- "Make a wish."
- — Zatanna, Hex
Zatanna Zatara is the daughter of the world's greatest magician, John Zatara. She searched for her father's spell book for years after it was bought by Lex Luthor. After recovering the book, she mentioned she would start researching spells to become a better magician.
Zatanna is an attractive young woman with long, straight black hair and blue/gray eyes. When she uses her magic or casts a spell, her eyes glow a bright blue color.
Zatanna's civilian clothing usually consists of a black leather jacket with either a dark red or black shirt underneath and dark colored pants or a miniskirt. When she's on the job as a magician, she usually wears a top hat, a black tuxedo jacket with a white top underneath and a white bow-tie around her neck, black fishnet tights and black, knee-high high-heeled boots.
In Icarus, Zatanna was briefly seen wearing something similar to her magician outfit, except she was wearing a black leather jacket and no hat.
Powers and Abilities
- Magic: Initially, Zatanna's mystical abilities were restricted to granting wishes to other people. After finding her father's spellbook she obtained a greater wealth of spells and learned that she could use magic by saying spells backwards. Her newfound powers include the power of transfiguration (which she used on Alec Abrams) and the ability to resurrect the dead at the expense of someone else's life-force.
- Magnetokinesis: By speaking "Leets yb dnuob!" ("Bound by steel!"), she was able to imprison Oliver Queen with conjured chains.
- Teleportation: Zatanna had displayed multiple times the ability to appear and disappear in a blink on an eye.
- Telekinesis: When Oliver was going to burn the Book of Zatara, Zatanna stretched out her hand and summoned the book to her.
- Mind control: She was able to enchant champagne so that whoever drink it (even Kryptonians) would become drunk. She also used this ability to seduce Clark although he had broke from her hold before anything happened.
- Pyrokinesis: In her attempts to seduce Clark she had ignited multiple candles using a spell. She also used this in the spell to change Alec Abrams back into his younger self, igniting the pentagram made of sand on fire.
Zatanna was the daughter of John Zatara, the world's greatest magician. She is an accomplished magician and performer, independent of her magical abilities. Her family has an estate called Shadowcrest, which she inherited after her father's death. According to Zatanna, her father gave his life to save her, something she still felt guilty about.
Her father left her a book that has been passed from generation to generation with her heritage inside, but at some point after his death, his book of spells was sold at an auction and acquired by Lex Luthor. Zatanna was driven to reclaim the book, not just because it was a link to her magical heritage, but because within it was a spell that could resurrect her father, though this meant Zatanna would have to exchange her own life for her father's. Zatanna contacted Yuri, an antique dealer who had some knowledge about the location of the book. In exchange for his information, she granted Yuri the gift of deeper understanding of dead languages.
- "I wonder what your little wish would be?"
- — Zatanna to Clark, Hex
At Chloe Sullivan's birthday party in the Ace of Clubs, Zatanna was there managing a peddler show of magic tricks called "Zatanna, Mistress of Magics" and wanted to draw the attention of Oliver Queen, but ended up interacting with Chloe and gave her a wish as a birthday gift. Chloe woke up the next morning looking exactly like her cousin Lois Lane. Zatanna enlisted Oliver's help to retrieve her father's book of spells in return for granting one wish for him.
When Clark Kent and Chloe confronted Zatanna because of the problems caused by her powers, Zatanna wondered what Clark might wish for: immediately, Clark's desire to be normal was granted. Oliver stole the Book of Zatara as Green Arrow and then went to give it to Zatanna and discovered the real reason why she wanted the book: She was trying to return her father to life at the expense of her own life. Oliver tried to burn the book, but Zatanna snatched the book and chained Oliver to a post.
On the Daily Planet rooftop, Zatanna started the ritual to resurrect her father, but Clark stopped her by telling her to leave the past behind. Chloe then got trapped in the mystical vortex that appeared and Zatanna, realizing that her father sacrificed himself so she could live, closed the portal.
Zatanna later went to Oliver's office to apologize and then decided to help Oliver if he ever encountered any supernatural foes along the way, giving him her phone number. Finally, she magically disappeared.
