Following the 2011 reboot of the DC Universe, Zatanna has been recruited by Madame Xanadu to the roster of the new Justice League Dark. Their first mission was to stop the rampage of the insane Enchantress. Zatanna has thus far been reunited with John Constantine, a former consort from when she appeared in the Vertigo line.
Recently, Zatanna helped Constantine in a fight against Nick (Zee's old boyfriend who desires revenge against Constantine and her), who was in a mad search for the Books of Magic. However, as long as Timothy Hunter lived, none could open the books, but the boy. After Nick was defeated, Timothy opened the book of knowledge and began floating. Worried, Zatanna held him and both magicians were teletransported (events of the War for the Books of Magic storyline in Justice League Dark, 2012).
Zatanna is the daughter of adventurer John Zatara and his wife Sindella, and a member of the mystic tribe of sorcerers called the Hidden Ones, or Homo Magi. Zatanna inherited her mother's ability to manipulate magic and her father's penchant for heroism. Sindella later faked her own death to return the Hidden One's sanctum in Turkey, leaving her daughter in John Zatara's care.
Zatara traveled the world with his daughter and taught her to harness her magical abilities. Zatanna was later raised by strangers, however, when the evil witch Allura cursed Zatanna and prevented her from seeing her father. Zatanna was left to search fruitlessly for her natural parents.
Zatanna discovered her father's diary and created a stage persona for herself. Her quest to find her father led her into a brief affair with John Constantine. Later, with the help of the Justice League of America, Zatanna was able to lift Allura's curse and reunite with her father and later her mother. Tragically, Sindella died rescuing her daughter from the city of the Hidden Ones, while her father died saving her and the spiritual dimensions from the Great Evil Beast.
As a long standing member of the JLA, Zatanna fought countless super-villains and mystic threats. After the death of her father, however, she retired from active adventuring and continues to maintain her family home of Shadowcrest. She now lives in San Francisco, seeking a normal life while trying to preserve the balance of Earth's light and dark mystical community. In this role she serves as one of the Sentinels of Magic.
Zatanna was created in 1964 by writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson when it was decided that DC needed a magic-wielding heroine. To give her character a sense of history, Zatanna was made the daughter of legendary Golden Age magician John Zatara. Anderson envisioned Zatanna as being dressed similarly to her father and gave her a traditional magician's outfit complete with a top hat, yellow cummerbund, coattails, and fishnets. Though she has changed costumes several times throughout her history, this costume has proven to be Zatanna's most iconic and popular look. Zatanna was portrayed as searching for her lost father, which became a running theme throughout her early appearances in several DC titles, all edited by Julius Schwartz.
Silver Age / Bronze Age: Earth-One
In 1964, Zatanna made her comic book debut in Hawkman volume 1 #4, as the titular character of a story called The Girl who Split in Two. Zatanna's search for her lost father, the renowned magician Zatara, earned her guest appearances in other DC titles, as heroes like Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, the Atom, and the Elongated Man all assisted in her search. Zatanna was finally reunited with her father in Justice League of America vol. 1 #51 (1967). Afterward she continued to make regular appearances with the JLA, though she was not made an actual member until over a decade later.
Zatanna ditched her magician's coattails, hat, and fishnets in favor of a costume that consisted of black tights, a red cape, and a long ponytail. The look was not popular with fans, but it was in this costume that Zatanna was finally elected to full JLA membership in Justice League of America vol. 1 #161 (1978), earning her a prestigious position in DC's pantheon of heroes.
However, Zatanna's power level began to diminish shortly afterward, to the point where her magic only gave her limited control over the four classical elements of earth, air, fire, and water. She also changed costumes again, to a blue and black outfit with wide sleeves and a white cape. Eventually Zatanna's full magical power was restored in World's Finest Comics #277 (1982). During this time she also served as chairperson of the Justice League of America for a short time, the first non-founding member to do so.
Modern Age: New Earth
Zatanna's history underwent major changes in the Modern Age. In this continuity, she has been close friends with Bruce Wayne since childhood. Her history was further retold in DC's Vertigo line, which made Zatanna a romantic partner of John Constantine and Timothy Hunter one of her protegés. In 2004, Zatanna's reputation was tarnished during Identity Crisis, in which she performed magical mind wipes on super villains in order to neutralize them. The resulting moral controversy over her actions led to several damaged relationships, most notably with Batman. Zatanna then lost a great deal of confidence in her abilities, portrayed in her Seven Soldiers miniseries in which she joined a super hero support group and lost some use of her magic powers. She eventually regained her lost confidence, repaired her relationships with her teammates, and returned to action with the JLA for a time. She also resumed wearing her classic magician's coattails, hat, and fishnets.
She made a few appearances in Batman stories, most notably Heart of Hush, and in 2010, Zatanna finally received her own ongoing series written by Paul Dini, who has long been a fan of her character. Her series was cancelled after 16 issues to make room for the New 52.
Post-Flashpoint: Earth 0
Though her own series was canceled, Zatanna was given a starring role in Justice League Dark, a new title that features DC's most prominent heroes of the occult. In the series, Zatanna has been working to find a way to defeat the insane Enchantress with some help from former lover John Constantine. Meanwhile, Madame Xanadu is trying to assemble a team of super-heroes well acquainted with the occult, including Zatanna.
Major Story Arcs
Modern Age: New Earth
During the Identity Crisis mini-series, it was revealed that Doctor Light had raped the wife of Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, while she was alone in the JLA's satellite. The Flash ( Barry Allen) discovered what the villain had done, and the JLA was able to capture Doctor Light before he could escape. Superman and Batman then teleported back to Earth to attend other duties, leaving Light with the rest of the League. While in their custody, Doctor Light threatened to harm all of the league members' families. In order to protect their families, the present JLA members voted to have Light 's memories erased. The League members also realized that, even without his memories, he could still be a threat and voted, four to three, to let Zatanna tamper with Light's mind so he would not be a threat again in the future. As a result, Zatanna lowered Doctor Light's intellect as well as erasing his memories. Batman returned and tried to prevent the procedure, but he himself then had his memory of the event erased by Zatanna.
