Main Zatanna Discussion

collapse/expand topics

01:43:13 AM Jan 28th 2011
What happened to the Zatanna Character Page?
12:18:57 PM Jan 28th 2011
I wasn't aware there ever was a Zatanna character page (If there had been I probably wouldn't have made this series page). Do you think one should be made?
02:15:51 AM Jan 30th 2011
It's probably much better to follow praxis and maintain a character-centric page, rather than a series-centric one. Move over everything here to there, and gain the freedom to add anything else from the history of the character.
10:42:54 AM Jan 30th 2011
I don't think it's an either/or decision, many series/characters have two pages because there is some info that belongs on one but not the other (The You Have Failed Me trope, for example, is a perfectly applicable trope for the Zatanna series, but does not apply to Zatanna herself).

Creating the Zatanna page, or Zatanna if we want to make it more general to cover other characters as well (The plural "s" on the character prefix is the difference), seems to be what TV Tropes guidelines and precedent suggests.
12:59:13 PM Jan 30th 2011
No, it is very common to include tropes like You Have Failed Me and similar tropes relating to events that the tropers think stood out from different storylines. A caharacter page expansion would simply widen the scope of the inclusions.
05:28:28 PM Jan 30th 2011
No, my point with You Have Failed Me (Which, I admit, I did not make very clear) was that this didn't happen to (or from) Zatanna. Yes, she was its cause (The failure was the failure to kill her), but the actor was Mammon, the victims were his elemental assassins, and the root cause was that he was a Bad Boss and Slave to PR. This and other tropes are not tropes which apply to Zatanna, nor are they tropes that were done to/by her.

The idea of character pages is to include tropes that refer specifically to that character. Does he have blonde hair? Is she Really 700 Years Old? Does the team have to deal with never coming in first pace? It also covers actions that the character performs, or that are done to him/her, like being mind raped or going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, or being the victim of a Xanatos Gambit. However, if these tropes do not apply to the character, they do not belong on a characters page.

That is the distinction between a work page and a character page. A work page covers all the tropes present in that work; including character tropes for all characters, narrative tropes, production tropes, etc. A character page covers only tropes specifically related to that character; this can include narrative tropes and production tropes, but only as they pertain to that specific character.

My Grandson Myself, for example, does not apply to Zatanna, but to Benjamin Raymond. As a foe it is included on this page since it occured within this series, but it would not fit on her character page. Yes, she did encounter him, but the trope does not apply to her, was not done to her, and was not done to somebody else by her. If Benjamine Raymond was an integral part of Zatanna's story that understanding him was necessary to understanding her it might be grandfathered in, but merely as the background to somebody else that did not really impact her in any significant way it would not belong on her character page.

This is why there are several different pages for the different incarnations of the same intellectual property (There are like, what, fifteen different Batman pages now? One covers the tropes of the comic, one covers the tropes of the series, one covers the cartoon, etc.). A Zatanna character page would be a great thing to have, and most of the tropes on this page would fit on such a character page, but not all of them, and it should not replace this series page.
07:28:48 AM Jan 31st 2011
edited by MintBrick
Well, I was sure there was a page about the character herself, when the same titled series was new. There were a lot of tropes that only applied to Zatanna the character with a section on the series included. I ask as there was some information on the page regarding the [Allthereinthe Manual] nature of the character that mentioned an earlier miniseries which had disappeared last time I looked. But I certainly recall reading a character page here.
09:57:00 AM Jan 31st 2011
Huh...I've got nothing. I searched through the first five pages of results for "Zatanna" and all I could find was the occasional mention of her on other pages when she appeared in their series (Identity Crisis, Seven Soldiers of Victory, etc.). Do you remember if it was under the "Main" or "Character(s)" or heading?
01:10:24 AM Feb 1st 2011
Yeah, that I can't remember. I found the page the first time while reading through about DC characters. There was a division between the series and the character tropes and there may have been a character page (sparsely populated due to the lack of information on the series characters). Also there was a joke about a "!gniega potS" spell.
08:21:43 AM Feb 2nd 2011
Well, if Batman really has a lot of pages for the character and related series' (not just tropes names after something relating to him), then creating a separate Zatanna page, and initially moving the tropes that relate to both, seems fine.
10:30:50 AM Feb 2nd 2011
edited by JBK405
I haven't kept track of all of them, but there are separate pages for all the different productions (The 60's tv show, the 80's/90's movies, the three different cartoons, the new Nolan movies, etc.) as well as a general page under Batman that attempts to give a nuthsell summary without going into too many details, and a character page. The separate work pages all give the tropes relevant to that series, the general page gives the tropes relevant to all of Batman despite which version we're looking at, and the character pages is a broad look at all the characters and character-based tropes of Batman and his supporting cast.

