Hands up – who remembers Tank Girl? Don’t even lie, I saw you flinch. The 1995 Lori Petty movie has gone on to enjoy somewhat of a cult following, but it really wasn’t that great and killed yet another promising comic book movie franchise. But we don’t need to dwell on the past. Tank Girl is back, having been on quite the odyssey over the last 18 years.
A little history – Tank Girl was a British comic that came out in the ‘90s. DC’s Vertigo imprint ended up with the US rights, releasing two miniseries in ’95 and ’96, but the movie’s disappointing box office didn’t bring the readers that DC had hoped for, so a planned third miniseries never happened. Writer/Co-Creator Andrew Martin hooked up with IDW and released a new Tank Girl series, The Gifting. IDW has released other Tank Girl material, as has Image. Titan Books has been releasing Tank Girl books since 2011, including Tank Girl: Carioca. Titan’s also released remastered versions of the Vertigo titles, Tank Girl: The Odyssey and Tank Girl: Apocalypse.
You still with me? Good. Because Tank Girl is back with Solid State, a four-issue miniseries from Martin and artist Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, the first issue of which is hitting the stores on the 15th. Do you want the book? Do you like post-apocalyptic, raunchy humor with a decidedly British bent? Then get the book.
Tank Girl’s still roaming the land with her kangaroo buddy, Booga; Solid State finds Tank Girl experiencing a case of the blues. All she feels like doing is moping around feeling sorry for herself. She brings Booga to a radio store in the hopes of getting his ham radio repaired, and meets up with her old school buddy, Crofty, who she hasn’t seen since he tried to set fire to the principal. What?
So Crofty’s working on the radio, and Jet Girl and Barney Farnsbarns show up on the scene. A freak accident leaves Booga in a coma, and in a Fantastic Voyage-type scenario, Tank Girl, Jet Girl, and Barney have to be shrunk down and injected into Booga’s bloodstream to save him. It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds, and it’s often laugh-out loud hilarious in its insanity.
The art isn’t what I’m used to for Tank Girl, but it’s more visceral. Lots of sharp angles and uneven facial expressions. It’s as surreal as the storyline is, and it lends a bit of playfulness to the book. The writing is tight. The humor is there, and it’s full of “WTF?” moments that just work.
Being a relative newbie to the Tank Girl universe – I saw the movie back in the day, sure, but I’ve never read an issue in its entirety – I’m inclined to give this one a shot. Let me know what you think. How does Solid State hold up compared to previous Tank Girl stories?
Tank Girl: Solid State
Writer: Alan C. Martin
Artist: Warwick Johnson-Cadwell
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Genre: sci-fi/fantasy, post-apocalyptic, surreal