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The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – Z

by  in Comic News Comment

We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!
Here‘s an archive of A-T.

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Zatanna was created by Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson. She first appeared in a cool storyline which was one of (if not the first) multi-title crossover (where the titles were not all directly connected to each other) where she visited a number of DC books looking for her lost father, Zatara.






Zatara was a famous magician, and his daughter followed suit (Zatara made his first appearance in some lame comic called Action Comics #1).


Zatanna is a world famous stage magician, but that belies her real power, which is as one of the most powerful magicians on Earth. She casts spells by saying words backwards.

Zatanna spent most of her time in this state – doing stage work and occasionally doing some hero work,

After her initial appearance, she did not make many appearances, until a decent run as a back-up in Adventure Comics…


But that changed when she joined the Justice League for a long stretch (almost 100 issues worth!).


She also got a really ugly costume at this point (as you can see).

She eventually got a better costume after awhile and wore that for the rest of her tenure with the League…


Sadly, she had a pretty weak departure from the League (one of those “Writer B comes in and has to finish Writer A’s plot, and doesn’t really do it the way Writer A intended, whether Writer A’s intentions were good or not).


After she left the League, Zatanna basically went back to relative obscurity, even though she actually got a one-shot soon afterwards.


After that, though, her most significant appearances were in Vertigo books like Books of Magic…


Although she DID have another mini-series in the early 90s.


Also, Paul Dini used her on the Batman cartoon. Dini LOVES her, and did a one-shot featuring her…


Then came Identity Crisis, where Zatanna suddenly was a major figure again, as it was revealed that in the past, she magically lobotomized the Justice League villain Dr. Light (and also used her magic powers to brainwash some other criminals into becoming good)…



Around the same time, she also was part of the awesome Seven Soldiers series of mini-series!


Most recently, Dini has succeeded in working her Batman cartoon appearances (where she and Batman seemed to have a thing going on) to the comics themselves…


Beyond that, she’s been working with the Justice League again recently…


plus she had a trip to Hell to try to save her father (who died awhile back)…


Otherwise, she seems to be basically back in her “Break Glass if Magic Expert Needed” box.

Too bad, as she’s a great character!