TWO GIRLS ONE TANK-Gross Title, Good BookMay 18, 2016
Out today from Titan Comics is the newest installment in a lengthy line of Tank Girl titles–Two Girls One Tank–written by original series creator Alan Martin, with art and letters by Brett Parson. The new addition is brilliantly skuzzy, like all the best Tank Girl runs are, with the added bonus of knocking itself from time to time.
The issue opens with a pair of museum curators celebrating their most recent score–the original Tank Girl’s tank. The dude mentions to his female counterpart that he got it from a guy who won it in a card game with a kangaroo (oh Booga, when will you learn?). Cut to Tank Girl, Booga, and Barney in the wilderness, kicking it by a hot spring with a beer, Booga and Barney telling Tank Girl that her tank seems to have just disappeared–weird. The trio attempt to suit up for their next score in order to buy a new tank, but find that their regular garage and artillery is surprisingly empty. Barney points out that they’ve used everything in all their past adventures. This leaves Tank Girl in her backup ride, Barney on a bike and Booga in a go-kart.
Later, the lady curator, after a sleepless night of eating takeout in her matching lingerie set, shaves her head, finds a pack of cigarettes, and steals the tank from her gallery, ripping off into the night in a sequence of pages that had me going “Ugh God, girl, me too” (assuming I owned anything that even resembled matching lingerie). Now the story has two Tank Girls instead of one, although while this new Tank Girl goes through old Tank Girl’s polaroids, we get a less-than-subtle moment of foreshadowing so writing synopses later should be less difficult.
Honestly, initially I was hesitant to read Two Girls One Tank. Firstly because of the title–I know I’m not the only one that had a certain horrific video pop into their mind at the phrasing–and secondly because Tank Girl’s characteristic several-issue long violent chases through the outback just aren’t really my thing. But this issue reads a little different.
With the two Tank Girls at play, the storyline for this issue gets a couple layers that live separately until the last few pages and then converge together in a smash of action with a little bit of betrayal. Parson’s art is sharp and exaggerated, further complimenting the ridiculousness of a world inhabited by women who marry kangaroos and information dealers who exclusively drink decaf (I could write a thesis on Decaf Dave, try and stop me). The characters’ raucous, give-no-effs attitudes balance out the repeated gratuitous appearance of women in their panties. Barney, ever the voice of meta commentary, at one point wonders out loud, while in her underwear, why she’s always got to be in said gear while trying to accomplish something.
Two Girls One Tank is absolutely a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously while continuing on what has, at this point, become a cult classic legacy. Despite its less-than-careful titling (or maybe they did it on purpose, ya sass masters), you shouldn’t be afraid to pick this book up today.
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