Zatanna's Search
by various writers & artists
(DC Comics, 2004)

Zatanna, the magic-wielding, backwards-speaking, tophat-and-fishnets-wearing magician of the DC Universe, has developed into a very cool, useful and sometimes complicated character.

Her stand-alone graphic novel, Everyday Magic, was a delightfully fun romp in the Vertigo line, while her keystone role in the Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis runs with the Justice League was absolutely vital -- and stunning in its longterm importance to countless ongoing storylines.

But Zatanna didn't start off quite so cool or powerful. And Zatanna's Search, which picks up various appearances by the character in mainstream DC titles, is a weak collection at best.

The story is that Zatanna, magician in training, is looking for her long-lost father, Zatara, who was once a DC crimefighter in his own right. Her quest brings her into contact with heavyhitters including Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, Hawkman and more, and all play a role in guiding her to quest's end. But let's be honest, folks, this was not DC's best decade, and Zatanna did not get off to a very interesting start. This book is not likely to endear you to her character and it adds very little useful information to her backstory.

All in all, I think you're safe giving this one a miss, unless you're a Zatanna or 1960s completist.

by Tom Knapp
3 March 2007

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