Written by: Alan C. Martin
Illustrated by: Jim Mahfood
Published by: Titan Books
Reviewed by: Kristian Horn
Tank Girl returns to form with the latest Titan Books release Everybody Loves Tank Girl. When I say, “returns to form”, I don’t mean to put down any of the Tank Girl releases from the past several years. I’ve loved all of the Tank Girl stuff that’s come out recently. What I mean when I say, “returns to form”, is that the format of the narrative has reverted a bit more to resemble the actual original Tank Girl comics. When Tank Girl was originally released through Deadline Magazine and then collected via Dark Horse comics (in the U.S.) her adventures were comprised of small auto bursts of chaotic comic fun. It wasn’t until the current crop of Tank Girl comics that her books consisted of a story that would span over the course of several issues. Before the recently released books Tank Girl was a series of short stories that would consist of only several pages of comic book anarchy.
In Everybody Loves Tank Girl creator Alan C. Martin and Jim Mahfood have gone back to Tank Girl’s “original recipe”. Everybody Loves Tank Girl is a return to what made the comic book successful in the first place. As much as I’ve enjoyed the recent crop of TG books, this release was a bit of fresh air. In my opinion I feel that Tank Girl has mostly worked better in short serials. Tank Girl is a character that really never demanded an extended narrative. Her particular type of humor is delivered more successfully in quick successive bursts. Sort of like guerrilla warfare. It’s one of the reasons I thought that the Tank Girl movie didn’t and couldn’t work. She’s not necessarily made for long form stories. Mr. Martin’s been able to pull off longer stories lately but this newest edition of Tank Girl’s adventures reminded me how much I’d missed her crazy, off the wall, insanely fun, undersized comic adventures. Don’t get me wrong; any Tank Girl tale penned by Alan C. Martin is worth reading but this edition of Tank Girl gave me the warm fuzzies inside as I read it. It really took me back to the thrill of reading the original Tank Girl collections that exposed me to the character all those years ago.
Jim Mahfood’s art is perfectly suited for Tank Girl. I’m not sure if Mahfood’s ever illustrated any Tank Girl adventures before but if he hasn’t…what the hell took the Tank Girl team so long to get him on this book? Mahfood’s style and Tank Girl are like chocolate and peanut butter: two great things that go great together. Mahfood’s artistic sensibility embodies everything that Tank Girl is. It’s vibrant, crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and outrageous. I can’t think of anyone more perfectly suited to be drawing Tank Girl. Obviously Mahfood’s an artist in demand but I hope that he’ll be back drawing Tang Girl again. Mahfood and Tank Girl are made for each other.
Everybody Loves Tank Girl is a funtastic read. While Tank Girl’s been firing on all cylinders for the past several years this collection is the one that brought me back to the days when I discovered the character. When Tank Girl was an unpredictable comic book force to be reckoned with that kicked all kinds of ass and took names. Everybody Loves Tank Girl recaptures some of the magic of the early Martin and Hewlett days while at the same time rising up to create its own kind of madcap mayhem.