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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Tank Girl
Action Alley #3


Writer: Alan Martin
Artist: Brett Parson
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99
Age: 17+
32 pages
Publication Date: 06 March 2019

Time’s running out for Tank Girl’s dying adoptive mother and for Booga’s bladder, as the radioactive road trip hits one hell of a speed bump! Some people pack sandwiches for a road trip – Tank Girl packed a Minigun. ’Nuff said, really. The penultimate issue of Action Alley is packed with hand-to-hand combat, Australian cursing, talking kangaroos, unhealthy burgers, and all the other signs of the apocalypse! Who says comics can’t be mature literature…?

I have adapted the official blurb from Titan’s website for the above synopsis, as I could find no sign of the promised “nuclear explosions” within this issue – er, Trade Descriptions Act! There is, however, plenty of frantic, close-quarters fighting during the opening pages.

Here we encounter the advertised Australian cursing, along with other funny noises. “Madder! Madder! Madder!” goes Jet Girl’s gun, and I daren’t repeat what Booga’s rifle butt says as it clonks an attacking mutant on the head! There’s further ‘sounds like’ nonsense as Barney puts her own spin on Tank Girl’s battle cries, vowing to “go down farting” and “take no pensioners”!

Writer Alan Martin has said of this new ongoing series that, “We get to invent a complex and detailed universe for Tank Girl and her friends to occupy, but it has to be done with humour, not in the generic style of a po-faced movie producer.” Nevertheless, things do get decidedly generic as our heroes, after being intimidated by the savages, are accepted by them and taken to meet their leader – how many times has that happened in adventure stories? Along the way, Booga repurposes a famous line from Planet of the Apes, and the mutants’ wise elder directly quotes Slartibartfast from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when he tells Tank Girl, “My name is… not important.”

Then things get rather plot-heavy, as we learn what the unethical Marsofu company has been putting in its burgers – and, no, it isn’t human beings. “Thirty years since she sprang to life,” continues Martin, “and now we find ourselves at the crack of a new dawn for Tank Girl. Characters and stories will carry more weight! More depth! And more stupidity!” We certainly get more weight and depth during this issue, but I would have liked a bit more stupidity.

There’s no shortage of talking kangaroos, though.


Richard McGinlay

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