In The Return of Zita The Spacegirl (First Second), New York Times-Bsetselling author Ben Hatke brings back the heroine of his previous two graphic novels about Zita, and concludes this terrific trilogy for middle grade readers. Hatke’s final volume in this fun-to-read science fiction/adventure trilogy has Zita imprisoned in the dungeons of a penitentiary planet, thrown there on trumped-up charges based on laws she is charged with breaking while undertaking heroic exploits detailed in the first two graphic novels.
Though Zita the Spacegirl has battled monsters and even saved entire planets before, she faces perhaps her biggest challenge yet in The Return of Zita The Spacegirl. She has to overcome her own feelings of guilt and despondency for allegedly breaking the laws she’s been charged with of breaking and gain back her self-confidence and come to the realization that the alien accusing her is playing mind games with her. If she doesn’t succeed in breaking out of the dungeons, she won’t be able to defeat the alien who place her there from also taking over her home planet, Earth!
The Return of Zita The Spacegirl takes up, essentially, from where the second graphic novel in the trilogy, Legends of Zita The Spacegirl, left off, with Zita having been captured, arrested, and about to be put on trial for allegedly breaking numerous laws. Of course, the charges are trumped-up, and Zita has no lawyer to defend her against the allegations.
What’s more, Zita seems to have no way to contact any of her friends, who she met and helped out in the first two graphic novels. But, there is a mysterious figure who wears a living cape and flits about, spying in at the proceedings of the trail, who just might offer hope to Zita The Spacegirl.
Zita is accused of stealing a spaceship, and associating with criminals — though, the so-called “criminals” are creatures who Zita considers to be her friends. They aren’t really criminals at all, no matter how they are characterized by the alien who has placed her on trial.
The mysterious figure attempts to rescue Zita The Spacegirl, but he is unsuccessful, and Zita is placed into a dungeon cell with a talking (though immobile) skeleton and a talking rag-pile called Raggy. One of the monstrous-looking prison guards who throws her into the cell tears up a star that she has, and the pieces of the star then float through a vent, and into space, where they travel — eventually reaching Zita’s friends, who come to her aid — but, will they arrive too late?
Without getting much more into specifics, so that readers of The Return of Zita The Spacegirl can experience the fun and surprises that this graphic novel offers for themselves, be assured that there are plenty of thrills, rescues, robots, alien monsters, and other cool aspects about this third book in Ben Hatke’s Zita The Spacegirl trilogy that will enthrall audiences of all ages.
Also, though The Return of Zita The Spacegirl is officially a trilogy, the conclusion of the graphic novel leaves open the distinct possibility that, eventually, the series will continue up once again. For the many fans of Zita The Spacegirl around the world, let’s hope that there will be many further adventures detailing Zita The Spacegirl’s adventures yet to come!
Written by: Douglas Cobb