Zatanna's Coven - Page 1


This is a small page as I'm a bit short on Zatanna pics. The daughter of Zatara the magician (perhaps the only Golden Age DC character who didn't reside on Earth 2), Zatanna followed in her father's footsteps in performing both real and stage magic. She didn't have an official costume, or rather her stage outfit combining top hat, fishnet hose and heels served. She tended to fight mystical threats but she dealt with more mundane crime when she confronted it.
The first two pictures are from a story than ran as a serial in Adventure Comics, specifically the installment found in issue 414 (Jan. 1972). Like all characters who use magic words Zatanna had a tendency to wind up gagged when the bad guys got the upper hand. In this case her father had been possessed and exiled both her and her manager/boyfriend to another dimension where they had run into some unfriendly locals.

Fortunately the King decided to dispose of Zatanna without getting his own hands dirty and forced the pair into the Tower of the Dead. Zatanna managed to fight her way past the gorgon guarding a hole in space/time and open a portal back to Earth. After a few complications she freed her father from demonic control and bottled the evil spirit responsible. Zatanna remained a fan favourite though a seldom seen character for years until a poll made her the Justice League's newest member. Sadly someone decided two female members with fishnets could be confusing and since the Black Canary had been around longer Zatanna would get the makeover. So when the Justice League voted to make her a member in Justice League of America 161 she showed up wearing a new costume. Two issues later in number 163 her father explained the new costume had appeared magically but we'll come back to that.

Anyway due to a plot by the Warlock of Ys she initially refused membership not wanting to tip him off she was onto him and snuck into his realm to free Green Lantern. As you might notice things didn't go as well as they could have, luckily she had a few aces up her metaphorical sleeves.

The excitment over she realized she didn't remember why she had changed her costume and discovered her father had been fiddling with her memories. It turned out the costume was a duplicate of the outfit that Sindella had been wearing when Zatara first met her. It also turned out her mother wasn't dead and the people who had abducted her were after Zatanna and her father was trying to protect her. It seems Zatanna's mother came from a hidden race of sorcerers who were born able to use magic but cursed to fall in (mutual) love with the first outsider they saw. Aided by the Justice League Zatanna and her father broke into the sorcerers' sanctuary. Where they received an unpleasant surprise.

To simplify Sindella was unique, every generation one of her people was born with a medulla jewel. A source of great power and the main power source of the hidden city. Zatanna was the next carrier and as Sindella was near burning out the sorcerers wanted Zatanna as a replacement. As you might imagine Zatanna wasn't happy to hear this. When the dust settled Zatara was a widower and a grieving Zatanna had learned she had the potential to become incredibly powerful but at a very high price. Getting back to Zatanna's new look the costume was pretty dull and revamped about two years later in JLA 187. That issue also hinted at a possible romance with Barry Allen aka The Flash (who had come to terms with being a widower and was dating again) but it never followed up on. Anyway the new costume was an improvement and Zatanna was wearing it when the JLA took on the mind controlled Teen Titans in New Teen Titans 5 and she fought Gar Logan aka The Changeling.

During the Books of Magic mini series Zatanna put on her old costume for Halloween but in a recent appearance in The Spectre she had switched from performing to production and mentioned having given all her old stage costumes to an up and coming magician she was managing.
It was nice to see that when she appeared on the animated Batman they based her costume on the original design but it seems that's the only place you'll see it these days.

Back to the D.C. Main Page