I assume the point was so that the "identity" of each series could be represented without conflicting with the "identity" of another series. Much like our own argument here regarding Zatanna's history, in the comics Batman was an anti-hero who occasionally crossed a moral line, but that never appeared in the campy TV show, so there was no purpose in putting Anti-Hero on that page. It separates the different series, and has a several super-pages to cover the "Applies to all" parts of the mythos.
05:54:53 AM Apr 1st 2011
When a character like this has a page it's generally all encompassing, as in instead of just focusing one particular ongoing it should deal with all of her ongoings (though in this case she has only one) and minis, that are canon to the universe that it's taking place in. This should be just like with say Green Lantern, which has three series going on now, but only one page for it, or Flash which includes info on all the Flash series.

That doesn't mean that the tropes will have to be directly relevant to only Zatanna herself. For example, in the Hulk, Green Arrow and Spider-Man pages there are tropes that cover their rogues and supporting cast, so it would still allow you to include tropes based on Brother Night or Mammon or whoever.

If this series is cancelled and a new ongoing happens in a couple of years, the page should accomodate for that as well. There shouldn't have to be another page.

The 60s Batman example doesn't work, because Identity Crisis takes place in the same universe as her series, whereas the Batman comics and TV shows have little to do with each other. I don't think it's necessary to have a separate character and series page or else you'll have to do the same with pretty much every comic character who has their own series here. If the series was and Elseworlds tale it would have been a different matter.
10:00:53 AM Jan 24th 2011
edited by JBK405
antva, please stop adding Anti-Hero/Well-Intentioned Extremist/Moral Dissonance tropes to this page related to actions that occurred in other series. The issue here is not whether those tropes apply, it's not whether or not she crossed a line or displays negative qualities, the issue is whether or not they occurred in this series, and they did not. This is not a character page. It does not cover every appearance of Zatanna, or even every appearance of her character written by this author, it covers this series and only this series. Yes, the introduction describes her history and where she appears in other media, but only as an introduction so people can get a background before reading the current tropes.

A good page for your tropes would be a character page: Zatanna. Or go put them on the Identity Crisis page. Or the pages of the other series where this stuff happened. Or wait for her to cross a line in this series or for the series to deal with her past actions (If they bring up Identity Crisis in detail I would have no opposition to including relevant tropes from that series). As it is, however, nothing in this series has her as an Anti-Hero, Well-Intentioned Extremist or anything of the sort. There's Moral Dissonance present, yes, but that's a separate issue.
10:13:59 AM Jan 24th 2011
edited by antva
Well, the text you cut out from Moral Dissonance was the following:

"She also flippantly threatens a homosexual coworker with disfigurement if he is unfaithful, and imposes High Octane Nightmare Fuel Cool and Unusual Punishment or hellish tortures on her Complete Monster enemies."

"Under Dini's previous handling of the character she has also given completely outmatched, and already captured/about to be tried in court, drug-addicts constant insanity-inducing nightmare visions for life; and stated outright that she doesn't understand why erasing the memories of already captive more dangerous villains with the side-effect of severely degrading the mental competency of at least one of them (for the sake of protecting the civilian identities of her coworkers) was considered a big deal. On the other hand she does retain overall high altruism, and does not seem to inflict torture or overkill during public confrontations with more mundane and harmless criminals such as the Royal Flush Gang, and originally she was closer to Incorruptible Pure Pureness Friend to All Living Things Pillars of Moral Character material."

The first part relates to what actually happens within the series itself as I remember it; whereas the latter part relates to "recent" stories that Paul Dini wrote containing the character. The way she is written by him I basically read her as a Smug Super conceited casual One-Liner bully and Pay Evil unto Evil archetype (mixed with some Horrible Hollywood, The Hedonist, Femme Fatale, and Disproportionate Retribution) played as a Crap Saccharine World dissonance. It's a shame too. I liked the kindhearted idealistic Friend to All Living Things old version of Zatanna, but now we have yet another self-righteous sadistic powertrip excuse Well-Intentioned Extremist character, which seems to be the current trend of making all remaining genuinely decent ones "grow up"/have the stomach to do thoroughly horrible things to qualify as "heroic".
10:21:31 AM Jan 24th 2011
edited by JBK405
I have no recollection of her flippantly threatening somebody with disfigurement if he was unfaithful, but my memory isn't perfect. What issue did that occur? If it's there that might very well deserve a mention.