Eventually Batman figured out what Zatanna had done to him, and their relationship became strained even by the Dark Knight's impersonal standards. Zatanna helped Batman investigate the Lazarus Pit, but when she asked him why he needed her, Batman said, "I needed someone I can trust, but I had to settle for you." By Detective Comics #824, although Zatanna still felt guilty for what she had done to Batman, they seemed to have reconciled their relationship. Batman asked for her advice in what for him was a much more sociable manner, and even said to her afterward, "Thanks, Zee."
Doctor Light was not the only villain to have their mental faculties tampered with by Zatanna. Catwoman eventually discovered that a inexplicable new sense of morality that was causing her to change from villain to hero was a direct result of Zatanna's manipulations. When Zatanna visited Catwoman's apartment to apologize, a furious Catwoman took revenge on Zatanna by covering her mouth with tape before shoving her out of a window and attacking her with a whip. Zatanna recovered from the attack and stopped Catwoman's assault, only to apologize again. Catwoman finally calmed down, but demanded that Zatanna compensate her by wiping the memories of a pair of villains ( Film Freak and Angle Man) who had deduced Catwoman's identity, and Zatanna reluctantly complied.
The Books of Magic
Zatanna appeared as a supporting character in The Books of Magic series (1994-2000), published under DC's adult Vertigo banner. Here she counseled Tim Hunter in the secret world of magic, which his guide, John Constantine, traveled to. Zatanna explained that some magicians, like herself and her father, hide their magic in plain sight as tricks. Tim had already seen her before when she appeared on an English talk show, hosted by Jonathon Ross. She introduced him to some of DC's darker practitioners of magic and protected him when they tried to collect the bounty on his head.
Seven Soldiers (2005) was a collection of seven miniseries plus two issues serving as book ends all written by Grant Morrison. Each of the seven characters ( Bulleteer, Frankenstein, Klarion, Manhattan Guardian, Mr. Miracle, Shining Knight and Zatanna) had four issues devoted to them. During Zatanna's own miniseries, Zatanna was suffering from a complete lack of confidence. Accidentally incinerating the other members of a mystical expedition she was leading into another dimension brought matters to a head. This caused her to stop using her powers. With the help of her new apprentice, Misty Kilgore, she went in search of her father's lost books in order to recover her abilities.
Zatanna was later shown freeing the Justice League members from Despero's mind control. Though successful, she informed the team of the global threat of the Blackest Night happening through out the world. She then teleported the remaining team of Justice-Leaguers, consisting of Vixen, Gypsy, Plastic Man, Doctor Light, and Red Tornado, to the Hall of Justice. Once they ventured through the halls, Zatanna was attacked by the Black Lantern version of her father, Zatara.
Using his black magic, the Black Lantern Zatara attempted to steal the hearts of the heroes, but Zatanna countered his spells with her own, protecting their hearts. She then commanded the team to disengage from the fight so she could dispatch her father on her own, due to Vixen and Doctor Light sensing more of the Black Lanterns leaking in the building. Zatanna's power was equal to her father's, and as he reached for her heart, she prevented him from doing so and teleported them away to another location. Not much was seen of Zatanna after that, but she was then shown teleporting back in time as Doctor Light helped Gypsy and Vixen. Zatanna fell to her knees and wept as she spoke to Gypsy, asking how many times did she have to see her father die. The event left Zatanna emotionally shattered once more.
After over four decades of guest appearances and limited series, Zatanna finally received her very own ongoing title in 2010. Her JLA status in the series was auxiliary, and she was called in to help them only on occasion. The series opened in San Francisco, where Zatanna was performing a series of her magic shows. Zatanna was contacted by San Francisco police to assist with a case involving criminal mysticism, which led her to an encounter with a new villain: Brother Night. Assisted by a trio of demonic henchmen named Ember, Romalthi, and Teddy, Brother Night had been steadily taking over organized crime in the city, both on a magical and mundane level, and had become a major threat. Zatanna set forth to dismantle Night's operation, causing the villain to focus all of his resources on eliminating Zatanna.
After surviving multiple assassination attempts orchestrated by Brother Night, Zatanna finally was able confront her newest foe at the very site where he had gained his magical abilities years ago. She easily disposed of the villain's demonic henchmen and confronted Night himself, but then was forced to deal with an ace up Night's sleeve: the soul of Zatanna's father, John Zatara. Night set Zatara after his own daughter, causing her to temporarily retreat. After taking cover, Zatanna pulled from her hat a nightmare-creating demon named Fuseli (whom she had captured after Night had sent him to attack her) and offered Fuseli freedom if he broke Night's control over her father's soul. Fuseli agreed and rushed towards Zatara, attacking Night in the process. After jumping into the dreams of Zatara's soul, Fuseli eventually found a pleasant dream of Zatara spending time with his young daughter, and used it to wake Zatara from Night's control. Zatara, back to his normal self, had an emotional reunion with Zatanna. He comforted his daughter, telling her that he loved her and would always be there for her, but unfortunately his soul must pass on once again. After her father disappeared, Zatanna was able to focus her full power on Brother Night. With her magic, she forced him to renounce his powers and his evil masters from hell, causing him to revert to being a normal human again. Zatanna then turned the defeated villain over to the San Francisco police.
After defeating Brother Night, Zatanna traveled to Las Vegas to perform her magic show at the invitation of a prestigious casino called the Paradise Resort. Upon arrival she found that the casino had just been robbed by the Royal Flush Gang. She fought and defeated the Royal Flush Gang and returned the stolen money to the casino. The man in charge of the casino, Sonny Raymond, insisted on thanking Zatanna personally and also showed a romantic interest in her. Sonny claimed to be the son of wealthy casino tycoon Benjamin Raymond, who had died many years ago. Zatanna then left for her hotel room and ran into her younger cousin Zachary Zatara, who was performing his own magic show in Vegas at a more modest venue. Zachary expressed envy at Zatanna's greater wealth and success as well as disappointment that she had never attended one of his own shows. Zatanna promised her cousin that she would finally attend his show that very night.
