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    Zatanna Zatara

A stage magician, real magician, and Justice League member.

  • Action Girl: She is a proactive hero who seeks out and combats metaphysical criminals, demons, and the normal supervillains of the DCU, using her mystical abilities to combat foes at every turn, and she has the hand-to-hand capability to protect herself when the need arises.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Zatanna, in the New 52, briefly ditched her trademark fishnets for a pair of leather pants. This new design was quickly ditched for one closer to her classic look, fishnets and all.
  • Age Lift: Originally, Zatanna was a teenager starting out after Bruce Wayne had been Batman for a while. Starting with Batman: The Animated Series and going through most later incarnations, including getting Ret-Canon to the comics, Zee was presented as around Bruce's age. In fact, the only incarnations to keep the original age gap are Young Justice (2010) and DC Super Hero Girls 2019.
  • Alliterative Name: Zatanna Zatara.
  • Astral Projection: She is able to do this with her magic powers.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Her stage outfit is essentially a modified tuxedo with a top hat, which is also her default uniform when engaging in hero work. The biggest changes that have been made are the replacement of pants with black panties and fishnet stockings and the presence of an Impossibly-Low Neckline (sometimes).
  • Baleful Polymorph: She has a particular fondness for this that can only be rivaled by Circe. Best not to cross her when she considers this as an option. Some examples include:
    • Threatening to turn a man into a toad if he doesn't back down from an argument. He does just that, knowing she can and will do it.
    • She turned an entire audience into bats to attack The Joker.
    • Turning a scary ogre-man into a fluffy bunny.
    • Turning three girls into doves for annoying her, mentioning she's good with frogs as well.
    • The Vertigo novel Zatanna: Everyday Magic highlights this. She mentions turning hecklers into warthogs, telling kids that if they sell her autograph it'll turn them to pumpkins, and when facing off against a witch who turns her one-night stands into toads (including Constantine), she retorts by saying that Zatanna has filled ponds with her ex-boyfriends, which doesn't sound that far-fetched. Then Zatanna turns her into a sloth to achieve victory.
    • When Harley Quinn was annoying her, she stated that it only takes a simple spell to turn her into a worm and feed her to a seagull. Harley backed out from there.
    • On a girls night out, she tells Batgirl that she's going with her and Wonder Woman whether she likes it or not. Batgirl asks if she will turn her into a toad if she refuses, and Zatanna says she's keeping her options open.
  • Bathing Beauty: Zatanna is shown to enjoy baths a lot.
  • Battle Couple: With John Constantine. Though both are worlds (or versions) apart, both make up for a Badass Magical Couple. Then John Constantine is put back into the DC Universe and the two get back on their relationship.
  • Bifauxnen: Name another superheroine who rocks a tuxedo like she can!
  • Bound and Gagged: Zatanna's reliance on her voice (although it has been shown multiple times that she can use her magic without speaking) in few times leads to her being bound and gagged, a measure that renders her powerless. To counter this, Zatanna train herself as skillful escape artist and occasionally can use fingerspell, blood writing, or enchanted items and weapons to aid her on battle.
  • Brainwashed: The second arc of her comic features Zatanna herself brainwashed into marrying a man so that he can substitute her soul for his when the demon Mammon comes to claim him. This is not the first time he has done this, either, as the previous women he plunged into hell serve as the bridesmaids at the wedding.
  • Code Name: She does not have one, she is addressed publicly and privately only as "Zatanna," her legal proper name.
  • Combat Stilettos: Almost always fights in heels, not that it's a problem for her.
  • Commuting on a Bus: The month after her solo series was cancelled, Zatanna was made into one of the lead characters in the high profile Justice League Dark book.
  • Compelling Voice: In addition to casting spells with her Sdrawkcab Speech, Zatanna can also use it to compel people to obey single commands. She uses it in her solo series to compel Brother Night to renounce his contract with Hell, freeing the souls of those he sacrificed to gain his power.
