The Search for Zatara and Joining the JLA (1964-1986)
Zatanna was introduced on a quest to find her missing father, an adventure that began in HAWKMAN #4 and wove through other titles like ADVENTURE COMICS, THE ATOM and ACTION COMICS. Her search brought her face to face with some of the DC Universe’s most famous Super Heroes.
Eventually, Zatanna learned her father had been stolen away to a mystical realm called Kharma by a sorceress named Allura (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #51, 1967). So Zatanna returned to her life as a traveling stage magician and Super Hero, teaming up with many of the friends and heroes she had met during her quest. In time Zatanna became a valuable member of the Super Hero community and was offered official membership in the JLA (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #161, 1978).
Following 1986’s CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Zatanna appeared in 1990’s BOOKS OF MAGIC limited series, in which she looked after a young boy named Timothy Hunter, who was destined to become the most powerful wizard in the world.
Later Zatanna resumed her responsibilities as a member of the JLA, aiding the team in magic-related incidents. One such occasion saw members of the League come together to elect a magical lobotomization of the villain Dr. Light, following his sexual assault of Sue Dibny, the wife of the Elongated Man. Zatanna was asked to perform the procedure in secret, prompting the events of 2004’s IDENTITY CRISIS, which drove a wedge into the League and resulted in a total breakdown of trust between Zatanna and some of her former teammates, including the Batman.
Over time Zatanna’s relationship with her fellow heroes began to mend. It was revealed that her father had been a mentor in escape artistry to Bruce Wayne and a friend of his late father, Thomas, which provided common ground between her and Batman. Despite the bad blood now between them, Batman still looked to Zatanna for aid when mystical crises came to Gotham, even trusting her to save the life of Catwoman after an attack by the villain Hush (2008’s “Heart of Hush”).
No longer an active member of the League, Zatanna joined the Sentinels of Magic, with whom she dedicated her time to protect the DC Universe from magical threats, all the while continuing her career as a public performer.
The New 52 (2011-2016)
Following 2011’s continuity-altering FLASHPOINT, Zatanna joined the mystically oriented Justice League Dark. In her new team, she helped defend the DC Universe from cosmic threats alongside other magic-based heroes like John Constantine, Swamp Thing and Etrigan the Demon.
Following the events of 2016’s DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1, Zatanna has enjoyed a renewed friendship with Batman, whom she has returned to Gotham City to assist. In her free time, she continues to operate as a magician and stage performer.