"The Secret Spell!": Certain night in Shadowcrest, Zatanna arrives at her home only to find the whole place turned upside down and her father, the great magician Zatara, nowhere to be found. Zatanna searches among her father's pe
- I am... Zatara. Tonight, you will witness mysteries, you will doubt your senses, perhaps your very sanity. Some among you may call it magic. But only Zatara will know the real... from the unreal.
- — Zatara
Appearing in "The Secret Spell!"
- Zatara's Father (Flashback only)
- Zatara's Mother (Flashback only)
- Luigi Zatara (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "The Secret Spell!"
Certain night in Shadowcrest, Zatanna arrives at her home only to find the whole place turned upside down and her father, the great magician Zatara, nowhere to be found. Zatanna searches among her father's personal notes and finds his diary. On the last entry, there is only a distress note and Zatanna knows her father is in danger. In order to find a way to help him, Zatanna examines the diary, from the very beginning.
The book includes personal notes by Zatara on how his grandfather introduced him to the world of magic at a very early age, but it wouldn't be until his nineteenth birthday that Zatara would learn the extent of his powers. He had already decided to pursue a career in performing magical arts, but his big debut was not exaclty good as he had expected. Despite all his years of training, Zatara still lacked his own style and doing some research on the family's past, he found a book by Leonardo da Vinci. Zatara noticed a series of paragraphs written backwards and as soon as he read them, things around him starting acting strange, as if following the command given by Zatara's reading of the notes. Without a clue of how to stop such strange events, Zatara simply deduced he had to command the objects to stop by speaking the words backwards and the trick worked. With his newfound abilities, Zatara gained confidence, which showed in his performance and he became a sensational magician once he started using his real powers in combination with his illusions and tricks.
The book contains also all of Zatara's adventures as a crime fighter as well as a performer and Zatanna is baffled at the recent discovery. In order to test her own magic abilities, Zatanna speaks backwards and the magic powers flow right through her, just like her father. Zatanna then realizes that she has the duty to find and save her father from whatever perils he must be facing and so she starts a journey which will take her across the world and where she will meet many heroes until eventually, Zatanna and Zatara are reunited.
Appearing in "The Origin of the Justice League!"
- Justice League of America (Origin)
- Aquaman (Flashback and main story)
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Flash (Barry Allen) (Flashback and main story)
- Green Arrow (Oliver Quen)
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) (Flashback and main story)
- Martian Manhunter (Flashback and main story)
- Superman (Flashback and main story)
- Wonder Woman (Flashback and main story)
- Snapper Carr
- Aquaman's fishes (Flashback only)
- Appellaxian invaders (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- United States of America
- Atlantic Ocean (Flashback only)
- Paradise Island (Flashback only)
- Africa (Flashback only)
- Sahara Desert (Flashback only)
- Greenland (Flashback only)
- Italy (Flashback only)
- Appellaxian Meteor Ships
Synopsis for "The Origin of the Justice League!"
This story is reprinted from Justice League of America #9.
Aliens from the planet Appellax came to Earth following the death of their ruler in order for a representatives of each race to vie for leadership over the planet by waging war on Earth. The last remaining after their war would become Appellax's leader. Each Appellaxian was encased in a meteor and rocketed to Earth. After each of the creatures emerged from their meteor pods, they bagen usingtheir special abilities to tranform Earth's inhabitants - humans and animals alike - into beings that resembled their individual makeups. Following their arrival the members of theJustice League, though not yet in league with one another, begin to respond and combat the creatures.
Martian Manhunter fought a stone being, and after his success travels to another meteor that has not yet birthed a creature. But, upon his arrival begins to transform to wood. The same happened to the others, they'd fight the nearest opponent and then travel to the one that transformed Martian Manhunter into wood, and become wood themselves. Eventually Aquaman, Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman all became trapped and slowly be transformed into trees. However, they worked together combining their powers and abilities to free themselves, stop the tree-like alien, and restore themselves to normal. Traveling to the north, they teamed up with Batman and Superman who were already facing the final invader, whose meteor's Kryptonite composition was weakening the Man of Steel.
Defeating this final foe and saving Superman, the assembled group of heroes then decide to work again in the future. And thus, the Justice League of America was born.
