Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl kids' comics are a huge favorite around these parts. In The Return of Zita the Space Girl, Hatke wraps up his first story arc in a way that can only be called an absolute triumph. Cory Doctorow reviews it.

In the first two Zita books, Ben Hatke blended a perfect mix of Vaughn Bode and the Mos Eisley Cantina, with the pacing and humor of Tin Tin.

In The Return of Zita, Hatke wraps up the three-book story arc so neatly and beautifully that I could have been happy if he'd left it off there, but (without giving away spoilers), it's clear by the last page that there's more to come.

My daughter Poesy is six, and we've been reading and re-reading Zita together for three years now and as we read this at bedtimes this week, we both found that, despite the long gaps between books (half her life), that Hatke's characters and their complex relationships to each other were so vivid that we not only recalled them all, we delighted in seeing them again and watching their arcs come to smashing resolution.

The book ends with Hatke's reminiscence of how he came to create Zita, which turns out to be a love story that led to his happy marriage and four beautiful daughters, and that was just about the perfect note to close the book on.

(Except that we're both salivating for the next one!)

-Cory Doctorow

The Return of Zita the Space Girl

The Return of Zita the Space Girl