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Comic Book / Tank Girl

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Tank Girl is a wacky British indie comic created by artist Jamie Hewlett (later of Gorillaz fame) and written by Alan Martin 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. Which is probably why it is so damn fun.

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 Hewlett and 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)

And please, for the love of any God you believe, don't confuse this with Girls und Panzer or Tank Vixens for that matter. The multiverse can't handle that crossover.

The comic contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Tank Girl and her buddies Jet Girl and Sub Girl are females who fight very well.
  • All Just a Dream / Daydream Surprise: Commonly used whenever Martin gets fed up with a story or can't think of an ending.
  • Anything That Moves: Boys, girls, mutant kangaroos, her own tank—whatever she finds sexy, Tank Girl will at least make a pass at it.
  • 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 are insanely violent at times, but especially Barney.
  • Bald of Awesome / Bald Women: Tank Girl usually shaves her head apart from a few wildly-coloured locks.
  • Black Comedy: The comic has a lot of the violence played for morbid humor.
    Tank Girl: What's black and white and red all over? Dismembered ninjas! Ha!
  • Continuity: Played fast, loose, and always for laughs. Continuity between story arcs? Heck, you're lucky to get it between panels.
  • 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: Tank Girl has most of her hair shaved off to show she's a rebel.
  • 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.
  • 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 always had her eyes closed.
  • 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: The World War Tank Girl miniseries featured Tank Girl and her allies fighting Nazis in the nude.
  • 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!


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