Tank Girl is a bizarre British indie comic created by Alan Martin and drawn by Jamie Hewlett (of Gorillaz fame) about a cheerfully sociopathic young woman who lives in a tank, her mutant kangaroo boyfriend Booga, her various bizarre and violent buddies, and knob jokes. Set in the Australian outback, most of its stories pay no attention to reality, the laws of physics, good taste, bad taste, yucky taste or conventional storytelling.
Frequently Crosses The Line, mostly because the writers don't seem to be aware that there is a line.
Tank Girl started as a comic strip in the British magazine Deadline. It was made into a movie in 1995 starring Lori Petty (The voice of Livewire) and also featuring Naomi Watts, Malcolm McDowell, and Ice-T. Unfortunately the movie flopped and was considered by the creators to be a bad adaptation, causing Martin to quit in disgust. The financial failure also caused the collapse of Deadline.
For contractual reasons, two mini-series were produced for Vertigo Comics to tie into the film: "The Odyssey", written by Peter Milligan and with art by Hewlett, and "Apocalypse" with neither Martin or Hewlett involved.
In the 2000s, Martin has revived Tank Girl for a series of mini-series with various comic companies.
Collected editions are:
Original Deadline strips
- Tank Girl
- Tank Girl 2
- Tank Girl 3
- The Hole of Tank Girl
- The Cream of Tank Girl
Vertigo Comics "contractual obligation" titles
- Tank Girl: The Odyssey
- Tank Girl: Apocalypse!
2000s Alan Martin titles
- Tank Girl: The Gifting
- Tank Girl: Visions of Booga
- Tank Girl: Skidmarks
- We Hate Tank Girl
- Tank Girl: The Royal Escape
- Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising
- Tank Girl: Carioca
- Everybody Loves Tank Girl
- Solid State Tank Girl
- 21st Century Tank Girl
- Tank Girl: Armadillo! (text novel)
The comic contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Tank Girl and her buddies Jet Girl and Sub Girl.
- All Just a Dream / Daydream Surprise: Commonly used whenever Martin gets fed up with a story or can't think of an ending.
- Art Major Biology: Booga
- Ascended Extra: Barney initially appears as a nameless member of a group of characters Tank Girl busts out of a Bedlam House, but gradually gets a name and major character status.
- Ax-Crazy: All the characters at times, but especially Barney.
- Bald of Awesome / Bald Women: Tank Girl usually shaves her head apart from a few widly-coloured locks.
- Bandage Babe: When the Pointless Band-Aid doesn't go far enough.
- Black HumorTank Girl: What's black and white and red all over? Dismembered ninjas! Ha!
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Jet Girl is a little... off. She spent one storyline collecting and numbering rocks, piling them all up in a cairn... and launching a missile at the pile. All to see if, given the exact right trajectory, each rock would end up back in the same area she got it.
- Darker and Edgier: Hard to believe it was possible, but The Royal Escape is a lot darker-toned than usual.
- Deal with the Devil: Trading God's Bathrobe, of all things, for three wishes. One wish is for a can of beer bigger than she is.
- Delinquent Hair: Take a guess...
- Demoted to Extra: Steve and Camp Koala.
- Desert Punk: At least all of Australia is sand, and Tank rarely visits the coast. This is likely why Jet shows up a lot more than Sub.
- Egg MacGuffin: In The Royal Escape.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When Booga finds Sub Girl sadistically torturing a robot:Crazy? Perhaps. Arseholes? Never.
- Eyes Always Shut: In the first few stories, Tank Girl had this.
- Fanservice: Her outfits (and libido) make Madonna look prudish.
- Fan Disservice: Her original design was meant as a "fuck you" to how women were portrayed in comics; in later issues her appearance changed wildly, as a series of "Fuck you"s to pervy Tank Girl fans (along with a general trend of making everyone look grotesque). Any actual sex or suggestion thereof was farcical at best and usually really gross.
- Full-Frontal Assault: AUGH! Booga, put some pants on!
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Even Tank Girl's Good shoulder angel has a foul mouth!
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: GUESS WHO!
- Identity Amnesia: Happens to a traumatised Sub Girl in Two Girls One Tank.
- Interspecies Romance: Tank Girl is romantically involved with a genetically enhanced kangaroo. Not to mention... you know◊.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Frequently redyed version.
- Kangaroo Court: Literally.
- Kissing Under the Influence: Tank Girl has a baby with her tank while she's drunk. Makes Just as Much Sense in Context, alright.
- The Lad-ette: One of the first really extreme comics examples.
- Land, Sea, Sky: Tank, Jet, and Sub have this dynamic.
- Male Frontal Nudity: Booga was not shy.
- Male to Female Universal Adaptor: Booga has one. We... didn't really need to see it.
- Negative Continuity: Apart from the odd Brick Joke.
- Nested Story Reveal / Unreliable Narrator: Several stories turn out to be the characters' spinning tales to each other.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Many examples, generally highly derogatory.
- Pimped-Out Car: Or in this case, a tank.
- Pointless Band-Aid: All the characters often have sticking plasters in random places.
- Progressively Prettier: Over the course of the series Tank Girl seemed to get more and more traditionally "pretty" looking.
- Protagonist Title
- Refuge in Audacity
- Rite of Passage: Booga was sent to steal Tank Girl's underwear, and ended up sleeping with her. The rest of the kangaroo gang, thinking Booga was killed, swore revenge and attacked, and Tank slaughtered them all before Booga woke up. Conveniently explaining why Booga's with Tank!
- Rule of Funny
- Sealed Army in a Can: The Royal Escape
- Shout-Out: Many.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness versus Seriousness: Very silly.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Tank Girl and her tank.
- Special Guest: Dee Dee Ramone appears as one of the Wacky Racers in the "Skid Marks" arc.
- Stepford Smiler: Jackie aka Boat Girl is a rare sympathetic one, who keeps talking and behaving like a suburban housewife even while in a murderous gunfight.
- Superpowered Evil Side / Shapeshifter Weapon/ One-Winged Angel: Tank under the influence of the Black Egg.
- Tank Goodness
- Tank-Top Tomboy: Why, Tank, of course. Being an Action Girl definitely helps the image.
- They Do: Tank and Booga finally get hitched in Visions of Booga although it may have been because of a reality-warping Beat novel.
- Tomboyish Name: Barney.
- Unlimited Wardrobe
- Wacky Racing: The "Skid Marks" series.
- Whole Plot Reference: "The Odyssey" is, yes, The Odyssey with Tank Girl characters.
- World Gone Mad
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Or whatever color she feels like this issue.