Review: Tankers #1
There’s a lot to like about Tankers #1. The comic is both action and over-the-top satire. An oil company decides it wants to extend oil production by delaying the comet that killed the dinosaurs using time travel and a laser. It’s the type of sci-fi concept that could be a comedy played straight. And, Tankers #1 sort of does that. But, the comic has a lot of bump aspects that are hard to get past.
Robert Venditti nails so much with this debut. The concept of a Texas oil company doing this sort of plan is hilarious. The characters presented are such caricatures that they deliver laughs at the silliness of it all. The plan itself is funny and so extreme, it too deserves laughs. The fact the comic goes in a predictable direction that no one thought of is groan-worthy. It’s to a point that the comic wraps up with an end that’s something we’ve seen so many times before, it’s like when people in zombie or horror stories have clearly never seen a zombie or horror story. Tankers #1 is the Butterfly Effect plain and simple. And sadly that kills the creativity.
The fact the comic goes in the direction that’s expected is a killer. I had hoped the series would deliver something new or different. There’s so much leading up towards the end that would indicate that. The sci-fi satire nails so much right. The oil execs, the gung-ho soldiers, they all play to laughs at the ludicrousness of it all. Sadly, the comic winds up in a spot that’s not new and seen a mile away. For as creative as it opens, Tankers #1 closes exactly where you expect it to.
Juan José Ryp‘s art delivers an exaggeration that plays to Venditti’s story. There’s both seriousness and silliness to the design and characters. The action scenes would fit in the testosterone-fueled 80s and that’s where this comic belongs in many ways. Along with Andrew Dalhouse‘s colors, the art nails down the over-the-top satirical nature of it all. The soldiers are all alpha in their looks and attitudes. The dinosaurs splatter by raining blood everywhere. It’s so simple in the ridiculousness of it all. Dave Sharpe‘s lettering adds a macho flavor punctuating the cliched dialogue. It adds to the comedic feel of it all.
Venditti and artist Jorge Monlongo deliver a backup that feels like it fits the satirical nature of the main story. Involving President Lincoln, it’s best to experience the short which has a lot of potential to it. It’s bizarre and a direction that’s unexpected but quite welcoming.
Tankers #1 is an interesting comic. It has so much going right, it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t stick the landing. A great concept that skewers its subjects loses its impact with an ending that’s far to predictable. There’s something that can be read into that but the fact no one mentions the obvious direction feels like an opportunity lost. A few more lines, and the comic would have nailed the humor of it all. I’m hoping the second issue of Tankers surprises me by heading into a different direction but as is, this is a story we’ve seen before too many times.
Story: Robert Venditti Art: Juan José Ryp, Jorge Monlongo
Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Jorge Monlongo
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Purchase: Zeus Comics