There are a lot of characters in the DC Universe (in the Marvel one too) and it’s not always easy to track them down when they are not the star of their own ongoing series. I just got reminded of that when I started to find some good reads with Zatanna. She appeared in a lot of stories over the years, but rarely as the star of the show. So I made a list of the stories what to read with her. But first…
Who is Zatanna?
Created by Julius Schwartz, Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson, Zatanna first appeared in Hawkman #4 (published in November 1964).
Zatanna is known to be a stage illusionist as well as an actual magician, like her father Giovanni Zatara. She’s controlling her powers by speaking the words of her incantations spelled backwards.
Zatanna Recommended Reading:
What’s coming next is not an exhaustive reading order. It’s a listing of stories in which Zatanna is featured prominently. It’s not meant to be about all the apparitions and other main events in her history. That said, if you want to suggest more readings with Zatanna, leave a comment!
- JLA: Zatanna’s Search – Collects several of her early adventures searching for her father. Contains Hawkman #4, Detective Comics #336 & #355, Atom #19, Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #42, Justice League of America #51 and DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #5. It’s basically, the Essential old school Zatanna.
- Zatanna: Everyday Magic – One-shot published by Vertigo in 2003 was written by Paul Dini, like a lot of Zatanna stories after that. It’s a nice little story with John Constantine in trouble, a bad sorceress and some everyday magic!
- Seven Soldier’s of Victory – Zatanna is one of the seven highlighted characters in the series. A 2005 four-issue Zatanna limited series was published as part of Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers event. It was never collected separately, but you can find it in the two TPBS with the conclusion, an issue that assembled all the characters in one giant fight to save the World. The idea was to redefine in a way unconventional DC Heroes. For Zatanna, it’s an opportunity to restart after Identity Crisis.
- Paul Dini’s Zatanna – The first and still only series with Zatanna as the main star of the story. If you like Zatanna, you absolutely need to read this 16-issue run. It’s in her world with mage, underground stuffs and some Vertigo style things.
- Justice League Dark – after her solo series came Flashpoint and that New 52 era. That’s when Zatanna joined the Justice League Dark. She’s part of the main roster. Everything began when Enchantress won against the Justice League. These events lead to the creation of a more supernatural oriented team to assist in these kinds of events.
- Black Canary & Zatanna: Bloodspell – Paul Dini got back to write more Zatanna. This time, it’s in a team up with Back Canary in the form of a graphic novel. Also, if you like Paul Dini, he wrote some Detective Comics that featured Zatanna: Detective, Death and The City, Private Casebook, and Heart of Hush.
- Mystik U – 4-part miniseries with a teen Zatanna. Under the leadership of Dr. Rose Psychic (and her body-sharing husband, Dr. Occult), Zatanna and her fellow students begin to learn the secrets of harnessing and directing their powers.
- Justice League Dark (Rebirth) – Sets after the event Justice League: No Justice, this new Justice League Dark brings together Zatanna, Detective Chimp, John Constantine, Man-Bat, Swamp Thing and Wonder Woman in order to save magic in the world.
If you can find it, there’s also a mini-series Zatanna: Come Together published in 1993 that I personally didn’t find, and a one-shot called Zatanna Special ‘Summoning’ published in 1987.