The Return of Zita the Spacegirl

The first volume of Zita the Spacegirl blew my mind.  A strong heroine who has super-fun adventures all over the galaxy with blessedly non-humanoid aliens?  Yes!  The geek was strong with this one!  I had to start The Legend of Zita the Spacegirl twice, however, since it just didn't grab me in the beginning.  Zita, replaced by a fangirling alien, and no one really notices?  Hmm.  But, I did end up enjoying the book in the end.  Just not as much as the first one.

Unfortunately, I feel like in The Return of Zita the Spacegirl, we see even less of Zita and her original crew.  Hatke doesn't introduce a ton of new characters--there are just a lot of panels with Zita running, or escaping, or running.  I miss Piper.  I miss Strong Strong.  I miss Madrigal.  Yeah, they show up in the end, but it's not the same.

In The Return, Zita has been captured and tried for her "crimes" in space.  Her captors sentence Pizzicato, AKA Mouse, to death, and Zita to imprisonment (which didn't make a lot of sense to me, but, whatever.  Alien injustice at work?)  Zita's cellmates are a sentient pile of rags called Rags, and a somehow-still-alive skeleton named Femur.  Their banter is actually pretty fun, and I wish they had played a bigger role in the story.  Mostly, Zita keeps attempting and failing to escape, thus receiving more and more punishments from the Angry Green Man who rules this asteroid and is going to conquer Earth just as soon as he finds the crystal that will allow him to zip across dimensions.

Zita didn't really have to do much in this volume, which disappointed me.  Even the finding of the last crystal was a deus ex petros--super bizarre and done pretty early on in the book.

However, as a kids graphic novel, it has a lot of heart and a great message for girls everywhere.  Namely, YOU ROCK.  And:
I did like was the ending.  However, if I were reading Zita all over again, I'd probably just read the first volume, as it is the most fun of all of them and employs a wide cast of characters.


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