The Return of Zita

by Ben Hatke
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Others in the series: Zita the Spacegirl, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl,

The last words (if you haven’t read the other two, go do it now) of Legends of Zita are “Gotcha!” And so, we find Zita, at the opening of this one, in front of the Court of Dungeon World, being “tried” for her “crimes”. But, then she finds out that the leader of the dungeon world — who also happens to be a Screed — is planning on getting a jump crystal and taking over Earth. Which means: he must be stopped. Though how on earth is Zita supposed to do this when she’s stuck in the deepest dungeon on the Dungeon World?

Well, with her friends of course.

In some ways, this is a crowded book: everyone Zita has met since the beginning of her adventures shows up. Sometimes, that’s a wonderful, surprising thing. Other times, it seems a bit forced. But I’m not sure how much I cared. Zita has heart and spunk, and I could plausibly believe that everyone (!) would come to her rescue and aid. The art, as always, is fantastic; it may not be sweepingly gorgeous,but Hatke knows how to blend text and illustration to make the action move forward, and to build intensity. And it’s accessible to the kids, which is what really matters. (K said: “You know how many times I’ve read this since we got it? TEN TIMES!”)

It’s a bittersweet ending, with Zita having to leave her friends. And I like how Hatke handled that as well. It’s such a superb series, from start to end. It makes me happy to be able to pick it up and read it all straight through  now, without having to wait.

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