Published on July 9th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
21st Century Tank Girl #2 Review
Another month and another kick in the face by the greatest post-apocalyptic bad ass in comic books.
Last month started with a sci-fi opus of unparalleled perversion whereas this month 21st Century Tank Girl starts with a good old fashioned road movie pastiche. Imagine, if you can, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off if it was written by Hunter S Thompson and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It’s a mind fuck of a chase story with a psychedelic dream rammed into the middle of it. It’s Tank Girl through and through. The story revolves around Booga’s brief employment as a classic car delivery driver who makes a massive mistake in picking up Tank Girl and Jet Girl from the barbers. Unfortunately while the girls were supposed to be getting perms they were in fact robbing a rigged poker game. Some people aren’t too happy about this. They would be the ones smashing into the vintage nineteen-seventy-one Dodge Challenger with their heaps of metal junk.
The jokes come thick and fast, along with the profanity and the array of drug references. Jet Girl takes centre stage for most of this story and her violent outburst followed by her cool demeanour at the end reminds us why she’s Tank Girls bestie.
Here, Alan Martin demonstrates that he can still write a great Tank Girl story: short, shocking and crammed to bursting with jokes, japes and obscure references. And to match this Brett Parson draws a brilliant Road Movie with muted orange and red colours that look as though they have just escaped from a Mad Max film. In fact you can almost see Mad Max speeding away from them in the background; it has that kind of feel to it.
As a complete contrast to the first story, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Tank’ is very British in its humour and has more in common, narratively, to the original stories that Alan Martin used to write. It takes the popular sci-fi cliché of setting the story in the bowels of the hero’s vehicle and gives it a Wizard of Oz style psychology. Here the jokes revolve around 1970’s British TV shows and it’s possible that a number of readers won’t have any idea who Little and Large are but this has always been an element of Tank Girl; the gags aren’t always universal, they are introverted and personal to the writers and the artists and in a lot of cases reflect the society in which the story was produced.
‘Journey to the Centre of the Tank’ is cartoony, fun and illustrates how easy it is to use narrative clichés in a new and entertaining way.
Mix between these two stories a couple of short tales and a poster (resplendent with Jamie Hewlett’s Penis Spaceship Pin Up) and this is another hit for Tank Girl. Alan Martin’s humour never gets old, just like Tank Girl….no wait. In this issue she does get old. And what does she do? She kicks the arse of the young ‘uns and complains about them being trendy in their youth. There’s no stopping her and, to be honest, I don’t think we’d want to.
Title: 21st Century Tank Girl
Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Alan Martin
Artists: Brett Parson, Jamie Hewlett, Philip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, Jim Mahfood.