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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

21st Century Tank Girl #1


Writer: Alan Martin
Artists: Jamie Hewlett, Brett Parson, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell and others
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99
Age: 15+
32 pages
Publication Date: 10 June 2015

After a break of 20 years, artist extraordinaire Jamie Hewlett is leaping back on to the Tank Girl wagon, re-teaming with series co-creator Alan Martin to bring you a whole new take on the foul-mouthed, gun-toting, swill-swigging hellion! Featuring riotous 100% original content from Hewlett and Martin, along with contributions from a host of series stalwarts and newcomers, get your head down, put your hands over your private parts, and prepare for a chaotic collection of strips, pin-ups and random carnage…!

Were you expecting an issue-long story? Or maybe the first part of a serial? Wrong on both counts! Did you really think Tank Girl would be so predictable? Instead, this first monthly issue presents us with four separate short stories.

The first of these is Space is Ace, which marks the return to the fold of artist Jamie Hewlett. Tank Girl may be in space rather than on the ground and in her tank, but apart from that it’s situation normal. Her spaceship is shaped like an enormous penis, which ‘docks’ with a crack-shaped cave in a hillside. That should give you some idea of the tone!

Believe it or not, Space is Ace is fairly conventional – by Tank Girl standards – compared with the next story, Easy. With artwork by Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, which is rather in the misshapen style of Vic Reeves, our hero sets out to rescue her friends from some bad guys, without a single line of dialogue ever being uttered. Sound effects are all we get: trundle trundle trundle… vrrrr… BOOONFF… RUDDAH RUDDAH RUDDAH

The Runny Man, featuring a more familiar style of art by Brett Parson, is a spoof of the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man, featuring host Donny Ostrich and a cannibalistic Nazi with the sniffles. The backgrounds of these pages have a sepia tint, which gives the impression of a comic that’s been around for at least as long as The Running Man.

After that, it’s back to the truly strange with Sundrenched Martian Superholiday. This is not really a comic strip at all, but rather a series of one-page text stories, memories from Tank Girl about her life and those of her friends, each accompanied by a full-page illustration by Jonathan Edwards. In a way, this is the opposite of Easy, in that Easy contains virtually no text, whereas this is very little but text. As for the relevance of the title, your guess is as good as mine!

I would have preferred more comic strips, and at least one serial storyline would help to build customer loyalty, but even so I’m sure Tank Girl fans will want to come back next month…


Richard McGinlay

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