  • Escape Artist: One of the DCU's greatest, which is no surprise considering her profession as a stage magician and her lineage as daughter of the great wizard Zatara. She can use her magical powers to escape, but can also easily do so without them. Her dad even taught another superhero the trade: Batman.
    • Zatanna also had a relationship with John Constantine the Hellblazer. And John is an escape artist second to none. Apparently, John has taught Zatanna some spells from time to time.
  • Friend to All Children: It's more implied, but Zatanna definitely has a soft spot for children (barring evil ones like Teddy). She agreed to perform on Sesame Street despite not liking film or television in general, and only stopped due to her crippling phobia of puppets. She was also led into a near-assassination attempt by agreeing to do shows supporting children's charities.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: When Oscar Hampel claims that he was turned into a puppet because of a tragic series of events almost out of his control, and that his actions were an isolated event, Zatanna accepts that her father, for all his wisdom and power, was only human. She gives Oscar the benefit of the doubt and agrees to help him become human again...after she runs him through a magic Lie Detector, that is. After all, just because her father was not perfect does not mean he was wrong this time, and she is going to make sure before she takes any actions.
  • Hat of Power: She imprisons the demon Fuseli in her hat.
  • Hot Witch: She is a very beautiful and powerful female magician.
  • Hypocrite:
    • She turned the Titans against Raven moments before Trigon's first arrival, based on the grounds that Raven through her powers, manipulated Kid Flash's emotions to make him join the team. That would have been a fair assessment had Zatanna not only used her powers to wipe Doctor Light's mind, but also Batman's for trying to intervene as stated in Identity Crisis. It should be noted, though, that this is a Retcon; Trigon's first appearance was in the 80's, and Identity Crisis came out in the mid 2000's.
    • She turns a group of annoying girls into doves right before telling Zachary he shouldn't use his powers for personal gain. Zach calls her out on it.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Zatanna wears a tight-fitting tuxedo jacket with tails and a white bustier that highlights her impressive hourglass figure as well as her very voluptuous yet toned body and buxom breasts.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Not always, but often her costume (Which is a variance on her standard outfit when performing on stage) is cut low to reveal a large amount of her cleavage.
  • Improvised Weapon: Zatanna is a logomancer. That is, despite having been shown in the past using simple spell without employing her trademark Backwards speech she needs to have a clear voice to focus her powers with. As previously stated, this forces her rogues to silence her in few occasions. Also, even when she has still her charmcasting abilities intact, some villains may exploit some loopholes to protect themselves from her magic. Zatanna in both cases mostly improvises.
    • In a story taken from her childhood a temporarily muted Zatanna (due to really uncomfortable dental braces) choose to use a Speak'n Spell toy as an artificial voice box of some sort. She also turned her braces into a cage, trapping her foe.
    • Unable to harm directly an iteration of Amazo based on her own magic, she mystically recalled Red Tornado's soul, rich in mystical might, to use it as a weapon.
    • In few instances where her opponent decided for something more permanent and less fetishistic than a gag (as landing a crippling injury to Zatanna's throat) Zee has been shown to use Blood Magic. Incantations written in blood are somewhat stronger, more dangerous and more powerful even than her average logomancy.
    • One opponent had the ability to cause Zatanna to move backwards through time for a few seconds, causing her 'backwards' spells to come out of her mouth as non-backwards words, and thus useless. She got around that by casting palindromes, such as "Nurses run!" or "Ogre flog a golfer, go!"
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Skilled in hand-to-hand combat as well as magic.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Zatanna has the magical power to defy the laws of physics and reality with a few backwards incantations, and is sometimes depicted as mature and graceful.