Meanwhile it was revealed that "Sonny" was not Benjamin Raymond's son at all, but Benjamin himself, and he had been posing as his own son for many years because he had made a deal with the demonic Lord Mammon to extend his life. Lord Mammon, the wealthiest demon in Hell, coveted "pure souls," and Raymond collected the souls of hapless victims for Mammon in exchange for restoring his youth. The pure souls Raymond collected were of young women that he pretended to marry, lured in by his wealth and youthful handsomeness. Lord Mammon now coveted Zatanna's soul most of all, and Raymond had invited Zatanna to perform at the Paradise Resort in order to test the power and purity of her soul. The battle with the Royal Flush Gang had merely been the first test, which she had passed by both defeating the Gang and returning the stolen money.
The second test was executed by demonic Fire Harpies, sent by Lord Mammon to ambush Zatanna in her hotel room. The Fire Harpies proved to be dangerous opponents but in the end were still defeated by Zatanna, who had a Catholic priest bless the casino's swimming pool into holy water before dousing the Fire Harpies with it. Satisfied that Zatanna's soul was both powerful and pure, Mammon charged Raymond with collecting her soul for him. However, the demon altered the deal. Instead of having Zatanna's soul by the end of the week as originally planned, Mammon now wanted Raymond to capture her soul by the end of the night. If successful, Raymond would receive not just extended life but true immortality. But if Raymond failed, his soul would instantly be sent to Hell.
Raymond initially rejected the offer because he felt it was impossible, but Mammon then offered Raymond a potent love potion which he could slip into Zatanna's drink, making the task far easier. Raymond accepted the deal and set off to meet up with Zatanna. At the same time Zach complains to Zatanna that she has never once seen one of his magic shows. Zatanna promises him that tonight she will finally attend his show. This is soon ruined when Raymond shows up with his love potion and forces Zatanna into drinking it. Consequently this causes Zatanna to miss her cousin’s show, and this makes Zach extremely angry. He then goes to search for his older cousin Zatanna, only to find out from her crew that she has went off with Raymond. Zach finally finds Raymond and Zatanna, but due to the love potion Zatanna is unable to see the reality of what is around her, and does not realize her wedding is filled with the corpses of the souls Raymond has stolen. Zach breaks the affects of the potion on Zatanna, and when she wakes up she realizes what is going on and begins to help Zach fight the zombies off. Mammon still refuses to give up on her soul , however, greed can not overcome her and she resists. Eventually it hits midnight and Raymond has failed to keep his end of the bargain, this causes Raymond to transform into his true age. Rather than being taken by Mammon Raymond begs Zatanna to get rid of his soul. Zatanna complies and turns him into gold and offers him up to the Demon of Greed. Mammon accepts, but he says it is only because he found the idea amusing and that he and Zatanna will meet again. In the end Zatanna finally goes to see one of Zach's shows also resolving the other conflict present through out the arc.
Zatanna visited Hollywood in order to attend the opening of a new museum dedicated to magic. Zatanna admitted that she never liked Hollywood despite her father's love of the place. When she finally arrives at the museum she meets the owner, Antonia Stefanicci, they discuss the opening and she shows Zatanna many different magical artifacts she has collected. Sargon's hat among the items, she reminisces on her times with him as a child. Another of these items being Zatanna's father's sunglasses, which she offers to give Zatanna. Tearing slightly Zatanna rejects the offer. Saying their good byes Zatanna places a magical barrier over the artifacts before leaving to return to her hotel.
That night after everyone has already left the museum the magical presence of Sargon left in his hat, begins to continues with all of the other objects at the museum including Zatara's sunglasses. Sargon's hat attempts to continue his original owners mission and overpowers the other objects in order to get them to do his bidding and eradicate all of the evil from the world. The objects combine to form a shell of a human and go around the town punishing the proclaimed evil doers. When they escape Zatanna heres the bang and immediately goes to find the source of the explosion. Quickly, she tracks down the items and communicates were her father's presence in the glasses in order to overcome Sargon's dominance over the other objects. They are successful and Zatanna wraps up her time in Hollywood accepting her father's glasses as a gift and realizing that she does not truly hate Hollywood.
The next time we see Zatanna she is having a counselling session with Dr Bodie. Zatanna talks about her fear of puppets and how this fear has affected her numerous times in her life, To try a find the cause of this phobia Zatanna tells Dr Bodie about the opening night of the Magic Museum where upon seeing a puppet she leaves the stage in fear. Leaving Dr Bodie's office Zatanna ventures into the dream world to find Fuseli, she knows he has the power to help her unblock her memories. Working in unison Zatanna and Fuseli are able to unblock Zatanna's memory and she finds out where her phobia of puppets deprives from. She recollects her attack as a child and her father appearing to save her from Oscar Hampel by turning him into a puppet, she also know now's her father mind-wiped her as a child to forget the attack had ever taken place. Unable to move her arms or legs Zatanna leaves the dream world and awakens to find Oscar in his puppet form standing over her holding her hostage.
Freeing herself from the strings that bound her hands, feet and mouth Zatanna trapped Oscar in a cage where he explains his history and how killing his boss and threatening Zatanna herself were all an accident just a moment of panic. Admitting that her father could have made a mistake Zatanna releases Oscar and takes him to Shadowcrest to determine whether he his telling the truth.
Venturing into her fathers study Zatanna brings out a Soul crystal and once Oscar makes contact with the crystal the real truth is revealed. Oscar begins to tell Zatanna of the terrible things in his life that he has committed, breaking the connection between himself and the crystal Oscar distracts Zatanna long enough for himself to steal mystical artifacts from Zatara's cabinet and break the curse that was holding him in his puppet form. However the magic was corrupted and the spell begins to alter reality around it, trying to contain the wild magic Zatanna herself becomes a puppet under the influence of the now human agian Oscar Hampel.
