21st Century Tank Girl
by Alan Martin, Jamie Hewlett and Various
The return of Tank Girl is here! 21st Century Tank Girl marks the return of the character along with a story from the original creative team. In addition to art from Jamie Hewlett, this anthology issue brings in a slew of other artists to help helm the return of Tank Girl to comics. Here, readers get all kinds of stories about the character as she finds herself in the midst of a number of strange, and very absurd adventures. 21st Century Tank Girl is irreverent, punchy and fast-paced, thus making for a fitting first issue.
In the opening tale, featuring art from Jamie Hewlett, Tank Girl finds herself in space. This first story features a very strange set of circumstances wherein Tank Girl must finish her mission in a certain amount of time to make good on a bet by Booga. Readers are also introduced to the terrifying imaginary friend, Shoob Shoob, which may explain a lot about the mind of Tank Girl. Along with Shoob Shoob, Tank Girl flies around in a ridiculously shaped spacecraft that was designed with only one thing in mind. The visuals from Hewlett are pretty entertaining throughout the story, even making time to flash back to her team as they sip drinks, looking unconcerned about the whereabouts or condition of Tank Girl. The entire mission occurs over just a few pages, but it is filled with comedy, action and a lot of fun. Hewlett and Martin do a great job with this opening adventure, even making good on the design of that ship for a visual gag that is right in character.
Warwick Johnson-Cadwell is the featured artist of the second story of the book. This one moves a lot quicker as Martin drops the dialogue for the short chapter. The story, featuring a sequence of events wherein Tank Girl infiltrates and takes on a German Nazi military group, is action packed. Johnson-Cadwell’s art is quite different from Hewlett’s, though it’s a good fit for this piece of the issue. The final two chapters of the issue feature two more artists, and the stories are both pretty strong. Each artist featured in 21st Century Tank Girl employs a very different style from the last. Martin’s writing and the overall construction of the issue make this work, however, and the anthology nature of this series moves along without any real sense of disruption.
In each chapter of this first issue, Martin features Tank Girl in some very strange and very entertaining missions. Despite the book being no longer than a normal monthly single issue, 21st Century Tank Girl feels packed with material thanks to its anthology format. For long time fans of the character, this new issue will be a lot of fun. For new readers, there is certainly enough in here, from the varying art styles to the crudeness of the characters to keep most entertained. Tank Girl is likely to have a very specific audience, but it still manages to be enjoyable.