  • Magic Wand: Carries a traditional black-with-white-ends wand as part of her superhero arsenal.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Her powers are often at the forefront of cosmic conflicts for the fate of the universe.
  • Magician Detective: She uses her magical skills and master of normal sleight-of-hand to deal with demons, goblins, ghosts and also traditional human riff-raff.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: She is a famous and wealthy stage magician with a successful show in Las Vegas, but she is also a powerful master of the mystic arts that often serves as our worlds best defense against intrusions from beyond.
  • Missing Mom: Sindella, Zatanna's mother, was presumed dead for years so Zatara raised her. Turns out she was enslaved by her own people, the Hidden Ones, a race of natural magic-users. She dies shortly after Zatanna meets her.
  • Most Common Superpower: She is a very powerful woman with a very impressive bust.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She is a very beautiful, long dark-haired woman who has a very voluptuous yet toned body with buxom breasts, an impressive hourglass figure, and long toned legs and wears an outfit comprised of a tight fitting tuxedo jacket that has tails, a white busier, black panties, fishnet stockings, and a top hat. Nobody has ever found reason to complain over Paul Dini's appreciation of the character.
  • Nice Girl: Often depicted as being approachable, friendly, and considerate. She cares a lot to her friends altough love poke fun and flirting with them. Although usually sweet, She can be terrifying when She angry. A mobster that giving poisoned candy to children and making them hallucinating, have been feel the wrath of Zatanna when She cast a spell to make them fall to a nightmarish hallucination before the Police burst in. After the trial, where the offenders are found guilty, Zatanna is seen continuing to torment them with their personal fears even as they lie in their hospital beds. The Joker also fall to madness after his plan foiled by Zatanna and Batman.
  • Nice Hat: The top hat in her stage magician-inspired "work clothes."
  • Occult Detective: As a person with legitimate supernatural powers and no Secret Identity, she is one of the few characters in the DCU that can be casually approached to deal with issues beyond the ken of mortal authorities. The series starts in San Francisco with a local detective hopping backstage after a show to ask for her input on a batch of grisly other-worldly murders.
  • Secret Identity: She does not have one, and is publicly recognized as a practicing magician and former member of the Justice League.
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: Her spells work by her saying, or writting them backwards. Occassionally She can use her magic without speaking especially for simple magic. She also use enchanted magician wands, smoke bombs, dagger to supplement her backwards speech.
  • She's Got Legs: She wears fishnet stockings that highlight her long toned yet shapely legs.
  • Squishy Wizard: Depending on the Writer her magic can be extremely powerful but she's normally just as vulnerable to attacks as a normal human being, and she generally has to be able to speak her incantations to cast them.
  • Stage Magician: Zatanna and her deceased father, Zatara. Both are real sorcerers pretending to be stage magicians. Zatanna in particular has considerable skill in standard sleight of hand in addition to her authentic mystical abilities, and she has quite a bit of fame and fortune stemming from her traditional performances in theaters and stadiums around the world.
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: Well, a star-spangled gala dress, but it still counts.
  • Stocking Filler: Her costume includes fishnet stockings.
  • Straw Vegetarian: Averted. Zatanna mentions once that she is a vegetarian. While she spoils the bunny she works with on stage, it's more because she's nice. It doesn't really fuel her character beyond that.
  • Underwear of Power: A rare case of actual underwear instead of something similar like trunks or shorts. Her fishnets leave her black panties fully exposed.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Zatanna, it turns out, has a serious and crippling phobia with regards to puppets. Not voodoo dolls or wax effigies, those she can handle with no problems, but with actual puppets with their hanging strings and painted-on eyes. Her fears extend back to her childhood and a traumatic incident she experienced with her father.


