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DC Comics

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From DC Database

Character Template Character Template
Real Name
Current Alias

The Mistress of Magic, The Princess of Prestidigitation, Zee




Giovanni "John" Zatara (father, deceased), Sindella Zatara (mother, deceased), Zachary Zatara (cousin), Leonardo da Vinci, Cagliostro, Nicholas Flamel, and Nostradamus (all paternal ancestors)


Base Of Operations
Shadowcrest, JLA Hall of Justice, Watchtower


5' 7"

127 lbs (58 kg)



Unusual Features


Marital Status

Defender against mystical threats and evil, stage magician, Wizard

Superior Occult knowledge

First appearance



Zatanna Zatara is the daughter of famed magician Giovanni “John” Zatara and Sindella, a member of the mystical Homo Magi race. Zatanna is a direct descendant of the artist and magician Leonardo da Vinci, and is related to Nostradamus; Alessandro Cagliostro; the noted alchemists Nicholas Flamel and Evan Fulcanelli; and Lord Arion of Atlantis. Her cousin, Zachary Zatara, is also a magician. [1]

Zatanna was a successful stage illusionist before she discovered her true magical powers while investigating the disappearance of her father. With the help of Batman, The Atom, Elongated Man and others, she was successfully reunited with him. Their time together was short, and unfortunately, both of her parents were killed on separate occasions while saving her life. [2]

Zatanna assisted the Justice League of America on a number of cases before being elected to full membership. During her tenure with the group her power levels diminished briefly, so that she could only control the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. It should be noted that this limitation was only temporary and that her magical ability was fully restored. Later Zatanna was worried about her lack of focus while using magic. She decided that her father's style of magic was wrong for her, and explored her mother's mystical heritage.[3]

Zatanna (by Bruce Timm)

While Zatanna was a member of the Justice League, the villain Dr. Light stole aboard the Watch Tower and raped the Elongated Man's wife Sue Dibny. When Zatanna and several others Leaguers returned, they saw what Dr. Light had done. A fight broke out and when they finally managed to subdue him, he began to threaten them and their families. Zatanna was prepared to erase Light's memories of the incident, but his terrible brutality and his promises to do it again sparked a debate amongst the present League members on whether or not to tamper with his personality and prevent him from repeating his crime. Zatanna, Hawkman, and The Atom voted for such action, while Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Green Lantern voted against. The Flash broke the tie and voted to tamper with Light's mind. Zatanna used her magic to do so, but the difficulty of the process resulted in her accidentally lowering his intellect. In the midst of her spell, Batman appeared and tried to stop them. Zatanna froze him, and they voted to have her erase his memories of the incident as well. [4]

Zatanna's mind-wipe of Dr. Light was not an isolated occurrence. Catwoman discovered that her journey from villain to hero and her resulting efforts to lead a moral life were caused by Zatanna's mental intervention. Selina came to distrust her memories, motives, and choices she’d made since that incident. In a fit of rage, Catwoman ties Zatanna up and pushes her through a window. Despite this, Zatanna helps Catwoman and, at Selina's behest, mind-wipes petty villains Film Freak and Angle Man, because they had deduced Catwoman's secret identity.[5]

Zatanna and Batman’s friendship degraded once Batman discovered what she had done. He began to distrust her and his other friends in the super hero community. When Zatanna helped Batman with reconnaissance at a Lazarus Pit, she asks him why he came to her. "I needed someone I can trust," Batman said, "but I had to settle for you." This must have been especially hard for her to hear, seeing that she and Bruce Wayne had been close friends since childhood.

Recently, however, their relationship appears to have warmed; sometime later he called 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".

After departing from the League, Zatanna continues her stage career and her vocation as a defender against mystical threats, becoming a member of the Sentinels of Magic. She is also the author of the hugely successful Hex Appeal: The Modern Girl's Guide to Magic.

Zatanna taking a bath

At a superhero support group run by Etta Candy, she recounted how during a failed magical ritual to search for her father's tomes, one of her past ill-casted spells summoned a shapeshifter named Gwydion, who kills her companions. The trauma of this, combined with her guilt from her mind-wipes, caused her to lose confidence in herself and she lost her powers. With the help of her new apprentice Misty Kilgore, she was able to capture Gwydion to use as her own. She eventually regained her confidence and powers, and used them to defeat Zor, a rogue Time Tailor who released the Sheeda as a plague to infect and degrade the entire universe. As a reward, the other Time Tailors allowed her one last meeting with her father, who reveals that his books were written in her, his greatest spell and gift to the world. In the final battle against the Sheeda, Zatanna cast a spell to move time and space, retroactively positioning the Seven Soldiers to overthrow the Sheeda.

