Current Reviews


Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1

Posted: Friday, April 15, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell

"Talking Backwards sdrawkcaB gniklaT"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Ryan Sook
Inks: Mick Gray
Colors: Nathan Eyring
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Publisher: D.C. Comics
$2.99 U.S. / $4.00 CAN

The book opens with Zatanna at a support group meeting for wannabe super-heroes, and needless to say the others are a bit dubious that a member of the Justice League of America could have any real problems. However, as she shares her story, they soon discover that Zatanna has a pretty serious problem, as when she recently embarked on a fact finding mission with a group of magic users, she discovered the threat the endangers the entire planet is partially her creation. To make matters even more complicated, we see this encounter looks to have robbed her of her ability to cast spells.

Zatanna has always been a sentimental favourite of mine ever since her time in the Justice League of America, as I can still remember hold my comics up to the bathroom mirror to figure out her spells. I've also become rather fond of the show business element that has been added to the character in recent years, as frankly having a character use their abilities for monetary gain tends to be frowned upon, so I've always been rather fond of characters who manage to perform this moral balancing act (e.g. Peter Parker and his Spider-Man photos, Luke Cage and his Hero for Hire business). In any event getting to the actual issue I have to say Grant Morrison does a pretty good job of inserting Zatanna into the Seven Soldiers story as based on this first issue it would appear that she's going to be right on the front lines of this impending invasion, and this issue does offer up a intriguing suggestion that this approaching evil might be the result of a recklessly cast spell that Zatanna sent out into the world. Now Grant Morrison did lose me during the dimensional hopping sequence, as there are times when I get the feeling like Grant Morrison is offers up these head scratching moments simply to reaffirm his position as a writer who will travel down paths that no other writer would've even considered, but it's also possible that there is some deeper meaning to be found in those pages, and I'm simply haven't invested enough attention into the metaphysical arena to grasp it. In any event this was a pretty entertaining start out of the gate and there's a couple genuine surprises in this issue that left me quite curious about where Grant Morrison plans on taking this story. I do wish he had done a better job of detailing how Zatanna lost her ability to cast spells though, as this information felt like it was simply dumped into the story as an afterthought.

I just finished reading the "Arkham Asylum: Living Hell" trade, and while I picked it up largely based on the strength of Dan Slott's work on "She-Hulk" I have to say Ryan Sook's work played a huge role in my enjoyment of that miniseries' big climax, as his work did an amazing job when the more hellish elements started to manifest. This in turn leaves me quite excited that he looks to be on board for this miniseries, as Zatanna's entire world involves her dealing with the supernatural. Now this issue certainly gets everything off to an impressive start, as Zatanna and her small group of allies embark on a wonderfully bizarre journey through the various dimensions, and there's some lovely visual touches, from the fantastic double page shot where we see the group jumping from one panel to the next, to the amazing reveal shot where we discover what happened to the others when Zatanna returns to her home dimension. That cover image is also a lovely piece, though I have to confess red-eyed rabbits have always creeped me out.

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