    John Constantine

Constantine is one of Zatanna's friend and occasional Love Interests and they occasionally team up against the mystical forces of the world.

See the John Constantine character page for more info.

    Bruce Wayne

The Dark Knight himself, Bruce is Zatanna's Childhood Friend, sometimes romantic interest and fellow superhero.

See the Batman character page for more info.

    John Zatara

Giovanni "John" Zatara is Zatanna's father and mentor. He was killed during a botched séance involving John Constantine.

  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Erased Zatanna's memories of her encounter with Hampel so she wouldn't be traumatized. It backfired years later.
  • Came Back Wrong: Came back from being Deader Than Dead as an evil ghost by Brother Night no less. Zatanna frees him from his thrall.
  • Captain Ersatz: Zatara started out as one of the many formalwear-clad magician heroes who debuted when Mandrake the Magician was at the height of his popularity, but he's had more staying power than most of the others. The most obvious difference is that Zatara has a wide variety of magical powers, while Mandrake is usually portrayed as strictly an illusion-caster and telepath.
  • Escape Artist: Was particularly skilled at this.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: The original one in the DC universe.
  • Papa Wolf: Is furious when he finds Hempel threating his daughter with a knife, giving him A Fate Worse Than Death by turning him into a puppet.
  • Parents as People: The situation with Hempel and realizing her dad erased her memories makes Zatanna realize he was this. However, when Hempel tries to use this to convince Zatanna to turn him back into a human she puts him through a lie detecting test first. As she puts it, her dad was capable of making mistakes but that doesn't mean he made a mistake this time.
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: Just like his daughter.

    Zachary Zatara

Zatanna's younger cousin, with magical powers similar to hers. Was briefly a member of the Teen Titans.


    Det. Dale Colton

A detective with the San Francisco Police Department. First meets Zatanna when he asks for her help investigating the deaths of gangsters.

    Mikey Dowling

Zatanna's friend and stage manager.

  • Anti-Magic: Becomes immune to magic thanks to whatever turned her into a woman.
  • El Cid Ploy: After Zatanna frees her and the rest of her crew from Brother Night, Zatanna has to remain and deal with him for good. However, she explains that somebody needs to perform at their scheduled show and she dresses Mikey in her outfit and and sends her as a replacement.
  • Gender Bender: Used to be a man but was turned into a woman at some point in the past. The details are unclear but all that's known is that Zatanna didn't do it and can't change her back. We briefly see her as a man in one of Zatanna's dreams. Mikey herself seems to have no issue with it for the most part; although she isn't much of a fan of being made up, Zatanna does note that she seems to be down with "girly bonding" when the opportunity arises.
  • Guile Hero: When Zatanna is captured and turned into a puppet, she manages to find her.
  • Honey Trap: Does this to Hempel in order to rescue Puppet!Zatanna.
  • Muggle Best Friend: To Zatanna.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Not really much of a debate that she's the Tomboy to Zatanna's Girly Girl. Despite living as a woman for what is implied to be a long stretch of time, Mikey still thinks of herself as a man and it shows often; aside from her speech patterns being very much boyish, her default attire most of the time is not remotely feminine in the slightest. The times she does end up having to adopt a more girly look - whether it's forcibly made to look like Zatanna, having her cap and suit being changed to a gown and make-up or dressing up like a seductive make-up artist, she can be heard audibly complaining.


Zatanna's friend and manager of her show



Brother Night's Organization

    Brother Night

Formerly known as Eldon Peck. A charlatan cult-leader who started dabbling in real magic and eventually came to control San Francisco's magical underworld.

  • Arch-Enemy: The cover of Issue 2 lists him as Zatanna's "Arch Foe."
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Zatanna first confronts him in a bar full of magical supervillains.
  • Bondage Is Bad: BDSM is openly practiced in his bar.
  • Deal with the Devil: Sacrificed thirteen kids as offerings to the lords of Hell in return for his evil necromantic power. Zatanna forces him to renounce his power and his contract, freeing the souls of the kids he sacrificed and depowering him so that he can be arrested and incarcerated by the regular authorities, but also dooming him to Hell when he dies.
  • The Don: To a magical criminal organization.
  • Evil Sorcerer: A Serial Killer turned necromancer who controls San Francisco's underworld.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He's Detective Colton's father.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: He was one before becoming Brother Night.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Before becoming Brother Night, he was a hippy who was also a serial killer and cult leader. Sounds a lot like Charles Manson.
  • Slasher Smile: Constantly sports one of these.

    Romalthi the Shaper

His touch turns his victims into whatever his mask depicts.


An unborn dragon gestating in the form of a human girl


Appears to be a young boy who attacks people with a magic box of flesh-eating bugs.

Other Villains

    Nimue Ravensong

The main villainess of the Zatanna: Everyday Magic oneshot, a petty novice magician that marks Contantine for sacrifice to a demon. Has a one sided rivalry with Zatanna.

