DC Database

Giovanni Zatara, also known mononymously as the superhero Zatara, is a magic-wielding member of the Justice League and the father of Zatanna. Eventually, he volunteered to become the next bearer of the Helmet of Nabu, turning him into the new Doctor Fate.

Early Life

Giovanni Zatara was originally a normal stage magician, performing usual sleight of hand magic tricks for audiences to critical aclaim. He lived with his wife Sindella and his young daughter Zatanna.

While performing on stage one night, the curtains fire, and Zatara accidentally summoned real magical abilities to extinguish the flames. The audience thought it was part of his act and loved it. In the audience that night was Kent Nelson, the former Doctor Fate.

When Zatara's daughter Zatanna was two years old, the world became aware of Superman, the beacon for the new age of superheroes. Zatara saw how, even as a toddler, his daughter idolized the hero, and himself decided to use his newfound magical abilities to become a superhero. Zatara initially protected his identity using a black mask around his eyes but eventually abandoned the practice later in his career. Zatara was contacted by Kent Nelson who, having operated as Doctor Fate with the Justice Society decades before, mentored Zatara to become a better hero.

For years Zatara practiced, fighting the forces of such foes as Wotan, Felix Faust, and Blackbriar Thorn. However, he struggled to balance his superheroics with his career and family and found less time to spend with those he loved. When Zatanna was a young teenager, Zatara's wife Sindella developed and succumbed to cancer. Zatara himself was informed of his wife's passing by Nelson.

Afterwards, Zatara attempted to push his life in a different direction. At Nelson's suggestion, he joined the Justice League and cut back on his performance career. When he did travel, he brought Zatanna along with him, teaching her magic along the way. He himself became an inspiration for magical heroes in the years to come.[1]

Doctor Fate

When she was old enough, Zatara was initially wary of allowing Zatanna to join the Team, a newly formed team of young superheroes designed to allow them to cooperate on covert operations. Eventually, he relented, giving his permission for her to join.

During a fight with Klarion the Witch Boy, the Team attempted to utilize the Helmet of Nabu, Kent Nelson's former magical artifact, only for the spirit inside to take hold of Zatanna as its newest host. When Zatara learned of his daughter's predicament, he volunteered to take her place as the helmet's host - to which it accepted. Zatara became the new Doctor Fate, forced to share his consciousness with the spirit Nabu.

10 Years Later

Over the years, Zatanna developed a deal with Nabu - for one hour, one night every year, the helmet would release Zatara as its host so that he could reconnect with his daughter before returning to his hostly duties. Zatanna relished the moments with her father every year.

When the Lords of Chaos made a new play for Earth, having grown dissatisfied with Klarion's work, Zatanna called on Doctor Fate to aid in the fight as one of the champions for the Lords of Order. Though Nabu was hesitant to get involved, especially due to the under preparedness of the magicians that sought his aid, Zatara's consciousness within the helmet convinced the spirit to accept his daughter's help - as Zatara's mortal body was beginning to age and therefore wasn't strong enough to fight alone. [2]


Other Characteristics


  • Zatara was a practicing Christian.[3]



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Justice League member
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This character has been a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from the clutches of both interstellar and domestic threats.
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