She wears some of the most provocative clothing in comics, and she is also one of DC's most famous magicians: Her name is non-other than Zatanna Zatara.
Zatanna's history in recent media, has been a small but a recurring one, she appeared on Batman: The Animated Series, the Justice League Unlimited animated series, Batman the Brave and the Bold, Gotham Girls, Young Justice and has a one off appearance in the Smallvile TV series. While her appearances are many, her backstory or other adventures remain largely unknown, which is a pity because she is a very interesting character. Let's dive right into ten facts you might not know about DC's Zatanna.
10. She has an interesting ancestry.
Many people would know that she is the daughter of Giovanni Zatara, a well-known Golden Age superhero. Fewer people might know that she is the daughter of a magi called Sindella (we will elaborate on that later). What is less known about her heritage though, is that these two are the least known relatives she has. Zatanna is a direct descendant of famed artist and magician (in the DC universe) Leonardo Da Vinci. She is related to the prophet Nostrodamus, the mage Cagliostro and the two Alchemists Nicholas Flamel and Fulcanelli. Further down the line she also had Atlantean ancestors.
9. She is a Homo Magi
Many of you have heard or read about the human evolution line, starting from apes and then continuing onto Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Homo Sapiens and finally to Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Well in the DC Universe there are some off branches of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species and one of them is the Homo Magi. The Homo magi are a sub-species of humans that evolved parallel to the Homo Sapiens species and their most distinctive feature, is their affinity for magic. While normal humans can learn to use magic, Homo Magi are exceptional and naturally talented to it. One of those Homo Magi happened to be Zatanna's mother Sindella.
That makes Zatanna a Homo Magi on her mother's side, explaining her way above average magical abilities.
8. Zatanna is a vegeterian.
Ever wonder how Zatanna keeps her figure intact? Well it seems that the vegetarian diet agrees with her. Her frequent work with animals as an onstage magician and her special love for rabbits, made her avert from eating meat, staying strictly vegetarian.
7. Zatanna has a lot of rabbits.
As many of you know, Zatanna's day to day job is being an onstage magician. While working there she frequently uses rabbits for her tricks. Since her early appearances she developed a deep love for her furry helpers, adopting stray and sick rabbits in order to help them. Right now it is suggested that she has three of her own rabbits, but somewhere along the lines it is implied that she had more of them over the years.
6. She has her own Manor.
In the DC Universe, you are not a true superhero until you have an elaborate, hidden, base of operation and this girl has it all. Zatanna's secret hideout is called the Shadowcrest; a castle like mansion in a different dimension. This mansion is chicer than Wayne Manor, and more dangerous than the Fortress of Solitude, hosting a number of artifacts and books than can do, as Zatanna puts it, "pretty much anything you'd want to do". It also features a complex reverse magic word as voice recognition and when appearing in the real world it tends to appear somewhere in the Gotham Region.
5. She wrote her own book.
Some time after her departure form the Justice League, Zatanna found a lot of free time at her disposal. What did she do? Well she sat down and started writing guide to teach people about magic. While not many things are known about that book, we know that it was a relative success.
The name of this book is Hex Appeal: The Modern Girl Guide to Magic.
4. Her Boyfriend killed her Father.
Ever had a boyfriend you felt too distant from and had to break up with? Well, you have nothing on this girl. Zatanna was in a pretty stable relationship for a time with fellow mage, John Constantine. As always, John's magical machinations didn't go as planned and he accidentally burnt Giovanni Zatara alive in front of Zatanna's eyes. Compared to this, our relationships are the best in the world.
3. She has many aliases and nicknames.
This is something I myself found really surprising. While it seems that Zatanna has no secret identity or an alias, there were a number different aliases for her in the comics. Moreover, Zatanna is never called by her full name, always having nicknames addressing her. Some of her nicknames and titles are Mistress of Magic, Princess of Prestidigitation, Zee, Z, Zanna, Zanny, and Magic Maid while her aliases are Primak and Zorina.
2. She can do pretty much everything.
Some superheroes have powers, others don't and Zatanna has her magic. The thing is though, that Zatanna's magic is so strong and versatile she can do almost everything there is to do. From every elemental control, to flight, teleportation and healing, Z has displayed EVERYTHING a superhuman being can do and more. Her magical abilities have reached to the extent of her being able to forcefully impose specific dreams on people, and being able to mind wipe memories and/or character traits.
1. She has jumped over to the Vertigo comics.
DC comics publishes a lot of imprints and one of those imprint is Vertigo Comics. Vertigo comics was created as an imprint for DC to avoid the Comics Code Authority and therefore had more adult themes and were generally darker and grittier. This also meant that the age restriction for Vertigo Comics, was sensibly higher than other DC imprints. For that reason it was really rare for a character of the mainstream DC universe to ever appear on such a comic, yet Zatanna did just that. Through her then boyfriend John Constantine (who himself originated from this imprint), Zatanna was written into the Vertigo comics Universe. Not much has been written on her and about her in this imprint, but she still remains one of the very few characters to ever jump from the DC universe to Vertigo Comics.
This is one part of a series of articles about underrated DC superheroes
- If you wanna know more about Aquaman click here.
- If you wanna know more about the Martian Manhunter click here.
- if you wanna know more about Shazam click here