The second part, no matter how recent, no matter who wrote it, does not belong on this page since it's not from this series. That's the issue right there. Like i said, I'm not saying she hasn't crossed several lines, I'm not saying she hasn't been mishandled (Oy do I have issues with IC, beyond even the direct issue of the JLA going completely @#$%ing nuts), I'm saying she wasn't mishandled here. At least, not into the extreme areas of other mishandlings. That's the whole issue in a nutshell: Whether or not it was in this series. There's no way around that. If it gets included, even only through flashback or debate/discussion of the events, then sure, bring it over, but as it is it's simply not present. The closest we've gotten is a few obscure references to the fact that she once did something memory-related, with no details or examination of the events.
10:36:07 AM Jan 24th 2011
edited by antva
I'll recheck the threatening part, as it is a bit fuzzy exactly what she threatened him with, but she has done thoroughly horrible, and decidedly uncharacteristic, things to some of her Complete Monster opponents. Although it could of course be argued that she didn't have a choice, I'm still uncomfortable with a former Superman level force for good suddenly inflicting extreme everlasting torture on adversaries, while making a speech about it.

As for Identity Crisis, in itself that's not so bad, as she was shown as very reluctant and pressured into it, but later I remember Dini had her state that she didn't consider it a big deal (or maybe it was Johnns in JLA during the Infinite Crisis tie-in? Oh well, either that or one of Dini's Catwoman stories), and I'd agree with her if it was just about erasing specific memories, but lobotomy, on somebody who was already inprisoned? No. That's more Marvel's brand of bloodthirsty vigilantism, not DC's kindness and idealism.

The specific Zatanna story that made an impression on me however, was a short one about two strange drug-addict assholes who for some reason thought that it was fun to spike some kid's birthday cake. Zatanna was there to entertain them, and captured the drug-addicts for the police. All well and good... however, then she goes beyond the justice system to make them see nightmare visions for every conscious moment of the rest of their lives... Wouldn't it be better to, say, rather focus on undoing the damage to the frightened kids? She does have the power to do it after all.

I automatically tend to pattern the personality and intent of the writer from the tone, Shout-Out messages, and thematic connections of any story, and that one screamed standard Pay Evil unto Evil (especially if it's Acceptable Hard Luck Targets) fanfiction/"Sue" power-trip to me. In fact I used exactly this type of side-character in my old anti-fanfiction story to get rid of the sum impression.
10:56:40 AM Jan 24th 2011
See, that is exactly Pay Evil unto Evil and Disproportionate Retribution You'll never hear me say that isn't, and I'm wondering why I hadn't heard of this story before, but my point still stands: It's not here.

Let me know where/when she's threatening people in this series and, if it fits, I'll stop all opposition. I'm not a Zatanna fanboy (Well, okay, actually I am) who deletes every negative thing he sees, I'm opposing these entries because their tropes don't apply to this series. If I'm wrong I'll bow out and leave it be.

Of course, if it is here and I still think it doesn't fit then I'll still fight it, but in that case I'll be fighting it on the merits of the trope, not just because I didn't think it had happened at all.
09:23:15 AM Jan 27th 2011
edited by antva
Okay, I'll skim the issues to recheck if I misremember the threatening part or not.

The permanently traumatising drug addicts (or apparently not caring at all when her associate's spirit remnants went Spectre on them) definitely did happen though, just not in this series, so that story in conjunction with the Horrible Hollywood arrogance and "let's torture all addicts to death" thematic hints, basically formed a firm guideline for how Dini seems to view Zatanna, but I may misread. I'll be the first to admit that I don't perceive things in the normal manner (although from my perspective it's naturally others who don't make any sense).

She also assigned the (unrealistically) Complete Monster sect-leader to eternal torture, and assigned another to be eternally trapped as a statue, although I agree that she was hard-pressed to find any other solutions. Still, it doesn't sit right with me to have a former Friend to All Living Things do that sort of thing just to make a Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! moral statement. Although I'll admit that it's not as bad as when Kurt Busiek had Superman assign a thoroughly traumatised alien torture victim into even more torture with a snappy speech though, rather than try to repair the damage.
09:30:12 AM Jan 27th 2011
edited by JBK405
Like I said, I'm not arguing that the drug addicts issue isn't horrible and crossing a line, my point is that, as it happened in a different series with no reference/allusion/continuity nod in this series, it has no bearing on the tropes that are present in this series.

Anyway, Benjamin Raymond asked to be transformed into a lump of gold. He begged for it. To be given to Mammon would have been worse, this was her helping him (I admit in a pretty horrific way, but still helping him) since the only possible way to keep him from Mammon was to destroy his soul, and the only way to destroy his soul was to transform it into something non-souled (Meaning something inanimate and unliving).
10:27:12 AM Jan 27th 2011
edited by antva
Yeah, I just don't like that the writer puts her type of almost Fun Personified character in this type of position. Oh well.
11:49:04 PM Jan 27th 2011
Anyway, I looked up the vague part, and it happened in issue #4. She states that she will give a homosexual coworker a plague of boils if he breaks the heart of his boyfriend by eyeing other men, but it may have been me taking it too literally due to the drug addict deal, and generally seeing her transform people left and right. The coworker didn't seem shocked or upset about it, so it may simply have been some sort of jargon. Given the various question marks I will remove her from the antihero listing.