Zatanna (DC Comics)

Zatanna Zatara is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson, Zatanna first appeared in Hawkman vol. 1 #4 (October–November 1964). The character, both a stage magician and a real magician like her father Giovanni "John" Zatara, is known for her involvement with the Justice League, her retconned childhood association with Batman, and her crossing of the Vertigo line with characters such as romantic partner John Constantine and protégé Timothy Hunter. She was ranked fourth in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.

Publication information

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
First appearance: Hawkman vol. 1 #4 (October–November, 1964)
Created by: Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson

In-story information

Alter ego: Zatanna Zatara 
Notable aliases: Primak, The Mistress of Magic, The Princess of Prestidigitation, Zee, Z, Zanna, Zanny, The Magic Maid, Zorina
Relatives: Giovanni "John" Zatara (father, deceased), Sindella Zatara (mother, deceased), Zachary Zatara (cousin), Leonardo da Vinci, Cagliostro, Nicholas Flamel, and Nostradamus (all paternal ancestors)

Affiliations: Batman, Ali-Ka Zoom, Allura (Earth-One), Aquaman, Artemis Crock, Batgirl, The Flash, Black Canary, Black Lightning, Blue Devil, Bunny, Cassandra Craft, Catwoman, Dale Colton, Deadman, Nightwing, Hector Hall, Doctor Mid-Nite, Doctor Occult, Doctor Thirteen, Doctor Light, Elongated Man, Enchantress, Firestorm, Freddy Freeman, Gimmix, Gypsy, Green Lantern, Henry Heywood III, Hardware, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Hawkwoman (Earth-One), Ibis the Invincible, Amentep, John Constantine, Kathy Sutton, Prince Ra-Man, Madame Xanadu, Mary Marvel, Misty Kilgore, Phantom Stranger, Prowley, Ragman, Atom, Red Tornado, Rip Hunter, Rocket, Sargon the Sorcerer, David Sargent, Spectre, Steel, Sue Dibny, Supergirl, Superman, Black Orchid, Taia, 
The Chief, Tim Hunter, Timothy Ravenwind, Tong, Girl 13, Vanguard, Vibe, Vixen, Wally West, Doc Magnus, Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman

Team affiliations: Seven Soldiers of Victory, Justice League, Sentinels of Magic, Justice League Dark, All-Star Squadron (Earth-Two), Justice League of Apostles, Secret Seven (Flashpoint)
Enemies: Abnegazar,  Allura (Earth-One), Angle Man, Arthur Light, Backslash, Brother Night, Cain, Circe, Darkseid, Deathstroke, Remoni-Notra, Despero, Doctor Destiny, Doctor Gotham, Doomsday, Doctor Zodiac (Earth-One), Enchantress, Felix Faust, Film Freak, Film Freak II, Fuseli, Ghast, Harm, Johnny Sorrow, King Shark, Lex Luthor, Lobo, Lord Satanus, Madame Zodiac, Frances Kane, Mammon, Nebiros, Nebula Man, Nimue Ravensong, Oscar Hampel, Poison Ivy, Prometheus, Proteus (Earth-One), Rath, Tempter, The Key, The Top, Trigon, The Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist, Warlock Of Ys, Zor, Romalthi the Shaper, Satin Satan (Earth-One), Shrike III, Boone, Manuel Carlito

Abilities: Skilled and powerful user of magic
Base Of Operations: Mobile, Formerly Shadowcrest; Justice League Watchtower


Alignment: Good
Identity Secret: Secret
Race: Homo magi
Citizenship: American
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Magician, Entertainer


Gender: Female
Height: 170.18 cm
Weight: 58 kg
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black
Unusual Features:
Age: 29, if you ask her


Origin: Zatanna is a Homo Magi, descended from a family of high-level magical practitioners, and the daughter of two very powerful magic users.
Universe: Earth-One, New Earth 



Zatanna Zatara is the daughter of 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.

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.

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.

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 among 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.

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.

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".

