Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
By: Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King opens moments after the first book ends (Read my review of the first book here). Jack’s sister, Maddy, has been pulled into an alternate universe by a monster. Jack and Lilly must work quickly to save Maddy and get back to safety. But as they start on their adventure, Jack and Lilly are split up and must learn to navigate this universe with the aid of some of its creatures.

A group of goblins finds Lilly after she has been injured and nurse her back to health in their underground city. Some goblins want to help Lilly on her quest, but the Goblin king won’t allow it. To gain the help of those goblins, she will have to defeat the Goblin King. While she is fighting, Jack is above ground trying to break into a castle occupied by giants. But the giants are too large for one boy to handle. Will Lilly bring the goblins to help, or will Jack have to defeat the giants alone?

Hatke’s illustrations are vivid and enticing, and he does a fantastic job of world building. While not the title character of the series, Lilly’s development is a key part of this graphic novel. She comes out stronger in this book, and the story is better for it. I hope she continues her prominent role in the series.

The ending made me gasp and will for sure make Mighty Jack readers excited for the next installment. Hatke’s ability to weave heavy action, character development, and important themes together makes him a skilled storyteller. Mighty Jack and the Goblin King is a strong sequel, and the series is one that I will continue to recommend to my students who love action and adventure.

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