My First Tank Girl Experience
“When game show presenter Charlie Happy takes a dislike to Tank Girl and her marsupial boyfriend Booga, denying them prizes of his-and-hers mountain bikes, thoughts of bloody revenge cloud our heroine’s mind. But the aftermath is starting, and a drunken revelation brings about Tank Girl’s own martial arts’ philosophy- Carioca! This book is the bible of that philosophy, and is destined to become a religious-cult classic!”
In this hardcover trade paperback, each chapter begins and ends with a poem about a central theme that was on going on with the characters. In those poems, it made me level with the characters, and let me try to enjoy them. While they were very brief (about a page or two per issue), they were absolutely the best thing that this trade had to offer. Other thing I’d like to commend is the artwork. The artist of this story arc is Nick McMahon, and his art is very distinct. As a person who’s very used to more, say, traditional artists such as John Romita, Jim Lee, or Steve Epting, it was a little refreshing to see something new and pretty bold.
The story was very… lackluster. While I understand Tank Girl’s comics are supposed to be whacky and rebellious and raunchy and bloody as hell (and there were definitely those moments, no doubt), the story and situations the character was put in were very bland. For example, the main villain of the arc (without spoiling) was a game show host and his posse. Not only were these villains not compelling in the least, but I never felt that Tank Girl, or any of her crew for that matter, were in any danger whatsoever. There are moments in this book that are extremely random, and feel out of place, as odd as the story was. For instance, out of nowhere, a talking lemming just sort of shows up, says some pretty nasty things, and is never heard from again, with little to no explanation of what it was and why it was there. Lastly, another issue I had with Carioca was that not one character in this book was likeable. While the poems I described earlier gave a huge insight on the characters’ thoughts and feelings, they were not enough to let me embrace them to their fullest.
This was the very first Tank Girl story I have ever read, and I just wasn’t feeling it, unfortunately. The central idea of the story was tiresome, the characters were essentially unpleasant, and I did not care for any of the villains in this book at all. Perhaps if there was a brief history of the characters to be a little more new-reader friendly, I could get on board with this insane world and it’s odd characters. While I did not dislike it totally, it clearly just wasn't for me, but I’m sure that a devoted fan of Tank Girl’s would appreciate it more than yours truly. While those poems were fantastic and the artwork was pretty cool, it just wasn't enough for me to really have the benefit of reading this decently long story arc. Out of 5 weird-ass talking kangaroos, I give it a 2. Buy it and read it if you’re a dedicated, hard-core fan of Tank Girl and her team, but otherwise, it’s better off skipped.