The now puppet version of Zatanna is used by Oscar to build back his dwindling career and once he has returned to his former glory Oscar plans to have Zatanna in a display case in the magic museum but one of Zatanna's stage assistants Mikey helps free Zatanna from Oscar by reversing the spell cast by Oscar reverting Zatanna back to her human form and Oscar back into a puppet. Trapping him magically in a milk can Zatanna returns back to Dr Bodie admitting that she has conquered her fear's, Sitting in Dr Bodie's waiting room Zatanna meets the now awakened Brother Night hoping he is here to show remorse he explains that outside of the earthly plane their squabbles are nothing. Zatanna agrees before leaving him with Dr Bodie.
Justice League Dark
Due to circumstances unknown, June Moon, Enchantress' human host, suddenly was separated from the powerful witch, causing her to go mad. Magical events started popping up all over the world wreaking havoc, while Enchantress searched for June Moon. Not even the Justice League were able to stop her, so Madame Xanadu took it upon herself to form a team that could. While Xanadu attempts to reach various magic heroes, June ends up on the doorstep of Dawn Granger aka Dove, who is Deadman's girlfriend. Deadman want's to help the girl, protecting her from the Enchantress, and due to stress in his relationship with Dove, he begins to grow feelings for June. Meanwhile, Zatanna attempts to subdue Enchantress herself, but is unable to do so, getting trapped in a magical coma of sorts, which Constantine snaps her out of. With Shade being the first to work with Xanadu, the both of them attempt to recruit the others, to no avail, all the while Enchantress is getting closer to June and Deadman. With Enchantress' attacks growing in power, Zatanna finally excepts Xanadu's recruitment, just as Enchantress finds and corners Deadman and June. Using Shade's powers, he attempts to open a teleportation door that would allow Deadman and June to transport themselves to their location, but only Deadman makes it through, leaving June at Enchantress' mercy. Angered, Deadman flies off in order to find June again and protect her, but before Enchantress can do anything to June, Constantine appears, casting a magical barrier around the two. Constantine had deduced that for some reason, it was Xanadu who had split June and Enchantress apart, and begins to repeat the spell that would bind them back together. Deadman finds Constantine doing this, and not knowing what Constantine is doing tries to stop him but is unable to. After this John successfully binds June and Enchantress back together, quelling her madness. Sometime later, Constantine, Shade, Deadman and Zatanna meet with Xanadu, who admits to causing the trouble, saying she had a vision of the future and needed a reason to bring the heroes together. None of the would be team are too pleased with Xanadu, ignoring her warnings, and storming off separately.
Rise of the Vampires
After their battle with the Enchantress, Constantine, Zatanna, Shade and Deadman all begin to have horrid dreams. This brings them all back to Xanadu's magic shop, where she explains that they are glimpses of the future that would have come true had she not brought them all together to fight Enchantress. She continues, saying that whether or not they like it, it's best that they stick together as a team, to prevent such futures from occurring. Suddenly, Xanadu is stricken with a great pain as she senses a disturbance in the world's magic. What she's sensing is the death of vampire Andrew Bennett in Gotham City, leading to the resurrection of Cain the original, and most powerful vampire. The JLD travel to Gotham where they are met with a massive attack on the city from Cain's vampire forces, which he took control of from Mary, Queen of Blood, Andrew's lover. Cain's presence also begins to siphon all magical energy towards himself, which leaves the teams powers weakened. In order to combat Cain, Xanadu tasks Constantine and Deadman to enter Purgatory in an attempts to retrieve Andrew, while she enters a trance in order to enter an astral plain in an effort to acquire more help, while Zatanna and Shade are forced to protect her body on a rooftop as they, along with Batman and Andrew's allies square off against more and more vampires. Angry that her horde was stolen from her, Mary eventually comes to the defense of Zatanna and Shade, but Cain begins to power up his new army with all the magical energy he siphoned. While Constantine and Deadman find Andrew, he seems uninterested in coming back to fight, saying he has nothing left in him, meanwhile, Xanadu has the Crystal One shift the tides of magic. Back in Gotham, Shade begins to have an emotional breakdown, leading his M-Vest to transport himself to a plain outside reality where he would stay with his love Kathy George, never to be seen again. Zatanna eventually transports herself, Xanadu and Mary to Robinson park where Constantine and Deadman show up empty handed, followed by Cain and his vampires. Before the team can be attacked, the effects of the Crystal One's shifts are seen, as a rejuvenated Andrew appears, proclaiming he found some fight left in him. With his new powers, he takes control of the vampire horde, proclaiming he is to lead them, and reuniting with Mary. He uses the horde to hold back Cain while he decapitates the primordial vampire. With Cain gone, Mary suggests finishing the job, killing the humans, but Andrew stops her, saying they've exposed their kind enough for one night, and uses his powers to erase the memory from all but the JLD and his friends. Before Andrew leaves to lead his species to a new life, he is confronted by Constantine, as the JLD believes they just switched one vampire threat for another, but Andrew assures them that he is the least of their worries, as there are bigger threats on the horizon, and when the time comes, he would lend his aid to the team.
Books of Magic
Steve Trevor recruits Constantine to track down Faust. He lures Constantine in by showing him the Dreamstone of Doctor Destiny's. Trevor tells Constantine A.R.G.U.S. calls the team Justice League Dark. Trevor will allow Constantine into The Black Room for 5 minutes when the mission is completed. Constantine has trouble getting the group on board. He reveals to Zatanna that he say a picture of The Black Room that Trevor showed him and he saw her fathers hat and stage outfit.. He will retrieve them for her if she can get the group to go to The Amazon. They defeat Faust and retrieve the map to The Books of Magic. Constantine takes the map and the team to The House Of Mystery. Constantine tells the team he won the keys to the House in a poker game from Father Time and Doctor Occult. He is seen in Xanadu's vision where he is in possession Of The Books of Magic and has killed millions of people including Etrigan, Swamp Thing, Frankenstein, Andrew Bennett, Zatanna, and Black Orchid. He tells Xanadu no person should take possession of the Books because they are too strong. He whispers the name of Timothy Hunter, who is pure enough to possess The Books before the vision ends.Constantine no longer being controlled by The Books of Magic recruits Bennett, Tim Hunter, Frankenstein, and Amethyst to defeat Nick Necro and his group. The final battle takes place in Nanda Parbat. The JLD team defeats Black Boris and Black Briarthorne. The JLD locates Nick Necro, Felix Faust, Dr. Mist, and their hostage, Zatanna. Necro and faust are working on opening the Tesseract to unleash The Books of Magic. The Books of Magic repel Faust and Necro because as long as Tim Hunter lives no one else can control The Books. Tim Hunter opens The first book and it reboots and begins to transport him home. Zatanna grabs onto Tim's legs and they are transported to Tim's home.