They also investigated the murder of one of Zatanna's former employees, who died while performing in one of Loxias's shows. When they find Loxias, he reveals that he is not, in fact, who they think he is. He's the Joker. The Joker shoots Zatanna and locks her in a tank of water. He manages to get the upper hand on Zatanna and Bruce at first, but Bruce breaks the stage chair he was tied to in order to free Zatanna from the tank Joker put her in. Afterwards, Bruce stays along side of her while she rested through the night. This suggests he still has feelings for her. When Zatanna asks why they didn't start a deeper relationship, Batman states while he does want to open everything to her, he doesn't want to bring her into his dark world. They both depart in a friendly state.

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.

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 shape shifter 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 acts as a reserve member of the Justice League, aiding them from time to time when her magical expertise is needed. 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


  • Magic: 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.
    • Elemental Control
      : With her magic Zatanna has shown a great affinity to manipulate the elements of the Earth.
      • Pyrokinesis: Generation and Control of fire
      • Aerokinesis: Generation and Control of Air
      • Geokinesis: Control of Earth/Rock
      • Hydrokinesis: Generation and Control of Water
      • Cryokinesis: Generation and Control of Ice
      • Photokinesis: Generate and manipulate magic lights.
      • Umbrakinesis: Generate and manipulate magic shadows.
    • Telekinesis: Zatanna can move/obtain objects at a distance with her spells.
    • Telepathy: Zatanna can use her magic to manipulate the minds of others. She has displayed the following abilities.
    • Teleportation: Able to teleport herself and/or others to anywhere she desires.
    • Dimensional Travel: Zatanna can travels through dimensions through portals she opened with magic.
    • Reality Alteration: She can manipulate reality at will to inflicts confusions and mental trauma on her target.
    • Antipathy: Zatanna can reverse physical trauma so all damage that comes to her will hit her target instead.
    • Deflection: Zatanna can return energy projections sent to her back to their source without loss of momentum or power.
    • Chronokinesis: Zatanna can move time fowards or backwards or even stops time in demand.
    • Weather Manipulation: Zatanna can control and affects the weather in a certain area.
    • Eldritch Blast: Zatanna can blast enemies with mystical energy.
    • Energy Construct Creation: Zatanna can use her magical energies to create inanimate objects such as traps or devices to suit her needs.[5][6][9][12]
    • Energy Transference: Zatanna once forced a "nightmare" demon into the dreams of hundreds of people to split him apart then locked him away in her hat.[13][5][14]
    • Flight: Zatanna can fly or levitate however she says that this requires a lot of energy and concentration and therefore she chooses not to fly if possible.[6][15][10]
    • Force Field: Zatanna can create magical shields to withstand bullets, blasts, blows and explosions. The greater the size or density of the shield the more effort it takes Zatanna to hold.[5][9]
    • Healing: Zatanna can heal herself or whoever she'd like from most injuries.[5][3]
    • Phasing: Zatanna can make herself into her "phantom form" and become intangible.[3]
    • Size Alteration: Zatanna can increase or decrease her size or the size of others to any conceivable size.[5]
    • Transformation: Zatanna can turn anything into anything else, essentially. For instance, she has turned bullets into paper airplanes[12] as well changing her clothes instantly.[4][8] Most often she changes violent objects into harmless things.


  • Prestidigitation: Zatanna is skilled in stage magic, performing simple tricks and elaborate illusions.
  • Hypnosis: Zatanna can hypnotize anyone and command them to do anything she pleases.
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced)
    : Zatanna has received extensive training from her time with the Justice League and from her father who always told her to rely on her wits as well as her fists should her magic fail.
  • Occultism: as Chronicler of Magic she possesses an extensive understanding of Occult lore due to her Mystic Background
  • Multi-lingual: Able to speak English, Spanish, 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.
  • Vulnerability to Magic: Powerful enchantments against beings of magic, like gods, are able to restrict her as well, preventing her from accessing enchanted places or dispel the adverse charm.



  • 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.
  • Magician's hat: She can project energies/things out from her hat or even take out any equipments she needs. The hat can also be used as a portal or a dungeon to capture and trap her target in it for as long as she wants. It is also unknown if its just a stage prop or a focus for her power. And just like her wand, she doesn't need it in order to use her magical powers.