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Origin

Zatanna Zatara was the daughter of famed magician Giovanni “John” Zatara. Zatanna was a successful stage illusionist herself before she discovered her true magical powers. She was once in a relationship with the powerful mage Nick Necros in New York City. John Constantine came to the city to study under Nick, who became obsessed with the search for the Books of Magic. As a result of his obsession, John and Zatanna were alienated from him, and fell in love with each other.

Nick felt betrayed, and tried to have them both killed by the Cult of the Cold Flame. Fortunately, they turned the tables, and his soul was sent to hell.[1] Eventually, though, John characteristically broke her heart. Their relationship was further strained by the fact that one of his schemes intended to save the world resulted in her father's burning to death before her eyes.[2]

In the Dark

Some time later, after discovering that the Enchantress had become a threat to reality itself, Zatanna reunited with Constantine in Madame Xanadu's so-called Justice League Dark, along with Shade and Boston Brand.[3] Xanadu had seen an apocalyptic future, which she warned would come to pass if they did not all join together in fighting the Enchantress. As it happened, the Enchantress was seeking to reunite herself with June Moone, the human aspect of herself. Eventually, John Constantine and Mindwarp managed to bring about a series of events that led to the pair's merging. When they realized that the whole ordeal was caused by Xanadu's having split the Enchantress from June Moone in the first place, they team disbanded.[4]

Rise of the Vampires

However, nightmares soon drove Zatanna and the others to reconvene under Xanadu, who explained that the dreams were possible futures that would come about if they did not remain a team. [5] Their next mission fell into their laps, as not long after regrouping, they discovered that Andrew Bennett's untimely death had lead to the unleashing of an even older vampire called Cain, who had the power to absorb magic. While Constantine and Deadman searched for Andrew in the afterlife, Zatanna and the others fought off hordes of vampires in Gotham City.[6]

The Black Room

After Andrew returned and absorbed Cain's powers, the Team decided to part ways yet again. However, when John Constantine was contacted by Steve Trevor to locate a mystical artifact, he came to Zatanna for help. In exchange for his help, John had been promised entry to A.R.G.U.S.' Black Room, a place where mystical items were collected and protected by the US Government. John told Zatanna that he had seen her father's hat in a photo of the Black Room, and begged her to help him convince the others to reform the team. After gaining two new team members from A.R.G.U.S. and with Andrew Bennett's help, the team located Felix Faust in South America. There, they discovered that the item they were sent to find was in fact, the map to the Books of Magic.[7]

John wanted to seek out the Books with the map, but none of his team agreed. Zatanna intended to quit—especially after discovering that the tale of her father's hat was a ruse—but Deadman convinced her that if the two of them did not stay no one would be able to make sure that John didn't get corrupted by the Books when he found them himself. Regardless, the map was soon stolen by the Demons Three.[8] When Faust broke into A.R.G.U.S. in search of the key to the map, Zatanna and the Justice League Dark attempted to stop him. In aid of this, John Constantine had Steve Trevor give him access to the magical items within the Black Room. Unfortunately, he also pocketed the key for himself. This made him a target for the betrayer in the team's midst: Doctor Mist. The map and the key were lost to Faust as a result.[9]

The War for the Books of Magic

Though the map was lost to them, John saw the location that the books were supposed to be hidden on it: Slaughter Swamp. However, Zatanna's scrying showed that Faust and Mist had gone to Peru instead. Together with Deadman, she went to investigate in Peru while John and Black Orchid went to Gotham. The pair were attacked in Peru by the wood wizard Blackbriar Thorn.[10] With Deadman's power of possession, they manage to render the wizard powerless for the moment, and are surprised when they discover that he was attempting to stop them from discovering the House of Secrets behind him. The house's current owner happened to be Nick Necro, returned from Hell at last, and eager to get revenge on Zatanna and John for their betrayal. Zatanna, however, had been driven to John by Nick's obsession with the Books of Magic. When John arrived with the others, he was surprised to learn of his enemy's identity. In anger, Nick attacked him, causing Zatanna to promise that she would give herself up in exchange for her friends' lives. Nick accepted the offer, and kidnapped her in the House of Secrets.[11]

While Zatanna was trapped with him, Nick Necro explained that it had been he who engineered the creation of the Justice League Dark, all as a means of gathering John and Zatanna together so that he could exact revenge on them. After arriving in Nanda Parbat with the hope of collecting the Books of Magic, and then killing Zatanna before John's eyes, the unexpected variable of Tim Hunter's destiny to claim them makes Nick change his mind. He warned John that he would kill Zatanna unless John would Kill Tim Hunter in her stead. Not wanting to see Zatanna die, John obediently snapped Tim's neck, only to reveal that it had all been an illusion, thanks to Black Orchid's shape-changing. She then beat Nick senseless, distracting everyone from the fact that Tim had been drawn to the Books of Magic. When Zatanna realized that he was about to be taken into another dimension by them, she leapt into the portal after him, leaving the pair of them stranded on the other side.[12]