Appearing in "Unleash the One Who Waits"
- Etrigan (First appearance) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Jason Blood (First appearance) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Merlin (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Inspector Stavic (First appearance)
- Milovic (Single appearance)
- Gomali Singh (Single appearance)
- Mona (Single appearance)
- The Unliving
- Rembrandt van Rijn (Mentioned only)
- United States of America
- England (Flashback only)
- Camelot (Flashback only)
- Moldavia (First appearance)
- Castle Branek (First appearance)
- Merlin's Tomb
- Eternity Book (First appearance)
- Warly's Wizardry
Synopsis for "Unleash the One Who Waits"
This story is reprinted from The Demon #1.
- The unnatural forces of Morgaine le Fey laid siege to the citadel of Camelot, seeking to capture the great wizard Merlin and his Eternity Book. Though the evil sorceress managed to breach the castle walls, her troops were still held back by Merlin's champion, The Demon! When the end drew near, Merlin summoned his demonic servant and tore a page from his magical tome. He handed the fiend the eldritch text, instructing him to flee into the world and wait for his master's return. The Demon obeyed, and with one final wave of his hand, Merlin razed Camelot to the ground, forcing Morgaine to flee. In the distance the demon crouched, watching the once great kingdom burn in the night, until his body started to change against his will, and his memory left him. The Demon turned into a man, enabling him walk the Earth in mortal guise until he was summoned by Merlin once more.
Theophilus Warly examines a parchment owned by a young demonologist by the name of Jason Blood, claiming it's been in his family for centuries despite showing now signs of age. The phrase written, "yarva Etrigan daemonicus" is one Warly is familiar with and inquires into Blood's interesting in the dark arts. Blood explains that a demon haunts his dreams and seeks answers to the mystery that plagues his life. With little doubt in his mind of who the young stranger is, Warly reveals his true intentions and animates a suit of armour to attack his guest. Jason evades the swinging broadsword and grabs a shield from the wall to defend himself. Desperately he demands to know why Warly is attacking him, but the old man offers none. Jason snatches a burning piece of wood from the fireplace and shows the sorcerer that he is not unskilled in magic himself, causing the hollow knight to explode, knocking Blood unconscious in the blast.
In his fallen state, Jason's unconscious mind flashes with visions of a ghastly monster, fierce and terrifying, leaping through flame, shouting his name... Etrigan!
Warly stands over the stunned body with his mistress, Morgaine le Fey, who has found her adversaries pet after more than a millennium of searching. However, the Demon's memory loss waits for his master's beckon and Morgaine is running out of time to restore her youth, for which she needs the Eternity Book. Warly assures her that Merlin will soon summon his puppet, and Etrigan will lead them straight to their quarry.
A police officer rouses Jason after finding him lying alone in the old Warly Ruins, as he has found many before trying to snoop around the supposed haunted house. Jason can't believe his eyes when he looks upon what is now only rubble of the mansion he was in but an hour ago. The officer explains the Warly house burned down years past and the old man's body was never found.
Across the Atlantic, in the Central European nation of Moldavia, gunshots disturb the eerie silence of the ruins of Castle Branek. Inspector Stavic runs towards the thundering shots and demands to know what the villager is shooting at. In a state of fear, Milovic points out that one of the statues has started walking around. Astounded, the two men follow the golem to an unnatural light illuminating an entrance under the castle grounds. A voice calls out to the unliving statue, leading it out of sight and the entrance vanishes behind it without a trace. Panicked, Milovic implores the Inspector to destroy the unholy site, but Stavic solemnly explains he tried to when he was a young officer, and it only resulted in the loss of his arm.
In the Gotham City Men's Club, Harry Matthews watches as his friends Jason Blood and Singh spar together. Jason holds back the strange events bothering him as his companions urge him to divulge. Jason channels his frustration into his wrestling and manages to get the last throw on Randu. He helps his Indian UN delegate friend up, who tells him he looks forward to Jason's party tonight, and informs him that his wife Gomali is bringing a date for the host.