- "Without a dash of fantasy, life's just life. And where's the magic in that?"
- — Zatanna to Clark and Lois, Warrior
In 2010, Zatanna found out that her father went on a hexing spree in his youth and decided to clean up his mess. She went to the Metropolis Wonder Con to find a special comic book that her father hexed to get back at the publisher, but it was never read until a young boy named Alec Abrams opened it and became Stephen Swift.
Zatanna needed Clark's help which made Lois jealous. She decided to give him a moment of true fantasy and magically summoned candles, then enchanted him into kissing her. However, Clark regained his self-control and Zatanna said that it was a shame, as she thought they found "a mouth more magical than her." As much as she wanted Clark to fall in love with her, his only love for Lois is stronger.
Clark and Zatanna found the book, but realized that Alec/Stephen would become the villain Devilicus if he ever felt betrayed, so Zatanna prepared a counter-curse while Clark tracked down Alec/Stephen, who was on a rooftop with Chloe. Zatanna performed the counter-curse, reversing the spell. Later, at the Daily Planet, after Alec reunited with his aunt, Zatanna ensured that Alec wasn't charged with the crime he committed and suggested that she and Clark stay together, but Clark figured he could find his fantasy somewhere else. Zatanna told him to make sure Lois knew how lucky she was before leaving.
The following year, Zatanna sent Lois and Clark a magically-spiked bottle of champagne for their bachelor and bachelorette parties that sent Clark, Lois, Chloe, Dr. Emil Hamilton, Oliver and Tess Mercer drunk and wild, sending them around the city doing mischievous deeds until the magic wore off from most of them in the next morning.
At a nightclub in London, Zatanna performs in a room full of people. After a drunk heckler calls her a phony, she admits her tricks are fake but then she mutters a spell and makes the heckler float for the audience's delight. Two encores later, Zatanna exits through a back entrance of the stage into an alley where she signs some autographs for some young fans. Seconds later, however, she encounters a mysterious man with magical powers. The man is quick to gag Zatanna, rendering her unable to perform spells. Zatanna attempts to fights back but is soon overwhelmed by her assailant. Just as he's about to hit her with a magical attack, someone steps in by knocking him out. The interloper then introduces himself as Johnny and offers her a cigarette.
Zatanna and Constantine arrive at his place of business, which appears to be a black market of cursed items. He informs her that the Book of Magick she's looking for, which used to be in her father's possession, was stolen from him by a group of cultists just like the one they encountered, the Church of Blood. Zatanna says that the acolyte she fought with was already very powerful and John says that they must be planning something big. John also says that he wants the book because he intends to sell it to collectors but Zatanna says that the book belonged to her father, from which he got all his spells, so she won't let him have it. She needs to find the book of Magick and destroy it like she did with all the other items he had cursed. Constantine then says that she can't battle with all these men from the cult on her own and that she needs help to do so. The two form an uneasy partnership, even though they still disagree about who will take the book at the end.
Following an abduction of a teenage girl by the cult, Zatanna and John Constantine are closing in on the Church of Blood, who is preparing a final sacrifice at Stonehenge to bring the demon Trigon to Earth. They arrive moments before the cult appears ready to kill the girl. Just as Brother Blood, the leader, raises his ceremonial dagger, John and Zatanna descend from the sky. They succeed to prevent the girl's sacrifice with Constantine attacking the cult members but suddenly Brother Blood reveals that he was the true sacrifice all along and then stabs himself in the heart.
While demons claw their way out of Brother Blood's body, Constantine grabs the Book of Magic and makes off with it, abandoning Zatanna and the girl to deal with the demons on their own. With no other options, the two run from the attacking demons.
Zatanna is having a difficult time escaping the oncoming demonic hordes, as they pursuing the girl she's protecting. Constantine eventually has a change of heart and hurries back to Brother Blood's body. He reaches inside the slain man's opened chest to extract one of his organs. Then he recites an exorcism spell that banishes the demons back to the pits of Hell from whence they came, saving both their lives.
