For you giant dorks who don’t even know a lot about B-level DC Comics heroes, Zatanna Zatara is a very cool magician descended from a long line of magicians. By night, she performs stage shows in Vegas, San Francisco, and all over the world. By…later in night, she fights crime, often of the paranormal variety. You got problems with demons escaped from hell or inter-dimensional monsters? Z’s your girl.
As always, my favorite version of this particular DC character is written by the great Paul Dini, of Batman: The Animated Series fame. This book is a collection of Dini’s run on Zatanna’s own book (#1-16), as well as Zatanna: Everyday Magic. The latter, I believe, was originally a Vertigo title. Almost all of the stories are about a decade old.
Since it’s a collection, some of the stories are better than others. I didn’t love Everday Magic. One of the stories that stood out to me most was the Twilight Zoney “Stringleshanks” arc, which included a supernatural therapist, an unsolved murder, and a malevolent puppet. I’m also a huge fan of anything with Zatanna and her dad. As a parent, it’s heartening to see meaningful, healthy relationships between parents and their kids. There are a few great little scenes between father and daughter that have always stood out to me. I actually bought this collection because the original trades of the Zatanna solo comic are difficult to find and it was nice to finally own the whole durned thing.
I wouldn’t go as far as automatically recommending this comic to any comic reader, but I would say for those who want some deeper cuts, it’s an entertaining and wacky read. Dini also wrote a Zatanna/Black Canary book called Bloodspell that is also worth a read. It’s a little newer, so the art and I like the art better.