The final battle takes place in Nanda Parbat. The JLD team defeats Black Boris and Black Briarthorne. The JLD locates Nick Necro, Felix Faust, Dr. Mist, and their hostage, Zatanna. Necro and Faust are working on opening the Tesseract to unleash The Books of Magic. The Books of Magic repel Faust and Necro because as long as Tim Hunter lives no one else can control The Books. Tim Hunter opens The first book, revealing that it is not magic in origin, but its mechanical in nature. The device reboots and begins to transport him home. Zatanna grabs onto Tim's legs and they are transported to Tim's home. ARGUS travels to Nanda Parbat to take Necro and Faust into custody and will be held in their underground metahuman facility. Zatanna takes Tim Hunter back home but are transported to a place called Epoch. The scientists have been battling the magical denizens for an unknown amount of centuries or millennia. In the ensuing battle, it is revealed that Felix Faust offered his soul up for the release of Nick Necro. The rumours of Necro being close to the Books of Magic has been widespread in the occult community, and Faust wanted to make sure that he gets the book for himself, thus making the offer. It also revealed that Nick Necro also instigated the formation of the Justice League Dark that includes Doctor Mist and Black Orchid.
Dr. Peril opens a portal and Constantine, Deadman, Frankenstein, Black Orchid and Madame Xanadu go to rescue them. Due to some imbalance of magic, various undesirable effects occurred to some of the members of the JLD. Constantine couldn't lie. Black Orchid was transformed into some kind of flesh monster. Madame Xanadu began to rapidly age. Deadman came back to life, only to be shot again almost immediately afterwards, causing him to return to his normal self. Frankenstein is the only member that is not affected. Due to he stress between both dimensions, the safety of both Earth-1, and the other dimension's world was compromised. Tim's father volunteers to go through the portal while the Dark team has sided with the magic based denizens. Tim Hunter and father choose to stay and rebuild while Dark team go through the portal before Xanadu, who had aged during her stay, is about to die. Constantine tells Trevor that A. R. G. U. S. can leave the Justice League Dark alone. Trevor tells Constantine that they have made enemies of A.R. G.U.S. and the new JLA.
Zatanna was particularly missing throughout the whole Horror City story arc. Her absence has not been explored (although it's implied she has been recruited by the Justice League at the time), but she does appear in a future vision by the Madame Xanadu, showing her dead an impaled due to Doctor Destiny's carnage.
Real Name: Zatanna Zatara
Occupation: Stage magician, adventurer, super hero
Height: 5ft 7in
Weight: 137 lbs.
Base: San Francisco
First Appearance: Hawkman #4 (Nov. 1964)
Powers and Abilities
Zatanna is a member of the Homo Magi race and is genetically gifted with great magical talent. She can cast an incredible number of spells, which she usually does by speaking backwards as a tribute to her father. However, the backwards-speaking is not always necessary for her to cast spells. Speaking backwards is as easy for her as it is to speak forwards. Zatanna has shown great control of her magic ability, which extends to an ability to elemental sorcery:
- Pyrokinesis-Generation and control of fire.
- Aerokinesis- Generation and control of air.
- Cyrokinesis-Generation and control of ice.
- Hydrokinesis- Control of water.
- Geokinesis- Control of earth.
- Chlorokinesis-Control over plants.
- Thermokinesis- Able to manipulate the temperature of a place to stay warm in cold environments.
Zatanna's mastery of magic also grants her a wide range of other powers:
Flight, weather control, healing, illusion casting, telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation, force field generation, dimensional travel, size alteration, spectral sight, mystical invulnerability, probability manipulation, memory manipulation (erasing and altering people's memories), superhuman strength, superhuman durability and extraction and teleportation of souls (she only uses this ability in dire situations).
The upper limit of her spell-casting ability is unknown, but she is already considered among the most powerful magic users in the DC Universe. Despite this, Zatanna seemingly still has not lived up to her full potential yet. It is possible that her guilt over performing mind wipes may be subconsciously holding her back from attaining even greater levels of power. The only known limitation to her magic is that she cannot bring the dead back to life.
Zatanna is also a gifted stage magician and hypnotist who routinely enthralls audiences with her mystifying and entertaining performances. Though she usually has at least a couple hundred specific spells prepared at any given moment, she is adept at magical improvisation and can readily modify her spells to handle unpredictable situations. She often uses her magic to assist in performing everyday tasks, especially if she is too busy or fatigued to do them the mundane way. Zatanna is multi-lingual, being fluent in English, Spanish, and her trademark "backwards speech."
As a magician, she is considered among the most powerful and knowledgeable in the world and often works alongside the most powerful magic-users on Earth, including Doctor Fate, Madame Xanadu, and Captain Marvel. However, the actual extent of her powers is not fully known. According to Green Arrow, she is the most powerful member of the Justice League. Of all the magicians and sorcerers on the planet, the JLA always go to Zatanna when they need magical assistance.
Mnemonic Incantation: Zatanna casts her spells by saying the words of her incantations backwards. Zatanna must concentrate on her magic to make sure she is using the proper spell. It is at this point where she is most vulnerable. Mnemonic incantation is the most complicated of the mystic arts. It appears that this is well known to her enemies. On one occasion, the assassin Deathstroke delivered a direct blow to her liver, initiating a regurgitation reaction. On a separate occasion, the Joker (disguised as the stage magician Loxias) shot Zatanna in the neck, rendering her magic useless. She must be able to speak or read backwards in order for her to focus her spells.
