Tank Girl

Author: Alan Grant
Artists: Andy Pritchett, Phil Gascoine and Philip Bond
Titan Books
RRP 10.99, US S16.95
ISBN 1 84023 725 2
Available now

Tank Girl is surprised to learn that she is pregnant. How will she cope with the rampaging hormones, the mood swings, the bizarre cravings and the varicose veins? More to the point, how will she cope with the prophesied end of the world, which appears to be nigh, not to mention the religious cults who believe her baby to be their messiah...?

Another graphic novel, another writer. This time Alan Grant takes over the scripting chores, but fear not, because he has created his fair share of anarchy in the past, with his work on Judge Dredd and Lobo to name but two, so he is well suited to the world of Tank Girl and Booga.

Even so, that world has changed somewhat since Tank Girl's early days in Deadline magazine. In the earliest Deadline strips, it seemed that our anti-heroine's adventures took place some time in the future - they featured sentient mutant kangaroos for cryin' out loud! By this point, however, Tank Girl clearly occupies the present day, or rather 1995, which was the present day when Apocalypse! was first published by Vertigo/DC Comics.

This story well and truly cashes in on the then current fears about the imminent new Millennium, and the apocalypses that various religious and secular texts had predicted. Grant manages to work in several of these, from the biblical Book of Revelations to the musings of Nostradamus, and also ties in conspiracy theories about the world-governing Illuminati. On a lighter note, irreverent guest appearances are made by a whole host of real-life characters, including Richard and Judy (renamed as Robert and Julie), TV fitness freak Mr Motivator, Princess Diana, the Reverend Ian Paisley, Slobodan Milosevic and Boris Yeltsin.

Philip Bond, who is no stranger to Tank Girl, kicks off the inking chores, working over Andy Pritchett's pencils, but he is soon replaced by Phil Gascoine. The latter's work is, in my opinion, visibly inferior to begin with, but soon improves in quality.

This is wild and wacky stuff, as Tank Girl should be, and the body count has never been higher.

Richard McGinlay

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