Zatanna: Everyday Magic

June 5, 2008

This thin volume focusses more or less on a day in the life of Zatanna Zatara, magician extraordinaire. It follows her on and off stage in an attempt to show how brushing off creeps, helping an ex-lover, and fighting an old enemy are as much a piece of cake as performing Houdini’s Chinese water torture for this top-hatted cutie. And, if you really believe writer Paul Dini, she also wears her top hat into the bath tub for reasons I’m not sure that I can explore without guilt.

While not as endearingly gorgeous as Ryan Sook’s Zatanna in 7 Soldiers of Victory, Rick Mays’s version is a tolerable cartoon-cute and unconventionally unbosomy superheroine. (The Brian Bolland cover gives you no idea of the disappointment that’s coming.) What is more distractingly disturbing though is the equally cute John Constantine, Hellblazer as Pokemon master, who doesn’t appear to live up to much of his legendary occult prowess here. This chap doesn’t seem to know the first tricks in magic: he can’t cast a spell that doesn’t backfire, he can’t troubleshoot, research, or proceed with caution, and he probably doesn’t know how to tie his shoe-laces too.

The representation makes it all the more curious how this other great DC-universe magician should have managed to endure as Vertigo’s longest surviving protagonist in print. My quick thought is: Zatanna uses a body double for her own fun but forgettable ego trips.

Gweek gives this story 5 popiscle sticks.

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