Legends of Zita the SpacegirlFeatured
Zita's exploits from her first adventure have made her an intergalactic megastar! But she's about to find out that fame doesn't come without a price. And who can you trust when your true self is being eclipsed by your public persona, and you've got a robot doppelganger wreaking havoc . . . while wearing your face?
Still, if anyone can find their way through this intractible mess of mistaken identity and alien invaders, it's the indomitable Zita, in Legends of Zita the Spacegirl.
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.
Wonderful main characters
Pleasing future/alien mix of robot and animal characters
Author Ben Hatke has a gift for creating action-packed scenes. You’ve got to love villains that are heart-shaped planets! The aliens are always interesting and Hatke’s sketches and guidebook entries about them show that he has carefully considered how they fit into Zita’s universe. The illustrations are gorgeous, particularly the silent shots of the spacecraft hurtling through the stars. The most powerful drawings have no dialogue but convey so much.
Zita and her clone learn about heroism and sacrifice, setting the series up for a third installment. Zita the Spacegirl was the book I was rooting for when judging the Cybils and I plan on nominating Legends of Zita the Spacegirl this year. I’m looking forward to seeing where in the universe she goes next.
A cool, strong heroine