Higher-Level Magics: If the magic power-level of her opponent is higher than hers, then it would be extremely difficult for her to win a battle. In addition, it is difficult to impossible to affect a spell that was set in motion with higher-level magics.Powerful enchantments against beings of magic, like gods, are able to restrict her as well, preventing her from accessing enchanted places or dispel the adverse charm.
Regardless of whether or not she is an active member of the Justice League, Zatanna is highly respected for her knowledge of the magic arts. As she is a performing illusionist, she also spends more time on Earth's plane than most other magical heroes. This makes her more available than the others, and she is also more friendly than most. Although the events of Identity Crisis may have strained some of her relationships, she still has the trust of her allies. Recently she gave Superman help after he sought her advice on information from Arion ( Superman). More recently, she had been helping Mary Marvel come to terms with her new powers in the pages of Countdown to Final Crisis.
Countdown #37 further highlighted the vast repository of mystical knowledge and powerful artifacts at Zatanna's disposal. Unbeknownst to Zatanna, Mary was under the influence of the villainous Eclipso, who caused Mary to attack Zatanna in an attempt to seize her artifacts. Even with the incredible power of Shazam at her disposal, Mary was no match for Zatanna, who quickly evicted her from her home. Zatanna also helped Magog, despite the strain between him and the Justice Society.
Although magic is her primary weapon in battle, Zatanna is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant who can hold her own surprisingly well in a physical fight. Her fighting prowess often takes her opponents off-guard, since they mistakenly assume that she is helpless if her spell-casting ability is neutralized. Zatanna has said that she has a red belt in martian kung fu, an exotic fighting method that few opponents are familiar with, giving her an added advantage in combat. She has also received combat training with the Justice League as well as with Batman himself.
Zatanna usually carries her magic wand with her and sometimes uses it to aim her spells. It is unclear whether the wand actually possesses magical properties of its own and aids in focusing her powers, or if it is merely a simple stage prop. It is not necessary for her to use magic with it though. She has been seen performing spells just as easily without it.
Zatanna often wears a tall black magician's hat as part of her traditional costume. She has utilized her hat as a dimensional portal, both to bring items to her and to trap enemies within. As with her wand, it is unclear whether the hat itself is magical, or if it is merely a convenient prop to help her focus her powers of dimensional manipulation.
For further details: Shadowcrest
Shadowcrest is a supernatural mansion that serves as Zatanna's personal sanctuary and base of operations, much like Batman's Batcave or Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Shadowcrest's library boasts one of the most extensive collections of books on magic and magical knowledge ever assembled. It also houses an arsenal of powerful magical relics that can do "just about anything you'd want them to do" (according to Zatanna). Even Zatanna doesn't fully understand everything about the house, but she believes that in some way, the house is just as alive as herself. Shadowcrest appears to be physically located on the outskirts of Gotham City, but the interior of the mansion actually exists in an entirely separate magical dimension.
- Height: 5' 7"
- Weight: 127 lbs (58 kg)
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Black
- Citizenship: American
- Place of Birth: unrevealed
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupations: Stage magician, adventurer, member of the Justice League of America
- Known Relatives: Giovanni "John" Zatara (father, deceased), Sindella Zatara (mother, deceased), Zachary Zatara (cousin), Leonard da Vinci (paternal ancestor, deceased), Alessandro Cagliostro (paternal ancestor, deceased), Nicholas Flamel (paternal ancestor, deceased), Nostradamus (paternal ancestor, deceased), King Arion of Atlantis (ancestor)
Books of Magick: Life During Wartime
In the alternate-reality Vertigo series Books of Magick: Life During Wartime, Humans (known as the Bred) were at war with the ruling Faerie races (known as the Born). Both sides worshiped "The Hunter" (Tim Hunter) who had hidden in an alternate Earth of his own making, without war, religion, or magic. Zatanna was in another dimension outside the war zone, searching for the keys to the Books of Magic to aid humanity in the war. She played a major role in the Bred's efforts against the Born.
Unlike in the main DC reality, this version of Zatanna had blonde hair. She was still a powerful magician and still used backwards speech to focus her spells. The books also revealed that she had a romantic relationship with that dimension's John Constantine.
Batman: The Animated Series
Zatanna first appeared in the series in the episode appropriately titled Zatanna, as an illusionist and well-known stage magician. As a teenager she grew close to the young Bruce Wayne, whom she knew only under the pseudonym of "John Smith," when he sought training from her father in escapology. Years later, she arrived in Gotham City to perform her magic show. Batman helped her when she was framed by a criminal magic-debunker named Montague Kane, voiced by Michael York. She then realized that Batman was the man she once knew as John Smith however, she still made no connection between John Smith and Bruce Wayne. In this appearance she was voiced by actress Julie Brown.
Justice League Unlimited
Zatanna now had her full range of trademark magical powers in this series and appeared in several episodes.
- This Little Piggy: Zatanna helped Batman search for the villainous sorceress Circe, who had magically transformed Wonder Woman into a pig. Zatanna seemed to be very good friends with Batman, and they often bantered. It was apparent that she had learned Batman's true identity, since she referred to him as "Bruce." She also knew him well enough to be aware that Batman had a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman in the series.
- The Balance: Zatanna appeared along with other magic-based superheroes whose powers were thrown off by a mysterious disturbance in the balance of magic in the universe. In this episode, she was voiced by actress Juliet Landau in an uncredited performance.
- Destroyer: Along with many other superheroes, Zatanna was called in to help the Justice League defend the Earth from a massive invasion by evil forces from the planet Apokolips. She demonstrated her power by transforming an entire squadron of attacking Parademons into doves and then transmuting them into explosive energy, resulting in the destruction of many Apokoliptian battleships.
In Zatanna's depictions, her spells were often cast backwards, but almost equally often cast without words, and on one occasion, speaking normally and not speaking at all. She was voiced by actress Jennifer Hale (with the exception of the episode The Balance).
