Tank Girl
The Odyssey

Author: Peter Milligan
Artist: Jamie Hewlett
Titan Books
RRP 10.99, US S16.95
ISBN 1 84023 494 6
Available now

Booga, Tank Girl's marsupial husband, is being wooed by Hollywood producers, and without his wife around, his resolve is crumbling. Tele, their TV-headed son, realises he must contact his mother... But this sets off a chain of events that sees Tank Girl facing death itself on a bizarre odyssey...

The presence of a new writer to this series, Peter Milligan (who previously worked with Jamie Hewlett on 2000AD's Hewligan's Haircut) is immediately apparent. Milligan's script is more literate and literary than those penned by Hewlett and/or his former collaborator Alan Martin. Quite apart from the improvements in spelling and punctuation (!), this is evident in the fact that the entire story is based upon Homer's Odyssey and James Joyce's Ulysses.

The more coherent structure of the narrative is also a consequence of the material's original published format. Whereas the three previous volumes comprised several short strips from Deadline magazine, this one contains material originally presented in four issues of Tank Girl's own comic-book miniseries.

Interestingly, Sub Girl, a character who was pronounced dead during one of the later Deadline strips (recently reprinted by Titan in Tank Girl 3) has apparently come back to life some time prior to this tale. However, it was Tank Girl herself who did the pronouncing, so perhaps she simply made a mistake, since she is not a qualified medical doctor as far as I'm aware! As it happens, shed-loads of resurrections of dead characters take place in the context of the story, so one more won't hurt anyway.

In addition to the main narrative, this volume also contains the script to an un-drawn Tank Girl strip written by Alan Martin.

Milligan's take on this concept does not seem quite as naturally anarchic as it was previously, but that is only a relative assessment. This is still Tank Girl, and it's still wonderfully inane!

Richard McGinlay

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