Great sagas come to an end – maybe. But we’ll get to that. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl, I urge you to get to a library, a bookstore, or a friend with an enviable graphic novel collection and check her out, because she is fantastic. I first met her when Chuck, our editor monkey, handed me a copy of the first book and said, “You have to read this. It’s all you.” And it was. I quickly read Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, and was delighted when a review copy of Return of Zita the Spacegirl showed up on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago.
Zita is a young girl who, with her friend Joseph, found herself on an outer space adventure after discovering a device in a crater while out playing one day. By the time we begin Return of Zita the Spacegirl, Zita and her friends have been split up, and she’s hauled into a prison on the Dungeon World on trumped-up charges of destroying an asteroid (to save a planet), interfering with a species immigration, theft of a spacecraft, and consorting with “known criminals and public nuisances”. She’s even called “Zita the Crime Girl”, which is just rude. She’s thrown into jail, where she befriends her cellmates, a pile of rags named Raggy and a skeleton named Femur. While she’s in prison, Zita tries to find out what happened to her friends, plan a rescue, and save Earth from a nefarious attack scheme. She’ll make new friends and reconnect with some old friends – and who is that ghost in the blue cloak? You’ve got to pick the book up and find out for yourself!
The story and art are seamless with the previous two books, and should proudly sit next to their predecessors on every fangirl’s library shelf (and you fanboys, too – support and respect!) regardless of age. You can be sure that as soon as I get my library budget in, she’ll be sitting on my branch’s graphic novel shelf. I may even try to get a special Summer Reading program in.
Is this really the end of Zita the Spacegirl? I sure as heck hope not. Maybe she’ll find some new worlds to conquer, or show up in someone else’s adventure? Please, Mr. Hatke, find a way to give us more adventures!
5 out of 5 spaceships for Zita – go re-read Zita the Spacegirl and Legends of Zita the Spacegirl until May 13, when The Return of Zita the Spacegirl hits shelves!
THE RETURN OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL
Writer: Ben Hatke
Artist: Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second
On-Sale Date: May 13, 2014
Pre-order at your local comic shop, book store or directly from First Second/Macmillan!