Review: Tank Girl: Bad Girl Rising / Written by: Alan Martin / Art by: Rufus Dayglo / Format: Hardback / Published by: Titan Books (UK) / Release date: January 27th
Language dirtier than a paedophile’s text message and an ambition to have at least one testicle-shooting fatality in every issue means one thing – Tank Girl is back in rude form.
Co-creator Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett replacement Rufus Dayglo continue not so much to batter back standards of taste and decency but to run at them with atomic bombs strapped to their backs as the Mohawk queen of grunge and kangaroo boyfriend Booga do the unthinkable – break up.
The schism in their relationship is not so simple, fuelling a bizarre tale of mind control and warped conspiracy theories of time travel paradoxes, wrapped in a universe ending prophecy and lathered with lashings and lashings of ultra-violence. Cue mad professors, a wacked-out shaman, a Bond superspy and the rest of team Tank Girl all rubbing together in a paper-thin caper to save the world.
While Tank Girl spends most of the time smoking industrial strength weed while trying to work out who has been pulling her strings, Booga finds himself up against his former gang out for revenge.
Martin ticks all the boxes of the Tank Girl formula: nonsensical plot, check; as many swear words that can be loaded into a speech balloon, check; random excerpts popping up at infrequent intervals, check; bashings, shootings and stitching together of the really taboo swear words into strange new beasts, double check. As half of the crazy geniuses who dreamt up what became an icon of riotgrrrl culture, no-one else but Martin could be truly capable of coughing up that Tank Girl anarchy and then spewing it at a page. At times it all seems like The Beano on acid.
It wouldn’t be Tank Girl without an equally insane artist and in Dayglo that Hewlett craziness has found a suitable match. His drawing skills are very close to Hewlett’s, the only thing you could say against him is that he doesn’t grab every opportunity to insert some random piece of oddness into the background, foreground or any ground that the original Tank Girl artist did. The green tint of the colouring can also make your eyes feel ill after a few dozen pages. Tank Girl is a colourful character, so why not put her in colour?
Tank Girl is always going to be a bit of a Marmite comic: newcomers will either fall in love with her and drink down the anarchy spirit of it all or she’ll send you running to the hills.
Bad Wind Rising is on the pricey side for a £14.99 hardcover containing a 96-page story, beautiful as it is, even if it comes with a few extra pages of Dayglo’s how-I-draw stuff and full-page images. No doubt the discerning shopper will find it cheaper. It will probably take an hour, tops, to read cover to cover though it is difficult to imagine a lengthy Tank Girl story that wouldn’t leave you slightly demented with a case of Tourette’s and/or an urge to hurt someone.
Tank Girl remains cool to read despite being more mainstream than her rough-and-ready origins but don’t leave it lying around children unless you want them learning to say c***y b******s.