Glenda Mark looks in awe at the museum that is Jason's apartment, while Harry shows off to his date Mona dressed as a swashbuckler. Glenda can't believe how all the portraits of Jason's ancestors look exactly the same, not to mention how he speaks of Rembrandt as if he knew him personally. The festivities are soon interrupted by a knock at the door, which Jason opens to find a stone statue towering over him. His guest cautiously gather around the mysterious mute visitor who hands Jason a roll of parchment. Upon seeing the significance of the message, Jason agrees with Harry's suggestion to cancel the party for another time. Glenda is disappointed, but voices her interest in meeting Jason again. Once alone with the unliving servant, Jason asks it to escort him to Castle Branek where the answers he's been searching for lie. Little does Jason know, he is being secretly watched from behind a two-way mirror by Morgaine le Fey and Warly in the adjoining apartment, satisfied with the knowledge of Merlin's location.
Jason journeys by plane, train, and finally horseback through the town of Wolfenstag and onward to ominous Castle Branek. As soon as he and his guide arrive on the grounds, they are ambushed by the pitchfork wielding minions of Morgain le Fey. There are too many for Jason to fend off, but the unstoppable brute force of the impenetrable unliving protects him with ease. While Morgaine's pawns are swatted away like flies, Jason hears his name being called from glowing entrance into the ground. He follows the summons of the magical crypt into a realm of the mystic leading to a tomb flanked by gargoyles. The stone grotesques turn their heads and move towards the intruder, but immediately return to their posts, allowing Jason to pass. Jason stands upon the tomb and is drawn towards the archaic inscription;
Change! Change! O' form of man!
Release the might from fleshy mire!
Boil the blood in heart of fire!
Gone! Gone! --- The form of man — !
Rise, the demon Etrigan!!
With the spine-chilling recitation follows an even more horrific transformation, as Jason Blood reverts once more to his hellish appearance. But the change comes too late, as Etrigan turns to the cold laughter of Morgaine le Fey, but hesitates not to dive into the fray with animalistic savagery.
Appearing in "Earth's First Green Lantern!"
- Abin Sur (Flashback only)
- Ungara (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Athmoora (Flashback only)
- Pendara (Flashback only)
- Orlana (Flashback only)
- Abin Sur's Starship (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Earth's First Green Lantern!"
This story is reprinted from Green Lantern (Volume 2) #16.
As Hal recharges his ring and changes back into his civilian guise, Pieface has some questions regarding about the Green Lantern that he succeeded: Abin Sur. Like why he never wore a mask and why he flew in a spaceship when Hal found him instead of using his power ring to fly like the other Green Lanterns. Hal tells Pieface that shortly after he became the Green Lantern, he asked his power ring the same questions, and it recounted Abin Sur's last adventure prior to crashing on Earth:
Abin Sur was inspecting the planet Athmoora which has been perpetually stuck in a neo-medieval stage instead of being in an atomic age. Probing one of the inhabitants' minds he learns that the energy beings known as the Larifars have stunted their progress by robbing them of their intelligence.
Abin then traveled to the Larifar home planet and imprisoned the entire race, except for Balzona, who was on another planet waiting for his fellows to arrive and drain the intelligence of another planet. When Balzona learns of his races fate, he goes after Abin Sur and terrorizes his home planet. Abin agrees to free the other Larifars, however convinces Balzona that his power ring wouldn't have the power to bring them to that location in time. Boarding a shuttle, Abin Sur uses the long space flight to trick Balzona is distracted by flying near Sirus's green radiation belt, Abin Sur is able to recharge his power ring without Balzona noticing. Abin then uses his power ring to imprison Balzona and send him to join his fellow Larifars. During the flight home however, Abin was struck by a yellow radiation belt negating his power ring long enough to be unable to prevent his shuttle from crashing on Earth -- and his destined meeting with Hal Jordan.
Finishing his story, Hal gives Pieface the title in which he'll call the story once he writes it down in his case book "Earth's First Green Lantern."
Appearing in "Who Has Been Lying in My Grave?"
- Deadman (First appearance)
- Heldrich (lion tamer) (Single appearance)
- Constable Ramsey (phony cop) (Single appearance)
- The Hook (Behind the scenes)
- Hill's Circus Performers
Synopsis for "Who Has Been Lying in My Grave?"
This story is reprinted from Strange Adventures #205.
After circus acrobat Boston Brand, aka Deadman, is killed by a hook-handed sniper with a high-powered rifle during his performance, his ghost remains earthbound. Rama Kushna, the spirit of the universe, tells Deadman that he will have the power to walk among men until he finds his murderer. Deadman soon finds that he has the power to enter and control living people's bodies. Taking over the body of Tiny, the circus strongman, he breaks up a dope-smuggling racket and then begins his search for his killer.