Later, Zatanna turns the young girl, who reveals that her name is Rachel Roth, over to Jay Garrick and the Teen Titans at the airport. Zatanna then meets Constantine at one of the bars and she thanks him for not letting her die. She also tells him that she considers D.E.O.'s offer to become a consultant and John says that now that she doesn't have to search for any other cursed objects of her father's she is free to do what she wants. He then gives her back the Book of Magick, deciding not to sell it and takes his leave through a closet.
Director of D.E.O., Steve Trevor informs Green Arrow that new activity was detected by D.E.O.'s mystics in the boom tube Prometheus has been using so he tells Zatanna to teleport him with one of her spells to where Prometheus was spotted.
At D.E.O., Zatanna is attempting a locator spell to discover where Clark and Lois have gone as the others look on. When the ritual is complete, she announces that Lois and Clark are in Metropolis. When the others tell her otherwise, the sorceress smirks and points out she never said the pair were in this Metropolis.
Later, Zatanna along with mystics protect with magic the D.E.O. headquarters from the Monitors.
Diana wonders why hasn't Steve told the president about how Zatanna has been growing trying to protect them and keep the barrier up.
In NORAD beneath the Rock Mountains, a group of soldiers are confused as they witness a bright yellow light appear out of nowhere. However before they are able to do anything, Oliver tased them with a few of his arrows, with the president telling them to stand down as they are bringing everyone they could from the D.E.O. Headquarters. Zatanna is exhausted from her part, while Chloe and Diana are by her side and brings a medic to help her.
In the Comics
Zatanna is a powerful sorceress whose abilities are apparently genetic. She is the daughter of magician Giovanni "John" Zatara and Sindella, a member of the mystical Homo magi race. Zatanna is a direct descendant of the alchemist Jack Craig Hudgins as well as Nostradamus. She makes her living as a stage illusionist prior to discovering her magical abilities while investigating the disappearance of her father.
As a tribute to her father and as a focal point, Zatanna usually casts spells by speaking verbal commands backwards. She has also proven capable on many occasions of casting spells by speaking normally and in rarer occasions, the ability to use magic for simple tasks without speaking. She also owns a mansion called Shadowcrest, in which she keeps a vast library of magical knowledge as well as an arsenal of relics powerful 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 City.
In Identity Crisis, Zatanna is a member of the Justice League at the time the villain Dr. Light brutally attacks and rapes the Elongated Man's wife, Sue Dibny. When apprehended, he threatens the JLA members' families. Although Zatanna is prepared to erase Light's memories of the incident, tampering with Light's mind sparks a debate among the League members: should the villain's personality be transformed in order to prevent him from repeating his crime? Zatanna, Hawkman and The Atom vote for such action, while Green Arrow, Black Canary, as well as Green Lantern vote against. The Flash (Barry Allen) breaks the tie. Zatanna mind-wipes Light and the process results in his intellectual abilities being lowered. In the midst of the process, Batman appears and tries to stop it. Zatanna freezes him and the members vote unanimously to erase Batman's memories of the incident as well.
Her working relationship to Batman sours after he discovers the alteration to his memory. When Zatanna helps Batman with reconnaissance at one of Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pits, she asks him why he came to her. "I needed someone I could trust," Batman says. "But I had to settle for you." However, after Infinite Crisis, their relationship appears to have warmed: in Detective Comics #824 he calls 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".
Catwoman discovers that Zatanna's mind-wipe of Dr. Light in Identity Crisis is not an isolated occurrence: Catwoman's journey from villain to hero and her resulting efforts to lead a moral life are retconned as being the result of Zatanna's mental intervention. Catwoman comes to distrust her memories, motives, as well as the choices she has made since that incident. In retaliation, Catwoman covers Zatanna's mouth with a piece of duct tape and shoves her out a window.
In Detective Comics #833, it is stated that Zatanna's father was a friend of Thomas Wayne. Zatara trained Bruce Wayne in the art of escape and Bruce and Zatanna were childhood friends. Bruce helps Zatanna investigate the death of one of her former assistants: all clues point to a performer named Ivar Loxias. However, Loxias is revealed to be the Joker in disguise: he shoots Zatanna in the throat and incapacitates Batman. Zatanna is able to heal herself by writing a curing spell in her own blood and she is instrumental in foiling the Joker's scheme. Bruce puts Zatanna's betrayal behind him, allowing the two to renew their friendship.
