In this episode of the Zita the Spacegirl series, things begin to take a much more sinister turn. Its obvious from the cover that Zita is tougher than she once was, but she will need more than her wits to come out alive.

“You pushed that stupid red button even though I told you not to!”

page 101

Captured and imprisoned by a archetypal evil villain, Zita finds she needs the help of all of her friends, old and new, to save not only herself, but the entire planet Earth.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

All three of the Zita the Spacegirl books would be a wonderful addition to a youth library. These graphic novels have artistic merit far and above many others for children, and the characters are likable, admirable and brave.

I’m sure some of Hatke’s amusing side bits will be missed by less astute young readers, but that’s what makes them fun for all ages.

Note: We recieved a complimentary review copy in exchange for an honest review. The Return of Zita the Spacegirl is available on May 15th from First Second Books.

Rating (4 stars)

A Dungeon Lord.  An evil big-headed alien. I guess I should have seen this coming.

When Zita’s friend Joseph was first abducted by the scary tentacles of an alien Screed in the first book, Zita the Spacegirl, it should have been obvious that there were sinister forces at work.  These things always seem to come down to good vs. evil. Now we just need to figure out who is on which side.

All of the wonderful characters we have met in the first two books are here and Zita never forgets her friends. Joseph is back too, but he and Zita have a few issues of trust to work on.

I almost rated this book 3 stars as I found it less imaginative and whimsical than the first two. Perhaps I have gotten accustomed to some of the more unusual characters and plot lines that brought us to this point, but I was a little disappointed with the more conventional tone here. One notable exception being the snarky dungeon sideshow with Raggy, an evolved rag pile and Femur the escape artist skeleton.

This seems the final (but isn’t likely to be) in a trilogy of Zita .  A cool bonus is an addendum where Hatke shares, “The Origin and Evolution of Zita the Spacegirl.” Apparently the first three books we have just read are only the back story for the original Zita comics drawn years earlier to impress his then-girlfriend, Anna.