Appearing in "The Origin of Wonder Girl"
Synopsis for "The Origin of Wonder Girl"
This story is reprinted from Teen Titans #22.Upon the Titans' return to Earth, Wonder Girl unexpectedly collapses, the result of a recently recurring series of fainting spells. In explanation, she tells the other Titans her origin for the first time. As a child, she had been saved from an apartment building fire by Wonder Woman, and taken by her to Paradise Island to live after all attempts to ascertain her identity or those of her parents (presumed to be a couple killed in the blaze) had failed. Becoming Queen Hippolyta's foster daughter and Wonder Woman's foster sister, she was unable to compete with the Amazons on a physical level, lacking their special powers, and so was given powers almost identical to those of Wonder Woman by scientist Paula von Gunther's Purple Ray.
Returning to the outside world to join the Teen Titans, she was forced to stay behind when the other Amazons sojourned to another dimension to recharge their magical powers (as shown in Wonder Woman), and had been secretly living in Titan Lair since that time. Now, she takes the name Donna Troy as a civilian identity and moves into an apartment in Greenwich Village with new friend Sharon Tracy. Later, she is contacted by Queen Hippolyta, who informs her that the Amazons' use of the Purple Ray had been accidentally responsible for her recurring weak spells, a problem which has now been corrected. Wonder Girl celebrates her new life by designing a new costume and changing her hairstyle.
- "The Secret Spell!" is the only original story in this issue. It is reprinted in JLA: Zatanna's Search.
- No trivia.
- Discuss DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest Vol 1 5 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest series
- Zatanna Recommended Reading
- JLA: Zatanna's Search
- Justice League of America (Volume 1)
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1)
- Supergirl (Volume 1)
- Zatanna Special #1
- Zatanna (Volume 1)
- Day of Judgment (Volume 1)
- Reign in Hell (Volume 1)
- Zatanna: Everyday Magic
- Seven Soldiers: Zatanna (Volume 1)
- Zatanna (Volume 2)
- Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell
- Mystik U (Volume 1)
- Justice League
- Justice League of America (Volume 1)
- Justice League of America (Volume 2)
- Justice League of America (Volume 3)
- Justice League of America (Volume 4)
- Justice League of America (Volume 5)
- JLA (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 2)
- Justice League (Volume 3)
- Justice League (Volume 4)
- Justice League International (Volume 1)
- Justice League International (Volume 2)
- Justice League International (Volume 3)
- Justice League Europe (Volume 1)
- Justice League America (Volume 1)
- Justice League Task Force (Volume 1)
- Justice League Quarterly (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 2)
- Extreme Justice (Volume 1)
- Justice League Elite (Volume 1)
- The Demon Recommended Reading
- Green Lantern Recommended Reading
- Green Lantern (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern (Volume 2)
- Green Lantern (Volume 3)
- Green Lantern (Volume 4)
- Green Lantern (Volume 5)
- The Green Lantern (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 2)
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 3)
- Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern: New Guardians (Volume 1)
- Green Lanterns (Volume 1)
- Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (Volume 1)
- Deadman Recommended Reading
- Strange Adventures (Volume 1) (1967)
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1): (1978)
- Deadman (Volume 1) (1985)
- Deadman (Volume 2) (1986)
- Action Comics (Volume 1): (1988)
- Deadman: Love After Death (Volume 1) (1989)
- Deadman: Exorcism (Volume 1) (1992)
- Lobo/Deadman: The Brave and the Bald (1995)
- Batman/Deadman: Death and Glory (1996)
- Deadman: Dead Again (Volume 1) (2001)
- Deadman (Volume 3) (2002)
- Deadman (Volume 4) (2006)
- Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love (Volume 1) (2016)
- Deadman (Volume 5) (2018)
- Teen Titans Recommended Reading
- New Teen Titans (Volume 1)
- New Teen Titans (Volume 2)
- Tales of the New Teen Titans (Volume 1)
- Team Titans (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans (Volume 2)
- Teen Titans (Volume 3)
- Teen Titans (Volume 4)
- Teen Titans (Volume 5)
- Teen Titans Spotlight (Volume 1)
- Titans (Volume 1)
- Titans (Volume 2)
Links and References
- ↑ See footnote #1