Friday, 23 May 2014

Tank Girl: Apocalypse!

Tank Girl: Apocalypse!
Tank Girl: Apocalypse!
Alan Grant, Andy Pritchett, Phillip Bond & Phil Gascoine
    "Join everybody's favourite beer-swilling, chain-smoking, kangaroo-worrying lunatic as she 'bumps' her way through another increasingly bizarre escapade. Tank Girl's back and this time she's pregnant...yes, pregnant! How will our manic heroine cope with looming motherhood? Is it Booga's? What will it look like? And what do the followers of the Blood God Baal have to do with it? Not only does she have all that to contend with, but there's also a meteorite headed straight for Earth...all this and plenty more will be revealed in this final slice of Tank Girl's lunatic adventures."

   I’ve never read any Tank Girl before but I’ve been a fan of creator, Jamie Hewlett’s work on Gorrillaz for several years and have really wanted to give the series a shot. However, after picking up this volume, I’ve got to say…I’m really disappointed.

   Part of the problem might be that this volume was released to coincide with the release of the movie in 1995 and features none of the original creators. It’s hard to say whether, if I read any of the earlier runs with Martin and Hewlett’s involvement, that I’d feel different about the series.
   The main problem though, is the style of the series. While I’ve no problem with books using an abundance of sex, drugs and violence, I prefer it when their inclusion is backed up with actual content. Books like Transmetropolitan do this very well, mixing all the anarchic content with interesting characters and social commentary. Here, it feels like the sex and drug is all there is. It leaves the book feeling laddish and cheap. There’s nothing worth reading, no content more fulfilling than what you might find in Nuts magazine.

The art is vibrant and retains much of Jamie Hewlett's style.
   The book centres around Tank Girl finding out that she’s pregnant while the world around her slips into a nuclear war that threatens the end of the world. There’s stuff here that could be really interesting. I’d have liked to see the characters forced to deal with their new responsibility as well as the danger posed by the war itself. It could have been interesting to see Tank Girl put in a position where she has to change he ways, in light of her pregnancy, but no, instead she sulks off for a walk for a couple of pages and then continues on with her usual combo of bullets and beers.

   I’m not trying to say that this type of content doesn’t have its place, it’s just not to my taste. I prefer stories and characters with a little more meat on their bones, while here, there’s just no depth to anything that unfolds.

   The art is pretty good though. It’s vibrant and fits in perfectly with the anarchic storytelling, though it’s not a patch on any of the work I’ve seen Hewlett produce for the series.
   Overall, if you’re a Tank Girl fan, you’ll probably enjoy this, but it certainly wasn’t to my taste. I may still try out some work by the original creators, but I’ll be in no rush to do so… 

Tank Girl
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