ‘fuckyou!’ to those who take life seriously.
The start of this new arc in the life of Australia’s most tooled-the-fuck-up is no exception, meaning the takeaway lesson of this issue is very simple: The spirit of Tank Girl is strong in this one.
Unlike some of the last iteration’s issues, this one’s also absolutely dripping with plot into the bargain, which can only be a good thing – Tank Girl’s funny as hell, but as a comic, it works best when it’s funny for story-based reasons, rather than when it’s funny ‘because it’s bloomin’ Tank Girl, so there!’
The plot? Tank Girl goes away for six days to visit her dying aunty, when her ‘super marsupial spouse,’ Booga loses her tank in a card game. So – Girl…sans freakin’ Tank.
It’s fair to say the shaven-headed one is not best pleased about that, and she, Booga and her best friend Barney break out the…erm…back-up tanks to go and nab some readies to either buy the original tank back, or something that’s pretty much exactly the same as it.
Meanwhile, the original has ended up in the chic Sydney art gallery of Magnolia Jones, good, suit-wearing girl with, perhaps, a wild side she’s never dared explicitly express.
She has Tank Girl’s tank… a thought that simply won’t leave her alone, and after a long dark night of the…if not exactly soul, then certainly crappy Chinese food, rot-gut and comics, she makes a decision. She shaves part of her head. Tomorrow, she decides, is going to be dress-down day at the gallery, and, looking the part in a way she’d never have guessed she could, she jumps into the tank and blasts her way out of town.
It’s not long of course before Tank Girl 1 is running foul of the Australian Army, who corner her, Booga and Barney in the Nowheresville that is Allison Springs.
Which is about the point at which Tank Girl 2 turns up.
C’mon, you know you want a piece of this tanky action: two girls, two tanks, no waiting. If nothing else, it acts as an origin story for this new good-girl-gone-bad Tank Girl. But the script, from Alan Martin, has some solidly TG touches, including a hefty dose of Outback language, a dealer who’s addicted to decaff coffee in a world of ‘organic, artisan, hand-roasted shit’ and a sense of style that includes the disgraced Booga being forced to ride in the crappy little fairground tank, and Aussie truck drivers having no option but to get out of their cabs for a woman in her bra. It’s got an authentic vibe to it, even if for now, it’s starting off slow in the wild and crazy stakes. It’s an authenticity underlined by the art and lettering from Brett Parson, who brings a ragged-ass punk style and a sense of the anarchistic world of Tank Girl and Pals to bear here, along with some punch-in-the-face vivid primary colouring, and some lettering that really adds to the experience – the way each vehicle is described as moving, some with a ‘Brrrrumble Grumble,’ others with a ‘Fart Fart Fart’ – feels like Tank Girl’s in good hands that ‘get’ her, without, so far, succumbing to the wilder excesses of the anarchistic ethos, which some previous TG comic-books did, giving up on the idea of plotting or artistic coherence altogether.
You want the short version? This is a fun re-envisioning and an origin story for a whole new Tank Girl, right alongside the old one. What will happen in issue #2 when Tank Girl meets Tank Girl is almost anyone’s guess – but there’s likely to be some turret-swinging involved. You’re going to want a piece of that, so get in your tanks and ride – there’s a comic-book store near you that needs your green, just like you need Tank Girl: Two Girls, One Tank.
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