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Trading Up: Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising

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Titan Books collects Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising, the latest four-issue limited series set in an outrageously oddball post-apocalyptic Australia…  

In this latest compilation from Titan Books, Tank Girl and Booga’s relationship hits a rocky patch leading to a major falling out between our eponymous heroine and her mutant kangaroo lover. With this spat effectively splintering their group of comrades, Booga finds himself involved in the shenanigans of his former marsupial mates while Tank Girl is drawn into a scheme to create the world’s very first time machine. But who is secretly manipulating our favourite anarchic double act and how is that linked to a threat to the very existence of the universe?

Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising is the usual madcap, Looney Tunes-on-acid romp that we’ve come to expect from this wonderfully and wilfully insane corner of British comicdom. It’s frenetic, fast-paced action where the creators are clearly having an absolute ball in bringing their unique brand of scatological silliness to the printed page and the reader cannot help but get swept up in the absurdity of Alan Martin’s twisting tale.

Of course being a Tank Girl story Bad Wind Rising is acutely (and brilliantly) childish in places but it carries it off in a glorious, unrepentant way. Who can fail to laugh at an early caption that states “In our continued quest for quality and value, we would like to assure readers that at least one character in each episode of this story will be shot in the bollocks”? And, indeed, the promised slapstick sightings of testicular trauma do not fail to materialise. The book is also full of pop culture nods that will bring a smile to the face of the attentive reader, from references to 1980s Grange Hill to a gorgeous evocation of Amazing Spider-Man #50’s classic “Spider-Man No More” cover.

Rufus Dayglo’s art is, essentially, animation in print. It’s frantic, in-yer-face and practically bursts off the page in the reader’s direction; a marvellously vibrant experience. Sofie Dodgson’s muted colouring, which utilises a very restricted palette, is highly effective, especially in those sequences of cartoony violence where the largely greenish hues she employs throughout are suddenly splattered with the blood red of exploding body parts…

          

It’s not always the most coherent narrative but, to be frank, that’s never exactly been a pre-requisite for enjoying the Tank Girl experience. While all the plotlines do converge into a final, mind-blowing denouement involving temporal paradoxes, complex conspiracies and the most puzzling intricacies of quantum physics, quite how we got there probably doesn’t bear too much careful examination. But, hey, this is Tank Girl and the ride is always far more important than the destination. Let’s hope the wait for Alan Martin’s next foray into the ultra-violent but ultra-amusing world of Tank Girl is not an uncomfortably long one for the readership.

Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising is available from Titan Books priced £14.99 in the U.K. and $19.95 in the U.S.

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