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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Tank Girl All Stars #3


Writer: Alan Martin
Artists: Brett Parson, Jim Mahfood
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99
Age: Mature readers
32 pages
Publication Date: 29 August 2018

The Tank Girl birthday thrills continue as this 30th-anniversary anthology spectacular kicks into even higher gear! Will the gang make it to the church on time for the wedding of Barney’s favourite cousin Barry, who’s marrying a woman called, um, Barry – or will they get distracted by a hunt for buried treasure? Is the Supertronic Jet Girl powerful enough to take on an army of mutated zombies and save Booga? Perhaps more importantly, would you like to buy her action figure…?

Just two comic strips this time, each running to ten pages.

First up is It’s a Tank, Tank, Tank, Tank Girl, which, as you might have guessed, is a spoof of the 1963 comedy movie It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Rumours of buried treasure lead to a high-speed chase across the desert – with added carnage, Tank Girl style. There are some particularly brutal punch-ups in both of this issue’s stories, and here a vicar loses several teeth. A more recent source of humorous inspiration is The Paul Hogan Show (1973–84), to which writer Alan Martin pays tribute in the form of a giant statue of one of Hogan’s characters, the hapless and amusingly named stuntman Leo Wanker.

Jim Mahfood provides the art for the opening strip in his customary scratchy style. Coloured solely in shades of yellow and orange, it’s far from naturalistic – though, as I commented in my review of #1, he does draw very nice bottoms. There’s brief nudity at the beginning of the adventure, as the girls get changed for a wedding they’re supposed to be attending… but even when they’re attired, their tight dresses leave little to the imagination. In other words, it’s the usual mad, mad, mad, mad world of Tank Girl!

Next, there’s another episode of Time for Tank Girl, in which the threat to Booga grows ever greater. This time the strip incorporates an amusingly bad fake advertisement for an action figure based on the Supertronic version of Jet Girl that was created last time. With her crash hat and peelable dermal layer, which reveals a metal endoskeleton underneath, the commercial proudly boasts about the figure’s “glistening helmet” and “roll back skin”! Artist Brett Parson lovingly re-creates the look of an ad in a 1970s comic book, even down to the colours occasionally straying over the edges. However, it’s not clear whether the metallic grey used for Jet Girl’s gloved right hand (which should be brown) is a deliberate mistake or not.

As you’ve probably worked out, ten plus ten adds up to just twenty pages of comic strip. One- to two-page poster versions of the various cover designs help to pad out the space, but let’s hope there’s more time for Tank Girl strips in the next and final issue of this miniseries.


Richard McGinlay

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