Review: The Wonderful World of Tank Girl #1

The first issue of writer/co-creator Jamie Martin and artist Brett Parson’s new Tank Girl series The Wonderful World of Tank Girl #1 is breezy, violent, a little too reliant on scatological humor, and best of all, a standalone story. Unlike the past few Titan Tank Girl books, Martin and Parson lose the convoluted time travel narratives or emotional beats featuring supporting characters like Jet Girl and Sub Girl and just cut loose with action caper spoof where blood and shit literally hit the fan. Martin plots a basic story about Booga the kangaroo’s old, actual pirate buddy Bart Anchor getting released prison and planning a heist against a rich jerk, who keeps all his money at home because of an accident with a bank vault and his groin area. This guy also covered Tank Girl’s face with her knickers back in grade school so the heist/vengeance spree/armed robbery is “personal” too.

But from anyone who’s watched enough Johnny Depp movies, trusting an eye patch wearing pirate is a bad idea, and Tank Girl ends up a captive of a rich, torture obsessed Trump-ish looking fellow, who resents her from back in the day.  And it somehow becomes a possibly unneeded Die Hard parody even though the vaguely Eastern European henchmen commenting on each other’s almost perfect hair and feebly swearing revenge are pretty hilarious. Jamie Martin throws in one really funny plot twist and peppers the story with plenty of violence and hit and miss jokes that go off like bullets from Tank Girl’s friends’ automatic clips.

No one will really be able to top Jamie Hewlett’s art style except for perhaps Philip Bond, but Brett Parson’s sexy zany anarchic pencils and inks certainly comes close. He draws very attractive, stylish characters that can sure rock the ol’ undercut, but also has a real knack for the ridiculous and Garbage Pail Kids gross out gags that are perfect for this story, which climaxes in a giant plumbing related explosion. Parson also has never met a running visual joke that he didn’t like, and the one for this issue is Tank Girl’s friends wearing underwear on their heads to go with their Mission Impossible/every turn of the millennium action movie ever jumpsuits in solidarity with her grade school bullying. My favorite scenes that he draws are when he isn’t trying to be cute and clever with homages and just goes a little apeshit. For example, when Tank Girl’s friends barrel through a 20 mile per hour zone in a giant tank to rescue her, or mow down nameless goons with assault rifles on surfboards in a scene that probably didn’t to be a double page splash, but somehow totally worked.

Even though it relies a little too much on bathroom and fart jokes reminiscient of late period Dana Carvey or Adam Sandler movies, The Wonderful World of Tank Girl #1 fully embraces its new anthology style, genre spoof format, and Jamie Martin and Brett Parson cut loose with the outrageous personalities of Tank Girl, Booga, Jet Girl, Sub Girl, Barney, and a character whose only purpose is to randomly quote Shakespeare. Also, Parson is a dirty, sexy, funny, and violent artist, and his mastery of all these characteristics makes this book worth picking up even if you’re not a die hard Tank Girl fan.

Story: Jamie Martin Art: Brett Parson
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Titan Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review