REVIEW: ‘Dirty Old Tank Girl’ Omnibus

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dirty Old Tank Girl

Dirty Old Tank Girl Omnibus is published by Titan Comics, written by Alan Martin, with art by Rufus Dayglo and Mick McMahon, colors by Christian Kranck, and letters by Jimmy Betancourt Comicraft and Simon Bowland. Dirty Old Tank Girl Omnibus is a collection of a pair of six issue story arcs and a few small stories at the end.

Coming in at 266 pages, the Dirty Old Tank Girl Omnibus gives readers plenty of quantity, but unfortunately, quantity isn’t the only factor a comic book collection needs to concern itself with. This unsteady work starts out with a solid amount of steam but fizzles out in the back half turning the super high page count into more of a slough.

The first major story finds Tank Girl and several of her compatriots participating in a transcontinental death race across the whole of Australia. The prize on the line is enough money to pay for a vital surgery needed to bring one of their dear friends out of a coma.

With the only experience I have had with Tank Girl being last month’s issue of Tank Girl Action Alley, this story was a bit of a surprise for me as numerous moments of graphic violence are on display, as well as enough profanity to put some of the R-rated movies I’ve seen to shame. I don’t know which experience is the norm for Tank Girl, but be ready just in case.

All that aside, I enjoyed this story overall. It had a zaniness to it that kept the bizarre chance encounters and last-minute saves coming at a fast enough pace that it was a fun, if very sophomoric, read. The art complimented this story perfectly, and was without a doubt the highlight of the story for me. Rufus Dayglo captures both the characters and the absurdness of the situations with enough fun to let the many horrible deaths slide by without the weight to gloom up the wild ride.

The story ends on a plot twist I absolutely loved and added a whole other level to the crazy. It was an excellent icing on a very satisfactory cake.

Unfortunately, this is where Dirty Old Tank Girl Omnibus goes awry for me. As the story opens Tank Girl and Booga find themselves contestants on their favorite game show, only to be cheated out of their winnings, and as Tank Girl later discovers, spoken harshly about by the show’s host. This sends Tank Girl and her team on a mission of revenge that ends in an extremely gruesome public murder. After they get away, we get five issues of a quasi journey of self-enlightenment that simply devolves into more bloody violence.

Everything about the first story that was a little much for me is pumped up a couple notches. Along with the violence, the langue goes to lower depths, including repeated uses of the r-word by both antagonist and Tank Girl, and driving all the characters, even ones I have enjoyed in other Tank Girl stories to being just plain unlikable.

The art for this story is clearly trying to lean into the crudity, which it does succeed at, but not to the benefit of the comic in my opinion. The crude human figures make the art as much an assault on my senses as the plot and dialogue.

Following this are a couple of short stories of passable quality, but as I was fairly burnt out by the previous read any enjoyment I might have found in them were severally tarnished.

So after all that I really can’t recommend this collection to anyone save the true Tank Girl fans out there. Unless, the content as described sounds appealing to you, I would steer clear of this one as there are many better options out there to put your hard-earned dollars toward.

Dirty Old Tank Girl Omnibus
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TL;DR

So after all that I really can’t recommend this collection to anyone save the true Tank Girl fans out there.