Zatanna #3

Story by
Art by
Stephane Roux
Colors by
John Kalisz
Letters by
Pat Brosseau
Cover by
DC Comics

First things first: "Zatanna" is, in the absence of "Batwoman," the most beautifully drawn book at DC Comics right now. I love the way Stephane Roux draws all of his characters; it reminds me of Adam Hughes's art, what with how Roux pays such attention to the curves of his inks and the fine detail on the characters. Sure, Zatanna and the other ladies are beautiful, but it doesn't end there. Brother Night is creepy and sinister, with the way his skin is pulled back across his face in such a nasty grimace. Even Night's minions look cool, from tentacled faces to curved horns around the top of the head.

Roux also has a lot of fun with Paul Dini's script. Mikey in Zatanna's outfit is amusing because of the dazed look on Mikey's face when the transformation occurs, and the annoyance as she tries to tug the fishnets to keep them from riding up. And as for the demonic imp Fuseli, his deranged expressions on his face bring a bit of laughter into a scene that might've otherwise been a little too over the top dark and doom-filled.

As for Dini's script, it's not bad, but I didn't find myself loving it as much as the first issue. It feels a little too predictable, a little too safe. Do we really need to see daddy Zatara yet again? I know Zatanna's search for her father first introduced her into comics, but this continual dredging up of his specter is getting a little old; hopefully this issue is going to put a rest to that plot for many years to come. Still, it's nice to see Dini wrapping up the story instead of stretching things out for many months, and more importantly I like that Dini is still keeping one foot of "Zatanna" firmly planted in her stage act. Part of the fun of the character is that she's also a stage magician (hiding in plain sight, so to speak) and while some other takes on the characters have shed that aspect, Dini doesn't look to be giving that up any time soon.

Roux is taking a few months off while artists like Chad Hardin and Yanick Paquette step on board, and I'll definitely miss his art; hopefully he'll be back quickly. Half of the attraction of "Zatanna" is definitely his gorgeous renderings of Zatanna and her world. If Dini can step it up in Roux's absence, though, we might not even notice that Roux is gone. Bring on the magic!

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