I went into reading Tank Girl: Skidmarks knowing very little about Tank Girl or the universe that she lives in. I was, however, immediately welcomed to the tone of her world with the first line of dialogue out of her mouth, “C’mon Booga, you great twat!” From there I learned that Tank Girl is a foul-mouthed badass that every guy wants to get their hands on while she does everything possible to separate herself from the stereotypical female role. This is no superhero story, and certainly not a graphic novel for children as the words “twat”, “cunt”, and “tits” are littered throughout in plentiful supply.
The basic premise of the story is a bit absurd, but that’s really part of the humor. Tank Girl’s friend Barney has put herself into a coma trying to do a rail-slide on a skateboard. The medical bills from saving her life are so outrageous that Tank Girl and her friend Booga enter themselves into The Watermelon Run, an illegal cross-country (and back) race that pays out twenty billion dollars to the winner. You might notice a similarity to another race by a similar name. This is the first, but definitely not last, reference to pop culture in the book. Actually, these references were one of the most enjoyable parts of the book for me. You might be thinking that the references are made as a cheap way to appeal to fans, but it all makes a lot of sense once you reach the end of the story. The end is also not quite what you’d expect, but cleverly done and explains a lot of seemingly unrealistic elements of the story. I found myself reading several parts of the book and thinking, “Wait? What just happened?” and growing disappointed with the ridiculousness of it all, but once you complete the story everything that was ridiculous before now all makes perfect sense, trust me.
All and all, I’ve learned this about Tank Girl as a character: she likes to have fun and kick ass while doing it. If this is what you want out of a character and a graphic novel, then Skidmarks is a book for you.