The Death of Magic

Zatanna and Tim found themselves in another dimension called Epoch, where magic had been outlawed by a science-based community of humans called the Network. Having sensed their magic power—which appeared to have been augmented by their arrival there—a policeman named Vikar attempted to incarcerate them, but they were taken out from under his nose by the power of some wood nymphs.[13] Underground, Tim and Zatanna learned from the small population of magical creatures living in hiding that Tim was expected to rule Epoch. When the magic users of that world had come into conflict with the humans and lost, a wizard called The Hunter had taken the Books of Magic to Earth in the hopes of sending a hero back to turn the tables. Tim was supposedly his successor by blood.[14]

Despite being wary of the story, Tim and Zatanna decided that they had to lead an attack against Network anyway when they learned that their friends had followed them and been captured by Vikar. Together, Tim and Zatanna lead the army to the edge of Network's domain, prompting Vikar to come for them.[15] Unfortunately, the opening of the portal between the two worlds that brought the rest of the Justice League Dark to Epoch had destabilized both realities, and Zatanna would not allow the innocent people of Epoch to be killed as a result.

In order to bring stability back to both worlds, Tim's father Jack Hunter entered the portal and convinced Tim to unleash a blast of magic that ended the turmoil in the skies, and the war between the two sides. While Zatanna and the others returned home, Tim and Jack remained in Epoch as wizard-kings. John Constantine, meanwhile, had been affected by Epoch's strange effect on Earth-magic, and had been unable to lie, which meant that he had confessed his feelings to Zatanna quite candidly. She was polite enough to ignore it. Following their return, John ended his team's association with A.R.G.U.S., and Zatanna decided to join him in a Justice League Dark, unchecked by government oversight.[16]

Powers

  • Magic: In order to use her magical abilities, Zatanna must speak her spells backwards.[17] With this power, she can do almost anything with proper timing and training.
    • Atmokinesis: Zatanna is able to utilize her backwards spells to manipulate the weather. She once changed rain into falling petals and changed the day cycle in Gotham from night to day, which she completely undid shortly afterwards.[18]
    • Chronokinesis
    • Dimensional Travel
    • Disintegration: Zatanna can use her magic to completely disintegrate objects. She was able to make a Batwing suit disintegrate by saying "edolpxe".[19]
    • Elemental Control
      • Electro-Blast: Zatanna can use her magic to fire bolts of electricity out of her hands, usually by uttering something like "sdnah fo gninthgil".[20]
    • Flight: Zatanna is able to walk on air, levitate or even fly. She can also give others the ability to do so, such as when she gave Batman the ability to walk on air[19]
    • Force Field: Zatanna is able to create powerful force fields using her backwards talk to protect herself from supernatural threats such as the dark mists of Enchantress.[21]
    • Gravikinesis: Zatanna can control the gravitational pull of objects using her backwards spells. An example of this is when she uttered "teg yvaeh" on the robot Ascalon to make him fall through a floor.[22] She can also decrease gravity in an area, allowing everybody within a certain vicinity of the spell to float upwards.[18]
    • Healing: Zatanna can completely heal a person of their physical injuries. An example of this is when she healed Batwoman after a traumatic fight with Azrael by simply saying "laeh".[23]
    • Invisibility: Zatanna is able to turn herself and others completely invisible by uttering something like "nrut elbisivni".[23]
    • Magical Awareness
    • Molecular Reconstruction: Zatanna can use her backwards magic to alter the molecular structure of objects. An example of this is when she said "tius pu", transforming Bruce Wayne's tuxedo into a fully functioning Batsuit.[20]
    • Telekinesis: Using her backwards magic Zatanna is able to move objects with simply gestures, such as when she tied cables around Batman's legs by saying "Dnib sih teef".[24] She has also burst pipes and created a telekinetic umbrella against the rain using her mind.[20]
    • Teleportation: Zatanna is able to use her backwards magic to teleport herself to anywhere on the globe.[25] She can also teleport others alongside herself, such as when she teleported herself and Batman to her hotel room in Gotham.[18]

Abilities

  • Driving: Zatanna has shown herself capable of driving a motorcycle.[21]
  • Escapology: In preparation for her role as a stage magician, Zatanna was taught how to escape from precarious situations without using magic. By the time she was in kindergarten Zatanna could already escape from a straitjacket while underwater.[18]
  • Lock Picking: Zatanna was taught how to pick locks by her father.[18]
  • Prestidigitation: Zatanna was taught sleight of hand by her father as part of her training to become a magician.[20]
  • Occultism

Weaknesses

  • Speech Dependency Zatanna cannot initiate a spell without speaking it's contents, if gagged or deprived of her ability to speak she cannot cast a spell.

Equipment

Related


Footnotes


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Justice League member
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This character is or was 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 both interstellar and domestic threats.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice League of America members" category.


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This character is or was a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, or the Seven Soldiers in any of its various incarnations, created during World War II and later, it returned to battle time-traveling, dimension-spanning mysteries and monsters.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Seven Soldiers of Victory members" category.