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Zatanna: Everyday Magic

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Paul Dini
Artist: Rick Mays

Publisher: DC

Plot:
When her ex-boyfriend John Constantine comes calling looking for help, as he's gotten himself curse by power hungry Goth girl, we see Zatanna has to come up with a way to save John from eternal damnation, while at the same time trying to find a semblance of a normal life for herself.

Comments:
A very entertaining trip through Zatanna's corner of the DCU, and if nothing else it's wonderful to see Zatanna getting such a high profile project, as for the past decade the character's been stuck lurking about in the background. This one-shot is a very enjoyable romp through a world where magic use is an everyday affair, and Zatanna is delightfully ordinary in the way she uses her magic. I mean while I'm a fan of the overblown melodrama that normally comes part and parcel with a book that follows a magic user, there's something rather refreshing about the idea that Zatanna uses her magic to deal with potential boyfriends who prove to be inconsiderate clods, and the little scene in the final pages where she has some fun with the street hustler is a wonderful example of Zatanna's trivial magic use.

Plus it doesn't hurt that this book gives us a pretty good look at Zatanna the character, as we see her dealing with everyday problems such as her failed attempts to find true love, or an ex-boyfriend who comes to see her to help him deal with a curse that has his soul offered up as payment to a demon. As for the art, Rick Mays' work has a nice animated quality to it that works quite nicely when it comes to detailing the lighthearted nature of this material. Plus the art also is quite good at making these character's highly expressive, as how can one not love the look on Nimue's face as she absorbs part of Zatanna's life force.

Final Word:
One of the more enjoyable one-shots I've ever come across, and while I was a big fan of the character before this book came along, this issue has convinced me that the character could easily carry her own monthly series, and with Paul Dini at the helm I do believe the book would quickly become one of my favorites. I love the everywoman quality that this one-shot manages to instill into the character of Zatanna, as while she does cast numerous spells in this issue, and the book has fun playing in this "out of this world" environment, it also gives Zatanna a nice down to earth quality. From her amusing reaction when she discovers a naked John Constantine passed out on her bed, to the final sequence where we see her inability to live a normal life, this book proves to be a delightful character study. I also like the idea that the book plays up the idea that Zatanna enjoys the attention she receives when she's up on the stage performing, as this is an element of the character that has never received much attention.



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