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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

The Wonderful World of Tank Girl #4


Writer: Alan Martin
Artist: Brett Parson
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99
Age: 17+
32 pages
Publication Date: 18 April 2018

The last in a series of four stand-alone stories! The fiendish combination of a newly expanded role-playing game and Barney’s newly acquired ‘special’ tea leads to an old friend turning up, presenting Tank Girl with a problem that can only be solved by taking a dive, deep into the rabbit-hole of her own subconscious! Prepare to freak out, man…!

As you would probably expect from the combination of the above synopsis, artist Brett Parson’s hallucinogenic cover illustration showing Tank Girl as a sexy flower child, and the episode title Tank Girl Takes a Trip, there are one or two drug references in this final issue of the anthology series!

The story begins not in the countercultural world of the spaced-out hippie, but in the realm of swords and sorcery, as Tank Girl grows bored of playing Heroes of the Olden Times (strapline: A Game of Being a Hero in Olden Times). However, before long Barney is off to see her “shady tea dealer”, a statement that puzzles Booga, though no one else thinks anything of it, even when they notice that the beverage tastes funny. Then, as the gang immerse themselves in another role-playing game, the recently expanded Hunters of the Dirtland, a kind of Mad Max scenario, but with refreshing tea as the parched land’s most valuable commodity, things take a turn for the decidedly strange…

First a familiar furry face returns, which will ring nostalgic bells for long-term Tank Girl fans (this year is the strip’s 30th anniversary, after all). Then, in a swirl of psychedelic hues, the team find themselves in an enchanted forest, where they attend a Lewis Carroll style tea party and meet a man sitting on a giant mushroom. Following a double-sided poster comprising two of this issue’s cover designs (the other one being a highly colourful number by Chris Wahl), Martin and Parson demonstrate their versatility by rendering the next three pages in the style of a children’s rhyming storybook.

The end of the tale is rather abrupt, but in my view this kind of nuttiness is what Tank Girl is all about. As Barney pours more of her special blend, there’s no sign of the madness letting up any time soon. “More tea, vicar?” Yes, please!


Richard McGinlay

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