Tank Girl was one of those comic publishing phenomena that was inspired by pure genius but later strung out so thin it became embarrassing. The initial strips, written by Alan Martin and drawn by Jamie Hewlett (who went on to create the ultimate animated band Gorillaz), were an anarchic wake up call; sticking two fingers up at the corporate greed of the eighties and embracing a new and unstoppable wave of youth culture. Unstoppable that is until they made a movie that lost the plot and launched a Tank Girl line of comics that Hewlett and Martin didn’t have the time or inclination to fill with their own work.
Which is where Apocalypse comes in. Originally published in the above-mentioned follow-up comic, this story was scripted by Alan Grant, better known for his 2000AD comic strips. In a nutshell, the end of the world is nigh, Tank Girl is pregnant and everything is about to kick off. It feels like there’s an attempt to recreate the anarchic feel of Martin’s stories by simply throwing a lot of messy characters Tank Girl’s way.
It just doesn’t work. The drug and sex scenes, which are integral to the Tank Girl mythos, veer towards the embarrassing, almost as if your Dad was recounting them to you. The art isn’t so bad but it fails to recreate the compellingly cool Tank Girl of the original series.
If you’ve never seen Tank Girl before, this isn’t the place to start – hunt down some of Hewlett and Martin’s original strips instead. And even if you are a fan, we think you’d be hard-pushed not to be disappointed by this volume.