Zatanna is currently a reserve member of the Justice League, aiding them from time to time when her magical expertise is needed, although she declined an offer for full membership, stating her need to take a break from heroics. She is still a regular guardian against mystical threats.

Powers and Abilities



Sorcery: Zatanna is a homo magi, a human born with the affinity to manipulate magic. Her unique genetic structure allows her to use the magic she was born with as well as learned magic. As a tribute to her father, and as a focus for her spells, she casts spells by speaking backwards. For example, saying "pots" would cause the target of the spell to stop in their tracks. She can only cast the spells she wants by speaking or reading backwards, because that's the only way to focus her magic.

  • Elemental Sorcery: With her magic Zatanna has shown a greatest affinity to manipulate the elements of the Earth.
  • Telepathy: Zatanna can use her magic to manipulate the minds of others. She has displayed the following abilities.
  • Read Minds
  • Memory Manipulation: She is able to wipe minds completely and/or remove specific memories.
  • Chlorokinesis: Control over plants
  • Thermokinesis: She has used this ability a few times to stay warm in frigid environments.
  • Superhuman Strength
  • Superhuman Durability
  • Flight
  • Force Field
  • Teleportation: Able to teleport herself and/or others to anywhere she desires.
  • Dimensional Travel
  • Probability Manipulation
  • Magical Awareness: supernatural sensitivity to occult activities and mystic phenomena.
  • Dispel: Able to remove illusions and holographic images that her opponents have set up.
  • Telekinesis
  • Elemental Conversion
  • Molecular Conversion
  • Regeneration: Able to heal herself and others
  • Size Alteration: She can increase or decrease her overall volume to nearly any size she chooses. The limits of this ability are subject only to the degree of power available to her at any one time. She has been seen using this ability to get down to the size of the Atom (about 6 inches tall at the time) to talk to him face-to-face.
  • Spectral Sight: She can see spiritual entities and travelers invisible to normal sight; she can perceive magical events at a great distance.
  • Elemental Transmutation: Zatanna has the ability to rearrange atoms and molecules in both inorganic and organic matter. She can change an object’s or creature's shape. In addition from one chemical into another.
  • Magical Manipulation: Zatanna is also capable of using all personal and universal magic
  • Extraction and Transportation of Souls: Able to extract and move souls from organic/inorganic structures to another organic/inorganic structure. In addition, she can attack her opponents by thrusting a soul at them. She only does this ability in dire situations.
  • Mystical Invulnerability: After casting this specific spell, she is safe from any offensive magic that comes her way or others.


Prestidigitation: Zatanna is skilled in stage magic, performing simple tricks and elaborate illusions.

Good Combatant: She has also been taught conventional fighting skills by the Justice League, but favors using magic in place of them.

Occultist: as Chronicler of Magic she possesses an extensive understanding of Occult lore due to her Mystic Background


Improvisation: She prepares specific spells (a couple of hundred) but improvises a good bit for the unpredictable situations she encounters.

Bi-Lingual: Able to speak English and "Backwards Speech". As noted throughout the comics, she doesn't show any difficulty in speaking backwards when performing spells. It seems she can speak backward speech without hesitation and with clarity. Backwards Speech is most commonly known as Mnemonic Incantations.

Strength level

As a magician, she is considered among the most powerful and knowledgeable in the world and often works alongside the most powerful magic-users on Earth, including Doctor Fate, Madame Xanadu, and Captain Marvel. However, the actual extent of her powers is not fully known. According to Green Arrow, she is the most powerful member of the Justice League. Of all the magicians and sorcerers on the planet, the JLA always go to Zatanna when they need magical assistance.


Mnemonic Incantation: Zatanna casts her spells by saying the words of her incantations backwards. Zatanna must concentrate on her magic to make sure she is using the proper spell. It is at this point where she is most vulnerable. Mnemonic incantation is the most complicated of the mystic arts. It appears that this is well known to her enemies. On one occasion, the assassin Deathstroke delivered a direct blow to her liver, initiating a regurgitation reaction. On a separate occasion, The Joker (disguised as the stage magician Loxias) shot Zatanna in the neck, rendering her magic useless. She must be able to speak or read backwards in order for her to focus her spells.

Higher-Level Magics: If the magic power-level of her opponent is higher than hers, then it would be extremely difficult for her to win a battle. In addition, it is difficult to impossible to affect a spell that was set in motion with higher-level magics.



Magic Wand: Often seen with a magic wand, although whether it is a stage prop or an actual focus for her powers remains unknown. She doesn't need it though, considering her recent appearances without one and being able to cast spells effectively.


