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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Tank Girl Ongoing #5
Tank Girl Forever #1 of 4


Writer: Alan Martin
Artist: Brett Parson
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99
Age: Mature readers
32 pages
Publication Date: 24 July 2019

The second story in Tank Girl’s anarchic ongoing series begins, as our heroine finds herself caught up in a world of superhero silliness and four-colour, four-letter fisticuffs! Tank Girl Forever starts here – an all-new tale exploring the weirdest corners of Tank Girl’s world…!

This is where the numbering of the continuing Tank Girl series gets a little bit complicated. This issue is variously referred to as Tank Girl #5 (in Titan Comics publicity), Tank Girl Forever #5 (on the Titan Comics website), Tank Girl #1: Tank Girl Forever (on Amazon), Tank Girl Forever Part One of Four (in large letters inside the book) and Tank Girl Ongoing #5: Forever #1 of 4 in the small print on the same page. The front cover doesn’t appear to show the issue number at all. To clarify, this is the fifth issue of our heroine’s ongoing series, which marks the beginning of a new four-part story, Tank Girl Forever.

Not that experienced readers of American comic books will be confused by such complexity. They are used to all manner of relaunches and resets of issue numbers, including issues numbered 0. They will probably also appreciate the superhero theme of this new adventure, in which Tank Girl and her female friends are transformed into costumed heroines with amazing abilities – all except for Barney, who for some reason has become a super-villain called The Bad Seed (Nick Cave, by the way, is nowhere to be seen). She really is having a barney here!

The opening page of the strip calls back to the unscrupulous Marsofu company from the previous serial, Action Alley, but this is a red herring. The plot immediately takes a very different turn, as we are presented with the mystery of why Tank Girl and co have suddenly gained super-powers. Writer Alan Martin also invites us to wonder what has become of the protagonist’s kangaroo boyfriend Booga, though the question isn’t asked out loud.

Meanwhile, artist Brett Parson continues to develop his trademark ‘aged comic book’ look, all browning pages and misaligned colours. He also captures some classic American comic hero poses (especially on the front cover) and Jack Kirby style energy blasts. However, I don’t think the Bronze Age of comics ever had sound effects as silly as “Clicky!”, “Mega Dumpff!”, “Rim! Rimm! Rimm!”, “Chunder!” or “Kerplunk!”

I’ll be happy for this storyline to run, if not forever, then at least for another three issues.


Richard McGinlay

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