Later, called upon to help with Red Tornado's restoration in his android form, she aids the League when they are attacked by a new, powerful iteration of Amazo. During the battle, Zatanna has her mouth magically removed with her spells and once again uses her blood to write out spells and restore it. However, she is silenced again after Amazo uses his power ring to create a gag for her mouth that she is unable to remove, rendering her useless for much of the fight. After Wonder Woman throws off Amazo's concentration and causes the gag to vanish, Zatanna defeats Amazo once and for all by using Red Tornado's soul. Following this battle, Zatanna rejoins the team.
Zatanna had to overcome the difficulty of facing her father, who returned as an undead Black Lantern in Blackest Night. She defeated the Black Lantern Zatara, but her fellow JLA members said it must have felt like watching him die all over again. Zatanna still remained a member of the Justice League's reserve members.
In the New 52 Zatanna has been recruited by Madame Xanadu to the roster of the new Justice League Dark. Their first mission was to stop the rampage of the insane Enchantress. Zatanna has thus far been reunited with John Constantine, a former consort. Sometime later, Constantine, Shade, Deadman and Zatanna meet with Xanadu, who admits to causing the trouble, saying she had a vision of the future and needed a reason to bring the heroes together. None of the would be team are too pleased with Xanadu, ignoring her warnings and storming off separately.
After their battle with the Enchantress, Constantine, Zatanna, Shade and Deadman all begin to have horrid dreams. This brings them all back to Xanadu's magic shop, where she explains that they are glimpses of the future that would have come true had she not brought them all together to fight Enchantress. She continues, saying that whether or not they like it, it's best that they stick together as a team, to prevent such futures from occurring. Later, Zatanna helped Constantine in a fight against Nick, her old boyfriend who desires revenge against Constantine and her, who was in a mad search for the Books of Magic. However, as long as Timothy Hunter lived, none could open the books, but the boy. After Nick was defeated, Timothy opened the book of knownledge and began floating. Zatana took Tim Hunter back home but are transported to a place called Epoch.
- Zatanna makes a few references to her comic book history. One is her estate Shadowcrest, an ancestral home of her family that is mystical itself. The other is her heritage of magical powers. In Harbinger, John Constantine refers to her as a descendant of the Homo magi, a race of magic-using humans.
- Zatanna is the 10th person from the comics introduced in Season Eight.
- Zatanna's father John Zatara made his debut alongside Superman in Action Comics #1: the two technically share status as the first superhero.
- Although Zatanna appears at the end of Icarus, her face is never shown, nor is Serinda Swan credited in the episode, indicating a stand-in was used for the scene.
- Zatanna has appeared in two episodes that were written by Bryan Q. Miller: Hex and Warrior. Icarus is the only episode that Zatanna has appeared in that wasn't written by Miller. Ironically enough, Zatanna didn't appear in Luthor or Masquerade, both written by Miller, in Season Ten.
- According to Bryan Q. Millar, Zatanna is in her mid-to-late twenties as of Harbinger.
- Action Comics #1, Superman's debut in comic books, also marked the first appearance of Zatanna's father Giovanni Zatara in the comics.
Other faces of Zatanna
- Zatanna: Zatanna. We weren't properly introduced.
- Oliver: "Zatanna." Lose a bet with that name?
- Zatanna: It's a family thing.
- Oliver: Okay. So, uh, Zatanna...is it? You mind telling me what drives a lovely young woman such as yourself to track down an unsuspecting CEO at a nightclub and then again at his office?
- Zatanna: I need your help.
- Oliver: You don't scream "charity case."
- Zatanna: My father left me an estate in Shadowcrest, so money isn't an object.
- Oliver: Shadowcrest... John Zatara, the Maestro of Magic... He was your father? Well, I'm sorry. I know what it's like to lose family.
- Zatanna: Yeah. I lost more than my father.
- Season Eight, Hex