Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1999
Zounds! It's Zita!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Zita, plucky intergalactic adventurer and deep-space heroine, is back, but the alien paparazzi are getting to her. Constantly surrounded by admirers, she longs to return to Earth, or maybe just for a bit of peace and quiet to wander around by herself.

A lonely, discarded android, capable of taking on any shape or form, observes Zita's popularity, and longs for the warmth of affection that everyone seems to offer Zita. So she transforms herself into Zita, and usurps our heroine's place, zooming off into the beyond and leaving the real Zita stranded. Mind you, all of that is conveyed in the artwork, since this little android doesn't really speak. It astonishes me how much emotion Ben Hatke can suggest on the immobile face of a mechanical creature. The art is appealing and gentle, but never silly or simple.

Zita, naturally, gives chase, and in the process gathers another posse of quirky space-wanderers, both mechanical and biological. I appreciate that this universe has such a rich variety of beings inhabiting it, and many of them not humanoid. The subtle subplots also add depth to the story, a sense that this is a universe simply bursting with stories, and we just happen to be tuning into Zita’s.

That’s important, though. Zita is a human girl, however brave and intrepid she is. And like any girl lost in the wilderness, what she wants above all is to go home, to find her planet and her parents. That’s something any reader can identify with, even if she hasn’t ridden on mouseback or piloted a living ship.

As the final panel is “To be continued…” there’s clearly another Zita adventure to come! Yay! In the meantime, I think I’ll reread these first two volumes, and so should you.
Good Points
Graphic novel with all-ages appeal
Wonderful main characters
Pleasing future/alien mix of robot and animal characters
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