Zatanna had a cameo appearance in the Season Three episode Out of the Past. She was among several women (along with Lois Lane, Selina Kyle, and Barbara Gordon) shown on a computer screen when Bruce was reviewing pictures of his lost loves.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
In this series, Zatanna picked up where she left off in JLU, teaming up with Batman in the episode Chill of the Night. The two battled the magically-powered villain Abra Kadabra, with Zatanna doing most of the direct fighting against Kadabra while Batman dealt with the villain's minions. At one point Kadabra magically bound Zatanna's mouth shut to prevent her from casting spells, but she was able to fight back by seizing control of Kadabra's magical wand. She finally defeated Kadabra by first trapping him in her magician's hat, and later pulling out a miniature bird cage with the villain imprisoned inside. Zatanna's outfit was slightly modified in this appearance, with her trademark fishnets replaced by purple tights. Jennifer Hale reprised her role as Zatanna.
Zatanna appeared in two episodes of this web-based animation title, featuring the VIP women of Gotham City. She was voiced by actress Stacie Randall.
- A Little Night Magic: Zatanna was the focal character in this episode, which depicted her adventures while walking home one night after performing one of her magic shows. She was held up by a robber but transformed his gun into a snake, was nearly run over by a truck but magically split it in half to avoid getting hit, and then transformed several street thugs into toads after they attempted to steal her hat.
- Hold That Tiger: Zatanna busted Catwoman, who was attempting to steal rare jewels called the Cat's Eye Opals from a jewelry store. In exchange for not turning Catwoman over to the police, Zatanna asked for her help in locating her lost stage animal, a white tiger.
A young teenage Zatanna appeared in two episodes of this web-based animation title. She wore her trademark black magician's hat but dressed like a normal teenage girl otherwise, wearing a red T-shirt and blue jeans. She battled Klarion the Witch Boy, who was the villain in the episodes.
A young teenage Zatanna is seen in the Young Justice episode Humanity, sneaking off with the team to find Red Tornado. She is shown to be extroverted and adventurous, though with a slight fear of her father, who is shown to be overprotective of her. She has shown to be powerful, being able to force Fineous Horton to tell the team where T.O. Morrow was when it seems Megan would have a problem plucking it from his mind. She is also able to change her clothes almost instantaneously, changing from her school uniform to casual dress while rounding a corner and changing again into a costume resembling her mainstream costume except with shorts and no top hat. Throughout the episode Robin flirts with her, seeming to develop a crush on her at first sight. The rest of the team is also seen to be impressed by her magic, though they heavily question her about her powers.
Zatanna makes a cameo appearance in the episode "Failsafe" in which a dream sequence has killed off the Justice League and it now falls upon the younger heroes to take up the mantle and protect earth.
Zatanna appears again in the episode "Secrets". Invited along with the rest of the team by Miss Martian to the school dance herself and Artemis decide to have a "girl's night out". Both drive through Manhattan taking out small thugs until a villain going by the name of Harm attacks them. Fighting back Artemis and Zatanna's power's and weapons don't seem to have any effect on Harm but both are saved by a mysterious girl who goes by the name Secret. She leads both Zatanna and Artemis to the villain's home, but both are beaten and restrained. While Harm is preoccupied with Artemis the mysterious girl shows up again helping Zatanna out of her restraints. Noticing that Zatanna is free Harm attacks what appears to be Zatanna only to have it fade. Artemis and Zatanna make their escape but Harm finds them and chases them both through the house until they arrive at the backyard, only to find a grave. It is revealed that the little girl named Secret is actually a ghost who fights against her brother Harm which makes his heart impure and so making him unable to use the sword of Beowulf. Harm is easily defeated by Artemis without the sword, with Zatanna restraining him ending the fight.
In the latest episode "Misplaced" Zatanna along with Zatara are visiting the team again when Zatara and the rest of the adult's disappear from the teams sight soon enough they realise the entire adult population has disappeared over the entire world. To try and find the source of the problem Zatanna prepares to cast her father's locator spell believing magic to be the cause of the problem. Before the plan can be carried out Billy Batson appear's explaining to the team that the adults are alive in another dimension, travelling between worlds Billy is able to have both teams carry out a simultaneous attack on the sorcerer's causing the disturbance. Soon Zatanna and the team arrive to take on Klarion but eventually the team begin's to falter unable to defeat him Zatanna uses magic to make the helmet of fate to become Dr Fate for a brief period time, finally able to defeat Klarion, Zatara is confronted with Zatanna potentially becoming the next host of Nabu because of her natural affinity for magic. However Zatara confront's Nabu and begs him to let his daughter go in exchange for Zatara himself becoming the new host for Nabu. Once Dr Fate takes over Zatara's body, Zatanna officially joins the team and moves into Mount justice. In the season finale, she kisses Robin.
Young Justice: Invasion
Zatanna returns in the sequel, set five years after the original series. She is now an adult and a full-fledged member of the Justice League alongside her teammate Rocket. The two appeared to have become more closer friends, as Zatanna also attended her bridal shower.
She still occasionally worked alongside the squad with their missions and during this time skip, it is hinted that she and Dick had a blossoming relationship but they broke up. They're still both hinted to be on good terms as she even gave Dick a glamour charm which was used to conceal Artemis' appearance, when he asked for it.
Live Action Television
Actress Serinda Swan was cast as Zatanna for the live-action Smallville television series, and first appeared in the Season Eight episode entitled Hex. She was introduced as the beautiful and talented daughter of the late John Zatara, who was considered the world's greatest magician. She decided to grant Chloe Sullivan's birthday wish following a stretch of hard times for Chloe, from Brainiac tampering with her mind to Doomsday crashing her wedding day.
Chloe's wish was to look like Lois Lane, and Zatanna made it come true. Later Clark Kent was also given a chance to wish, and she granted his wish of being a normal human without powers. Zatanna explained to both of them that her wishes would only last until they are no longer wanted. Eventually, both Chloe and Clark realized that what they had wished for was not what they truly wanted, and they both returned to normal.
