I recently discovered Hoopla, the service that allows you to use your local library card to read comic books for free. It is like your loitering in the corner bodega reading comic books by the rack until the guy at the counter yells, “Get outta here! This ain’t a library!”. Except that no one ever yells at you. You get to read 10 books per month and you have 21 days to read each book. Collections normally contain about a dozen or more comic books.
What Hoopla has to offer is an enormous collection of recently published TPB collections of series and books from all ages of DC comic book multiverse.
This past month, I read:
Zatanna by Paul Dini (2017) by Paul Dini, Derek Fridolfs, Adam Beechen
Illustrated by Cliff Chiang, Chad Hardin, Stephane Roux, Jesus Saiz
440 print pages
Collects Zatanna #1-16 and the one-shot Zatanna: Everyday Magic #1.
The books were published under DC’s Vertigo imprint. Vertigo was created in 1993 to publish stories with more “graphic” or “adult” content that could not fit within the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, thus allowing more creative freedom than DC’s main imprint.
Zatanna contains some mild sexual and drug references, but other than that it was pretty tame.
I am interested in the Zatanna character because she first appeared in Hawkman #4 in 1964. For a few years in the late Sixties, she was in search of her father, Giovanni “John” Zatara. He was one of the famous magicians of the golden age. Zatara made his debut in the same book as did Superman, Action Comics #1 (1938). Her father had disappeared but unknown to Zatanna her father had been taken from our dimension by the evil extra-dimensional entity Allura.
Her story-arc went through five different series. After she was “The Girl Who Split in Two” in Hawkman, she was next seen in Atom #19 in 1965. Then in 1966 she appeared in Green Lantern (Volume 2) #42, wherein she causes Hal to recite the Green Lantern oath backward. Also, in 1966 she was in Detective Comics #355 where Zatanna and Elongated Man teamed up. Her story culminated in Justice League of America #51 in early 1967. She became a member of the JLA in 1978. From then on, she was on almost every cover until the end of JLA.
I give the art in Zatanna by Paul Dini an A+ and for the writing, I give it an overall B.
Here are some of the covers in this collection