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For the Batman: The Animated Series episode of the same name see Zatanna (BTAS episode)

Zatanna is a "homo magi" that wears the traditional costume of a female magician's assistant. She sometimes fights crime with Batman.

History

Origin

Zatanna Zatara is the daughter of famed magician Giovanni “John” Zatara, a member of the mystical omo Magi race. Zatanna is a direct descendant of the artist and magician Leonardo da Vinci, and is related to Nostradamus; Alessandro Cagliostro; the noted alchemists Nicholas Flamel and Evan Fulcanelli; and Lord Arion of Atlantis. Her cousin, Zachary Zatara, is also a magician. Zatanna was a successful stage illusionist before she discovered her true magical powers while investigating the disappearance of her father. With the help of Batman, The Atom, Elongated Man and others, she was successfully reunited with him. Their time together was short, and unfortunately, both of her parents were killed on separate occasions while saving her life.

Justice League of America

Zatanna assisted the Justice League of America on a number of cases before being elected to full membership. During her tenure with the group her power levels diminished briefly, so that she could only control the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. It should be noted that this limitation was only temporary and that her magical ability was fully restored. Later Zatanna was worried about her lack of focus while using magic. She decided that her father's style of magic was wrong for her, and explored her mother's mystical heritage.

While Zatanna was a member of the Justice League, Dr. Light stole aboard the Watch Tower and raped the Elongated Man's wife Sue Dibny. When Zatanna and several others Leaguers returned, they saw what Dr. Light had done. A fight broke out and when they finally managed to subdue him, he began to threaten them and their families. Zatanna was prepared to erase Light's memories of the incident, but his terrible brutality and his promises to do it again sparked a debate among the present League members on whether or not to tamper with his personality and prevent him from repeating his crime. Zatanna, Hawkman, and The Atom voted for such action, while Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Green Lantern voted against. The Flash broke the tie and voted to tamper with Light's mind. Zatanna used her magic to do so, but the difficulty of the process resulted in her accidentally lowering his intellect. In the midst of her spell, Batman appeared and tried to stop them. Zatanna froze him, and they voted to have her erase his memories of the incident as well.

Zatanna's mind-wipe of Dr. Light was not an isolated occurrence. Catwoman discovered that her journey from villain to hero and her resulting efforts to lead a moral life were caused by Zatanna's mental intervention. Selina came to distrust her memories, motives, and choices she’d made since that incident. In a fit of rage, Catwoman gags Zatanna and pushes her through a window. Despite this, Zatanna helps Catwoman and, at Selina's behest, mind-wipes petty villains Film Freak and Angle Man, because they had deduced Catwoman's secret identity.

Friend of Batman

Zatanna-and-bruce-2

Bruce and Zatanna talk about what could have been

Zatanna and Batman’s friendship degraded once Batman discovered what she had done. He began to distrust her and his other friends in the super hero community. When Zatanna helped Batman with reconnaissance at a Lazarus Pit, she asks him why he came to her. "I needed someone I can trust," Batman said, "but I had to settle for you." This must have been especially hard for her to hear, seeing that she and Bruce Wayne had been close friends since childhood. Recently, however, their relationship appears to have warmed; sometime later he called her for information on a card-counter involved in scamming the Penguin. He makes no mention of their conflict, and casually calls her by her nickname, "Zee".

Leaving The Justice League of America

After departing from the League, Zatanna continues her stage career and her vocation as a defender against mystical threats, becoming a member of the Sentinels of Magic. She is also the author of the hugely successful Hex Appeal: The Modern Girl's Guide to Magic.

DCnU

Zatanna found herself involved in a battle with the powerful Enchantress, alongside her old flame John Constantine, and several other occultists and magicians known as the Justice League Dark.

Powers and Abilities

Magic

She has all the abilities of a typical sorceress.

Equipment

Magic Wand: Often seen with a magic wand, although whether it is a stage prop or an actual focus for her powers remains unknown. She doesn't need it though, considering her recent appearances without one and being able to cast spells effectively.

Notes

  • Zatanna owns a mansion called Shadowcrest, in which she keeps a vast library of magical knowledge, as well as an arsenal of powerful relics, enough to do "just about anything you'd want to do." Shadowcrest seems to exist in a completely different dimension, although it is initially located outside of Gotham.

See also

In Other Media

Television

DC Animated Universe

  • Zatanna first appears in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Zatanna" voiced by Julie Brown. She appears as an illusionist with no apparent magic powers. She developed a close relationship with Bruce Wayne (who was using the alias "John Smith") whilst training under her father Zatara, during the years in which Bruce was traveling the globe learning skills that later serve him as Batman. Zatanna later comes to Gotham City with her magic show, but finds herself being framed by a criminal magic debunker named Montague Kane. Her efforts to restore her name and stop the villain put her side-by-side with the Batman.
  • Zatanna made a short appearance in Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past" (season three, episode five) in a collection of pictures that Bruce is looking at on his computer of past loves, alongside Lois Lane, Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Barbara Gordon.
  • Zatanna appears in Justice League Unlimited episode "This Little Piggy" voiced by Jennifer Hale. She helps Batman search for the villainess Circe (who has turned Wonder Woman into a pig). Zatanna is apparently aware of Batman's true identity since her last appearance ("Bruce! I haven't seen you for so long...") and knows him well enough to perceive his romantic relationship with Wonder Woman. She seems to be very good friends with Batman, as they often banter ("Don't get snippy with me!"). In her JLU depictions, her spells are often cast backwards, but almost equally often cast without words, and on one occasion, speaking normally. She also appeared in the episode "The Balance" (voiced by an uncredited Juliet Landau) amongst the magic-based superheroes affected by the disturbance in the magical balance. In "Destroyer", Zatanna appears as one of many Justice League Members called to help fight the invading Apokoliptan forces. She transforms an entire flock of Parademons into doves, then transmutes them into explosive energy, and destroys several Apokoliptan battleships with them. DCAU writer Paul Dini wrote both of Zatanna's former and latter appearances described above, and apparently likes the character quite a lot. This version of the character, and her appearance in Seven Soldiers of Victory, were the main influence for the Smallville version of Zatanna.

Smallville

See: Zatanna (Serinda Swan)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

  • Zatanna appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the teaser of "Chill of the Night!" Jennifer Hale reprises her role of Zatanna from Justice League Unlimited. She and Batman stop Abra Kadabra from robbing a museum exhibit displaying the history of magicians. While Batman holds back the mind control slaves, Zatanna battles Kadabra, and traps him in her hat. She later pulls out a tiny bird cage with Kadabra in it, winning the magic battle. Though she relies primarily on vocal spells, she is also shown to be able to effectively wield Kadabra's magic wand after he binds her mouth closed. This version of Zatanna wears a slightly modified version of her original outfit, albeit with her trademark fishnets replaced by purple tights.

Young Justice

See: Zatanna (Young Justice)

Video Games

Links

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