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Tank Girl: The Royal Escape

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010
By: Karyn Pinter

Alan Martin
Rufus Dayglo, Christian Krank (c), Chris Mowry (l)
IDW Publishing
Pinned down, outgunned, and outmanned--sounds like a simple Tuesday afternoon for Tank Girl and pals. This is a Jet Girl-centric issue, perhaps even a Jet-centric storyline. Whatever it turns out to be, there's an egg involved and without it Jet is out of commission.

Oh, Tank Girl, you haven't been this much fun in fifteen years. I just finished reading/reviewing Tank Girl: Skidmarks and this, The Royal Escape, makes Skidmarks look like Looney Toons. The first page is pure, unadulterated Tankie--foul language and hockey mask included. This is more than a glimmer of Tank Girl past, this is the full-out good ol' days, and dare I say, almost better. I'm nearly convinced that Alan Martin is some kind of genius, because he writes absolute filth and nonsense, but it's brilliantly biting and funny, and has kept selling for all these years. Is it easy to keep something like Tank Girl fresh after so many years? Alan Martin makes it look easy.

Of course, where would the story be without its art? Rufus Dayglo proves in this issue that Tank Girl don't need no stinkin' panels. Okay, yeah there's the occasional panel here and there, but for the most part it's an open structure format for the comic page. It's done up like a newspaper print, in halftone dots, and using three basic colors. It lends itself nicely to the chaos and gives the comic an old pulp fiction feel.

This one's another full issue story and not a single page story like the classic days of Tank Girl, but this seems to be working out nicely in the comic's favor. It still possesses the goofy randomness the same way Skidmarks did, but it's been kicked up about five notches. Royal Escape is just peculiar. What I really liked about it was that it heavily featured Jet Girl. Yeah, she's for the most part incapacitated for the whole issue, but she's my favorite, therefore making me biased. Tank Girl still sits in the captain's chair, but it's nice to see more page time for the secondary characters, building on their history and future. I don't know if I've ever been so eager to find out what happens next in a Tank Girl comic. I guess it's partly from experiencing an actual storyline with Tank Girl, and that it has something of a twist ending involving Jet Girl's golden egg. I really can't explain it, not because it would spoil anything, but because it's just unexplainable. Really, you, I, we all need to know what's going to happen next.

If I had more than two thumbs they would all be up for Tank Girl: The Royal Escape. It's fouler, it's smellier, and it's more naked than before. A definite must read for all fans of Tankie.



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