  • Baleful Polymorph: Enjoys doing this to men she sleeps with. Zatanna does it to her in return, turning her into a sloth.
  • The Cameo: Briefly fights Zatanna in the first issue of her Solo series.
  • Energy Absorption: Stabs Zatanna with a needle that absorbs her magical power.
  • Evil Redhead: She has short red hair and is very much evil.
  • Evil Sorcerer: A low-level magician and an annoying thorn in Zatanna's side. Cannot cast spells without making a sacrifice.
  • Hot Witch: An attractive young magic user. Unlike Zatanna, she isn’t a Homo Magi, and has to resort to rituals for magic power.
  • Human Sacrifice: Tries doing this to Constantine.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • Gets turned into a sloth by Zatanna and when she's turned back she's naked and is chased off her apartment by all the victims Zatanna restored.
    • In Zatanna's Solo series, she gets her ass kicked by Zatanna without magic and then falls victim to a spell meant to turn Zatanna into a slug.
  • I Know Your True Name: Subverted when itapplies to herself. She goes by Nimue Ravensong, but her real name is Mary Ann Hoyt.
  • Immodest Orgasm: When she absorbs Zatanna's magical energy, who is so powerful that the feeling overwhelms her with pleasure.
  • Knife Nut: Attacks Zatanna with one in Brother Night's club. Zatanna easily disarms her without even having to resort to magic.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Wears very skimpy outfits and is rendered naked by Zatanna near the end of her storyline.
  • Naked People Are Funny: As part of her Humiliation Conga she's chased off of her apartment naked by her previous victims.
  • Really Gets Around: According to Zatanna. We get proof when we see her frog collection, since she turns all the men she seduces into one.
  • The Rival: Considers herself one for Zatanna.


An imp that enters people's dreams and turns them into nightmares.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When he's defeated by Zatanna.
  • Dream Walker / Dream Weaver: His main ability.
  • The Imp: A green imp.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Zatanna imprisons him inside her hat and releases him after he helps free her father's spirit from Brother Night's control.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Forseti likes to think of himself as the lord of all nightmares but To Brother Night he's just a goon, and as soon as Zatanna get's the upper hand on their fight he begs for his life.

    Benjamin Raymond

A casino owner who hires Zatanna.


The wealthiest demon in Hell.

  • Fat Bastard: He's quite fat and, well, a demon.
  • Greed: The self proclaimed demon lord of avarice.
  • You Have Failed Me: Does this to his minions even if he expected them to fail.

    Oscar Hampel

A children's entertainer turned into a puppet by Zatanna's father.

  • And I Must Scream: While he was a puppet. He "awakened" when he came into contact with Zatanna.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Zatanna's dad turned him into a marionette. He later manages to reverse the spell and does this to Zatanna.
  • Evil Puppeteer: Hampel was a murderous puppeteer transformed into a lifeless dummy that resembled Hampel's most famous marionette Stringleshanks by Zatanna's father John Zatara. However, the spell bound Hampel's wooden existence to Zatara's bloodline. Hampel would later be awakened by Zatanna's presence and come back to plague her as a Perverse Puppet.
  • False Innocence Trick: Pretends to be innocent victim that Zatanna's father mistakenly turned into a puppet. Zatanna gives him the beneft of the doubt, but when she put's him on a Truth Serum he shows his true colors.
  • Perverse Puppet: What he was turned into.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Zatanna traps him in a barrel.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: When his puppet shows started going out of style.


An evil man who trapped a fairy, giving him powers to briefly rewind time.

  • For the Evulz: He's a petty man that uses his powers for horrible acts to entertain himself.
  • Fun with Palindromes: Zatanna resorts to using this to bypass his time rewinds messing up with her Sdrawkcab Speech spells.
  • Piss Take Rap: Engages in this, much to Zatanna's annoyance.
  • Time Rewind Mechanic: His sword allows him to do this, which is a problem to Zatanna, since her spells only work when spoken backwards.