Comic book reviews for DC Comics’ Zatanna #1, Zatanna #2, and Zatanna #3 by Paul Dini
I think this is the first Dini comic where when I finished it, I wanted more. I can’t wait to read issue #2. I don’t know a lot about Zatanna, except for her basic story and powers, but Dini did an outstanding job with making me want to know more.
I was surprised to find that this comic seems to be going in a buddy cop direction, which I really like. A pleasant surprise. I like her partnered with Detective Dale Colton, who seems like an upstanding and practical guy. Just the type to be paired up with a character whose powers are magically based.
I was very pleased to see that Brother Night’s destruction lived up to Dale’s warnings to Zatanna about how gruesome the crime scene was going to be. It seemed to be more of a warning for the reader. The deaths of mobsters work well in that while they’re really horrific murders, Dini doesn’t overdo it by killing puppies.
My favorite part of this comic is how Zatanna immediately confronts Brother Night. She doesn’t waste time being scared of him. She doesn’t waste time making a plan. Zatanna just zaps herself to his lair, and then she proceeds to smartly take out his hence-people when they attack her. The plot is very nicely coherent for a new reader diving into Zatanna’s world.
My only complaint about this comic is Brother Night’s lair is a demon bdsm club. I don’t know if this was Dini’s direction or Roux’s artistic license, but bdsm needs to stop being a short-cut lazy way to express just how evil villains are. You know what made me know these villains were evil? How they killed an entire club full of mobsters and killed them very graphically, not because they’re into bdsm. Not to mention, Zatanna wears a fetish costume herself, so the book sends unintentional mix signals. Which is disappointing in an otherwise well-written first issue of what may be the start of a good series.
This was another excellent issue. I love what a forceful, confident person Zatanna is. I hope she remains so throughout the series, and Dini isn’t going to take this tale into a breakdown of her spirit. I do worry since Brother Night seems to be resurrecting her father to mess with her.
I love Zatanna taking a moment to help out Black Canary and Vixen, and then she turns down their offer for drinks because she’s too tired. Nice to have a little insert of realism into comic books. Running around all the time has to be tiring. Same with telling Mickey to stop the carpentry so she can get some shut-eye.
Which sets the perfect stage for Nightmare’s entrance. Dini does a good job at setting up Nightmare as very powerful by having him terrorize the neighbors. However, I do think Nightmare’s more subtle nightmares, such as a young girl being forced to give up her kitten to the pound by her stepfather, are more powerful than going full-force with demons biting Zatanna. A little too far when he knew better than to have Zatanna bring him into the real world. There she easily displaced of him, and perhaps she gave him his worse nightmare.
I also enjoyed the section with Dale and his detective skills. It’s nice to see human work in addition to the supernatural. And how Dale’s perhaps not as afraid of Brother Night as he should’ve been.
This comic is becoming rather awesome. Zatanna knows what she’s doing and knows how to use her skills. I always love character who use their brains as well as their powers. Likewise, I enjoy her team-up with Dale, because while Zatanna is the one to take down Brother Night, Dale isn’t running and hiding from him and isn’t going to be manipulated into backing off.
For an action-filled comic, the scenes were nicely paced. Roux’s does a great job with the art. I particularly love his page-layouts. The diamond-shapes bring a nice little reminder about Zatanna’s magical powers.
Zatanna has a lot of heart, and it’s really apparent when she saves her crew first. And that she takes the time to turn Mickey into her twin so Mickey can pull off the show Zatanna’s going to miss due to her fight with Brother Night.
I love Zatanna saving her father. I love her tears, while she maintains herself and her powers. A lesser hero would’ve folded under the emotional pressure of her/his father reappearing. The scene Zatanna has with him as she frees him, once again, is just lovely and perfect.
Zatanna’s take-down of Brother Night is likewise fitting. I love that she turns a powerless Brother Night into Dale, but knows that Brother Night will suffer more for the bargain he made with the devil.