In this latest issue of the vastly underrated Zatanna series we find our heroine dealing with her most personal fear; puppets. Being a character of mystical and magical origins it is fairly obvious that she would have crossed paths with many puppets in her days as she is after all a stage magician when not partaking in super hero activities.
Writer Paul Dini uses the offices of a mystical therapist named Dr. Jana Brodie to try and dig to the root of this peculiar fear of Zatanna’s. In doing so we as readers get to glimpse a bit of Z’s childhood and learn that as a young girl she and her father were confronted with a mysterious and shadowy murderer. But, for some reason Zatanna has blocked access to this memory and seeks the aid of the dream demon Fuseli in order to have these blocks lifted.
Eventually we do get the answers as to just why puppets get Zatanna’s fishnets in a wad and the continuity that Dini manipulates pays homage to some of the elements that were found in the Identity Crisis mini series from a few years ago.
The feel of this book definitely ratcheted up the sense of magic and mysticism and the events that accounted for the story only served to enhance that feeling. Paul Dini once again conjures up a genuinely engaging plot that manages to delve into the main character’s psyche and make her more of a human figure. You get a hint of the human side of Ms. Zatara and her insecurities and weaknesses as opposed to the stereotypical superhero that more often than not seems impervious to such personality traits. All along artist Cliff Chiang manages to compliment the tone of this book and story with his strong art work, which to me seemed reminiscent of Bill Sienkiewicz; which is a huge compliment to bestow upon any artist.
Zatanna up to this point has been a thoughtfully constructed and enjoyable series. Paul Dini and company have deftly created a title which is easily accessible to readers whether you have a deep knowledge of DC history or just prefer to dabble on occasion. Zatanna is definitely worthy of taking a chance on and I for one would love to see this book have a nice long run.