Book Review – Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl

Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl
by Ben Hatke
(First Second, 2019)

At a Glance

Category/Genre(s):

Middle grade sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel

Age Range:

8-12

Plot Summary:

“Jack and Lilly are no strangers to heroics. They’ve befriended dragons, battled giants, and even earned the loyalty of a goblin army. So when they meet Zita the Spacegirl, fresh from her interplanetary travels and seeking their help to face a new threat, they’re more than ready for another adventure.

But the danger growing just outside the door to their world is greater than anything the new friends could have imagined. An army of giants and screeds stands ready to lay siege to Earth, determined to put the age of humans to an end.

With the gate between worlds growing weaker and time running out, can the heroes come together to save their world from their greatest enemy yet?” (source)

Strengths:

  • Amazingly fun adventure story
  • Loved the art
  • Fast paced
  • Rich, well developed characters

Full Review

I first got into this series by reading Mighty Jack. And I absolutely loved it. I thought the fracturing of Jack and the beanstalk was creative and well done. I actually avoided reading the Zita the Spacegirl books for a long time because I didn’t think it would be possible for Ben Hatke to catch lightning in a bottle twice.

Then they announced that they were doing a crossover series, so I thought I’d better give Zita a go. I cautiously picked up a copy. And I absolutely loved it as well. I loved how Mighty Jack definitely felt fantasy while Zita landed solidly in sci-fi. I was excited, but nervous, to see how Hatke would mash the two together.

Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl hits all the right beats and does not feel just thrown together. It is a fun, fast paced adventure without feeling rushed or hurried. I am not only a fan of Hatke’s storytelling, but also his artwork. He finds the perfect balance between moving the story forward with text but also relying heavily on the illustrations to give us a much richer experience.

I also feel like the characters are rich and well rounded. They do not feel one dimensional. Their flaws and insecurities bring them to life and help you root for them even more.

Hatke does a great job to reminding the reader what happens in the previous books, but I would definitely recommend reading the other books in the series before picking this one up. I think that this book will be devoured by any avid reader.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a fun, fast paced sci-fi/fantasy mashup, definitely give this series a go.

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