"Book of Beginning"
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Ryan Sook(p), Mick Gray(i), Nathan Eyring(c)
An all around winner for Grant Morrison, Seven Soldiers of Victory continues to meet God's promises. You do all know that Grant Morrison is God, don't you? I thought so.
Zatanna is a mini-series that while linking up to the other Seven Soldiers of Victory books in subtle ways does not demand the reader follow every title. Though if you had the dough, why you wouldn't want to escapes me.
Zatanna calls on an old friend to help her exorcise the demon that took advantage of a moment of tipsy spell-casting. The interplay between Zee, her old friend and Zee's would-be apprentice Misty sings off the pages in a naturalistic fashion and belays the typical hokum of magic talk.
The characterization by Morrison beautifully honors the memory of these characters most of whom were introduced in the pre-Crisis, and he finishes off the big bad in the story with the exciting flourish that suits Zee's character.
Ryan Sook known for his work on the comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer gives a welcome light touch for this exploration in the occult and Promethea's Mick Gray brushes the luscious blacks that give the book an art noveau look. Nathan Eyring's colors starkly contrast the blacks of the inker and provide the whole project with noticeable accents.
The blind ever-so-sweet pre-Crisis character Cassandra Craft is possibly the closest thing the Phantom Stranger had to a lover. Their relationship strictly speaking was open to interpretation. Grant Morrison re-establishes the Phantom Stranger's fondness for Cassandra but trades the hot-pink mod outfit that was her signature for black.
Cassandra keeps a Sheeva--the dark faerie folk who have been plaguing the Seven Soldiers--preserved in a jar. It looks like the same one killed in Klarion.
One of the origins proposed for the Phantom Stranger was that he is in fact the Wandering Jew of Biblical myth. This is possibly the root of Grant Morrison's joke in which Cassandra says, "He certainly likes to wander."
Cassandra wears the Phantom Stranger's medallion: a sign of affection?
This is the second time that a die enters into one of Morrison's mini-series. Misty Kilgore's die is magical.
Ali-Ka-Zoom based on Zee's description fits the character in the second issue of Shining Knight. She also mentions the Newsboy Army--The Guardian's irregulars.
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