Teleportation, Flight





  • Zatanna owns a mansion called Shadowcrest, in which she keeps a vast library of magical knowledge, as well as an arsenal of powerful relics, 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.
  • Zatanna has the reputation of being DC's "greatest minor" hero, due to her continuous appearances in many frontline comics, although never starring in her own title, save for the Seven Soldiers miniseries (whose premise was based on lesser-known or less popular characters).
  • In Earth-97 continuity, Zatanna was an initiate to a coven known as the Dark Circle. Circle leader Etrigan promised Zatanna a place within the coven if she could acquire an artifact known as the Green Lantern. After searching for three years, she eventually found the lantern in the possession of a former pirate named Jason Blood. She attempted to fight Blood, but her spell mis-fired killing her, but trapping her soul within her dead body. Blood promised to set Zatanna's soul free, if she agreed to take up his position as Keeper of the Lantern. Zatanna agreed, and became the new Green Lantern. [6]
  • In 2005 Zatanna is one of the main 7 in Grant Morrison's 30-issue mini-series Seven Soldiers. Here, it was revealed that the reaction of her peers to the mindwipes was so extreme as to make her lose her self-confidence, and with it, her magic. However, with the help of Etta Candy and the news of an impending apocalyptic battle, she regains her powers. Although it has been made clear that one of the Seven Soldiers will die in the final battle, due to several recent and recurring appearances before the final issue's release, it has been speculated that Zatanna will be one of the survivors.
  • Zatanna also appears in DC's Vertigo imprint. She appears several times in The Books of Magic, typically to counsel Timothy Hunter, the main character. In Hellblazer she was the tantric partner of John Constantine at one point in the past. An alternate version of Zatanna with blonde hair was seen in Books of Magick: Life During Wartime. The world depicted there is populated by both humans(known there as the Bred) and by races of the Faerie (known as the Born). A war is going on between the the Born ruling elite and a coalition of Born and Bred who intend to overthrow the current dictatorial regime. The version of Zatanna that exist on this world fights for this Coalition.

See Also

Links and References

Appearances In Other Media


Video Games

Zee from the Justice League Heroes video game

Zatanna is the seventh main character featured in the Justice League Heroes video game released in November 2006. She edged other more famous leaguers such as Power Girl, Black Canary, and Hawkgirl to be included in the video game line-up. Aside from wanting a female character to round up the team, according to Jason Ades, producer of JLH, Zatanna was chosen because they wanted an extremely game-able character fit for the game's engine and unique to the other six heroes. He also adds that "DC gave us a little nudge towards Zatanna" due to the character's increasing popularity as she was popping everywhere in the DC Universe from Identity Crisis to Seven Soldiers of Victory to Infinite Crisis and other titles.

Her special powers in the video game are:

  • Fire Bolt: Conjures a ball of fire that can be hurled at enemies.
  • Polymorph: A spell that changes enemies to rabbits.
  • Heal: Heals her and her partner hero.
  • Time Shift: Slows time temporarily bringing her enemies to a crawl.
  • Protect: Protects her and her team from damage.


There are several statues/busts and action figures representing Zatanna.

Zatanna’s first introduction into the world of limited edition statuary was in the form of a mini-bust, she is wearing the costume from the "Satelite era" of the JLA.

A statue was created to commemorate her appearance in the animated Batman series. Zatanna is shown emerging triumphantly from a locked trunk, chains and locks scattered about her feet.

Zatanna appeared in mini-bust form as part of Adam Hughes' "Women of the DC Universe" line. Hers is the first to incorporate soft goods in the design - using real cloth for her fishnet stockings.

Zatanna was the second statue issued in the "Cover girls of the DC Universe" line - she appears as she did on the cover of Catwoman issue 58.

There was a 13" collectible figure of Zatanna issued in 2009 - it shows her in one of her more recent costumes, with thigh high black leather boots, black fishnet stockings and magician’s tuxedo. She comes packed in with a white rabbit (similar to the ones shown on the cover of the Zatanna mini-series), a magic wand, a copy of her book "Hex Appeal" and top hat.

Zatanna will appear at some point in the Eaglemoss lead collectible figurines.

Recommended Reading

  • Zatanna: Everyday Magic
  • Seven Soldiers of Victory: Zatanna
  • Zatanna: Come Together
  • JLA: Crisis of Conscience
  • Identity Crisis
  • War of the Gods

Related Articles

External Links

  • Zatanna Justice League Heroes Gameplay



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  6. Tangent Comics: Tales of the Green Lantern #1

Justice League of America member

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.

This article uses material from the "Zatanna Zatara (New Earth)" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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