Justice League of America #164 (March 1979) FN $3.00
I have a theory about Zatanna and her joining the Justice League of America in the late Seventies. The reason why she appeared on the cover more times than Hawkgirl did was due to sex appeal. Unlike Hawkgirl, Zatanna was not married. Unlike Wonder Woman, Zatanna did not have a boyfriend. (Although there was some flirting going between her and the Flash). Zatanna’s relationship status was the sort of thing that mattered to 12-year old boys who were the primary demographic for super-hero comic books. They did not want to see a married woman on the cover of a comic book (or so the editors at DC Comics thought).
The action on the cover #164 shows Zatanna struggling to break free from Superman and Wonder Woman in an effort to save her mother, Sindella. “Didn’t Zatanna’s mother die in a car accident when Zatanna was an infant?”, you may ask. The answer is: “No, she was abducted by her own people, the Homo Magus.” Issue #164 is the fourth issue in a six-issue story-arc that explores Zatanna’s origin story in depth and this includes her mother’s and father’s origin stories. Did Hawkgirl get this sort of treatment when she joined in 1977? Absolutely, not!
As for Hawkgirl, she appears in four panels and she is given a couple of lines to say.
From the solicitation: Join the world’s greatest superheroes on their most dangerous quest! “Murder by Melody!” is written by Gerry Conway, with art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin. Characters: Superman [Earth-1]; Batman [Earth-1]; Flash [Barry Allen]; Wonder Woman [Earth-1]; Black Canary; Green Lantern [Hal Jordan]; Elongated Man; Hawkwoman [Shayera Thal] (as Hawkgirl); Zatanna; Green Arrow [Earth-1]; Red Tornado (all as the Justice League of America/JLA); The Amazing Allegro (flashback); Zatara; Warlord of Ys (flashback); Sindella (flashback); Abaddon. Cover by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano. Cover price $0.40. Grade: Fine