Ultimately, Zatanna's goal was to resurrect her father by means of his spell book, which was now owned by Green Arrow. In the end she chose to not do so after she discovered that her father's resurrection would come at the price of Chloe's life, something her father wouldn't have wanted. At the end of the episode, she told Green Arrow to call her if any mystical villains came to Metropolis.
Zatanna returned in the Season Nine episode Warrior, becoming more of a seductive enchantress in this appearance. She visited the Metropolis Wonder Con, searching for a comic book that her father had once hexed. Zatanna had learned that when her father was younger he had gone on a hexing spree, and she made it her mission to clean up his mess. Unfortunately, before she could locate the comic, a young boy named Alec Abrams read it and its hex power caused him to transform into a superhero named "Stephen Swift." He then made off with the comic, making Zatanna's task far more difficult.
Zatanna approached Clark Kent for help, with her stunning looks and seductive manner causing Clark's love interest Lois Lane to storm off in a jealous rage. Lois's jealousy turned out to be well-founded. While searching for the comic book together, Zatanna decided to give Clark a taste of true fantasy and seduced him with two spells. The first was "doom eht tes!" ("Set the mood!") which lit their room full of romantic candles, and the second was "wolf eht htiw og!" ("Go with the flow!") making Clark passionately embrace and kiss her. He eventually regained control of himself and pulled away. Zatanna was disappointed at the rejection, remarking how she had finally found someone with a mouth more magical than her own.
She and Clark resumed their search for the hexed comic book and eventually located it. However, this caused its victim, the boy-turned-superhero, to transform into a supervillain called "Devilicus," who promptly went on a rampage. Devilicus took Chloe Sullivan hostage with the intention of throwing her from a rooftop. As Clark raced to stop him and rescue Chloe, Zatanna said a 'reverse' spell to transform Devilicus back into the innocent boy he once was: "Detaeper eb ton llahs rehtaf eht fo nis ... dnuof niaga ecno s'eh, tsol ecneconnl!" ("Sins of the father shall not be repeated...Innocence lost, he's once again found!"). The spell caused Devilicus to revert back into Alec Abrams, and Clark managed to save Chloe. At the end of the episode, Zatanna made sure that Alec was okay and that he wouldn't be charged for the crimes he committed while he was Devilicus. Zatanna then suggested to Clark that they explore a romance together, but Clark disappointed her once again by saying that he'd have to find his fantasy elsewhere.
In Smallville, Zatanna's powers were similar to those of her animated counterpart in Justice League Unlimited, though she did say her spells both forward and backward. At one point, when Green Arrow threatened to destroy her father's spell book, she cast the spell "leets yb dnuob," which caused him to be bound with steel chains. She did not say anything when granting wishes (her eyes simply flashed blue around her irises), nor when she vanished into thin air (assumed teleportation), or when she telekinetically took her father's spell book from Green Arrow's hands.
Zatanna was also seen in the episode, Icarus where she joined with the other members of the Justice League to honor the death of Hawkman. Later in the episode, Fortune, Zatanna sends a magic champagne to celebrate Lois and Clark's bachelor and bachelorette party. However, the champagne affected the party-goers and land them into lots of trouble. It affected Clark's powers and it appeared that Clark accidentally married Chloe Sullivan. The trouble also led to Lois who lost her engagement ring due to her loss of the Black Jack game. Emil Hamilton was acting as Elvis Presley and got involved in stealing the money which Amos Fortune was trying to steal for himself. Zatanna did make a small appearance when Clark entered the stage where Hamilton was singing. However, Clark couldn't recognize her and Zatanna left.
Zatanna is one of the main characters in the Justice League Heroes game for the Playstation 2 and Xbox. Her in-game abilities include casting fireballs, healing, transforming enemies into rabbits, slowing time, and a protection spell.
She voices her spells in her usual backwards speech ('laeh' to heal for instance). She was included to add gameplay diversity to the group, as well as being a fan favorite. Her voice was provided by actress Kari Wahlgren.
Zatanna is a non - player character in Sony Online Entertainments role playing game DC Universe Online. In the game, players design their own characters to play within the DC universe. Like all existing DC heroes appearing in the game, Zatanna assists hero-aligned players while opposing players aligned with the game's villains. Her visual appearance was designed by artist Jim Lee.
Zatanna is playable character in the free-to-play MOBA style game Infinite Crisis. Her Bio says:
Zatanna Zatara is a stage magician and the daughter of another famous stage magician, Giovanni Zatara. Like her father, her tricks are not based on sleight of hand, but come from a natural ability she inherited to manipulate magic. She uses her magical abilities to solve mystical crimes and foil incursions by otherworldly forces. In addition, she is a reserve member of the Justice League and aids them in fighting magical threats.
Zatanna focuses her almost limitless magical powers by saying what she wants to accomplish backwards. For instance, if she wished a lock to open, she would say, 'Kcol Nepo!' Through not being specific enough, her spells have at times come with terrible and unforeseen consequences. Due to these consequences, Zatanna has spent years training herself to use her powers wisely and avoid unintentionally unleashing evils greater than those she combats.
Young Justice: Legacy
Zatanna will be a playable character in the upcoming game Young Justice: Legacy.
Lego Batman 2
Zatanna is availiable for play through DLC
Injustice Gods Among Us
Zatanna was released as the sixth DLC character, joining the Insurgency.
In her ending (after defeating Regime Superman), it is revealed she worked with Doctor Fate to hide citizens from The Regime soldiers in the Tower of Fate, while Fate helped her build up her magical power. Zatanna eventually had enough power to defeat Superman and topple his Regime. After Supermans defeat, the captured all of his Regime soldiers (Nightwing, Hawkgirl, Cyborg, Raven, Grundy, etc). Most of the citizens wanted them all put to death. Zatanna and Fate decides to lock them away in cages deep inside the The Tower of Fate.
Awards and Honours
Zatanna was ranked 4th in Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics