If Tank Girl had appeared for the first time in 2012, instead of 1988, the viral catch-phrase that would have immediately applied is, 'And not a single f**k was given that day.'
She cut entirely from her roots. The world was hers for the taking, so she took it. She listened to nobody and never looked back.
If something got in her way, she blew it up. She lived in a tank; and she had an improbable amount of over-sized weaponry at her disposal. This included atomic bombs as a bra, long before Madonna did the whole conical breasts thing.
In fact, the majority of the gags and scene sketches were simply excuses to blow stuff up.
On the surface, it looked like the Riot Grrl generation had taken as their fictitious leader a psychotic, highly selfish bitch. So what did it say about the third wave Post-Feminists?
Actually, not a lot. Tank Girl was never mainstream. The majority of females around at the time hadn't even heard of her until Hollywood's travesty of a movie. Even then, they may not have been aware that she'd stepped out of the pages of a comic.
Many old school Feminists rejected Tank Girl out of hand. She came from the drug-addled minds of two male art students. Sorry, I should have made bold and underlined a certain word in the midst of that. Male. Art students.
So what were we doing even reading such a thing to divine anything to do with how females should react? That was surely handing back one patriarchy and replacing it with another, closer to our own ideals. We'll take the pen next to our older sisters then, shall we?
Writers like Elyce Rae Helford have argued that we did do ourselves a disservice. In Post-feminism and the Female Action-Adventure Hero: Positioning Tank Girl (pdf), she pointed out all of the ways that Tank Girl was still objectifying women, primarily through a voyeuristic, male gaze upon a female body.
It was all more about reinterpreting traditional roles for women, than reinventing them.
However, Helford was commenting upon the movie, not the comic. She does make this point repeatedly, and she makes clear where the original cartoon would have deviated strongly from the film portrayal. (As well as where the movie tips a wink to the wilder, more sexually free, more devil-may-care proper Tank Girl.) That was a whole different scenario.