Tank Girl One - Alan Martin, Jamie Hewlett
Following high praise from certain quarters, I figured that I'd take the opportunity to check out the new, twentieth anniversary collected editions of counter-cultural icon Tank Girl.
Tank Girl, then, is a destructive sociopath who lives in some kind of vaguely defined futuristic outback where she has random, nihilistic adventures with a group of misfits and mutants - occasionally involving a tank or two. Nihilistic is perhaps the watchword here, as these stories disregard not just pretty much every social norm you can name, but also the rules for coherent, consistent storytelling and character development. The result is a glorious mess of anarchic imagination and unapologetic humour that maintains a real sense that these stories can go pretty much anywhere.
In these earliest issues, we can also see artist Jamie Hewlett moving from a more generic style towards the bold and characterful designs we know him for today, while writer Alan Martin also seems to increasingly eschew fourth-wall breaking anti-stories in favour of some sort of overarching plot. I think this, and the maturation of Hewlett's artwork, will probably bring me back to Tank Girl Two, once I get through a few more of the books on my stack.