Monday, October 25, 2010

Zatanna #4, #5 and #6 - DC

Stephane Roux is still doing the covers for these books. But apparently she's given it a rest at doing the interior art. Issue #4 and #5 are done by Chad Hardin and Wayne Faucher. But they still have pretty much the same feel as Stephane's stuff. Overall I like the feel of these books. I'm just not sold on Zatanna being a lead character. Yes she's a of the normal super-hero genre. She's got the whole magical/mystical thing going for her. But . . to me, she's just nowhere close to being in the company of somebody like Dr Fate, or Doctor Strange. I mean, sure she can pretty much do whatever she wants just by saying things backwards, but . . that just seems kind of limited to me. Can she do spells and incantations? Or has she just never really thought about it because of the way her powers work? I guess, to me, the fault of this character lies in that she's never really been fully explored. To my knowledge, no writer has really dug in to what exactly it is that Zee can and can't do. What are her limits? Sure she's a pretty face, and apparently someone who can think pretty fast on their feet. But it just seems like there could be so much more to her. Anyways, in these issues, Mammon is after Zee's soul. There's this guy who pretty much runs Vegas . . Sonny Raymond. Apparently he made a deal with Mammon, many years ago . . 1947, specifically . . where if he keeps feeding Mammon souls, his life, power, and wealth will be extended. So he's been giving him wives, business partners, co-workers, employees . . pretty much anybody he can get his hands on, and feeds them to Mammon. So, apparently, Mammon has seen Zee . . and seen what a pure soul she has, and tries to up his deal with Sonny. He offers him immortality, and release from his contract, for her soul. Of course Zee has other plans for her soul. And she's not going down without a fight. We also get the reintroduction of Zee's cousin in these issues, Zachary. We haven't really seen much of his character, since he made his brief stint in Teen Titans. Well . . I take that back. I think he's one of the characters in the 'Coven of Three' back-up story that's been running in Teen Titans. Anyways . . he's probably the least explored character of this family. And given the least attention. Which he's more than willing to point out to Zee. So, to make a long story short, of course Zee beats Mammon, and Sonny ends up losing his soul. But not in the way we expect. He'd rather be a soulless object than to be tortured for eternity in hell, so he convinces Zee to give him just that. She turns him in to a giant brick of gold. Mammon loses his soul. But Zee convinces him that this is even better, because . . being a demon-lord of Avarice, displaying this large hunk of metal in Vegas is only going to appeal to the masses sense of greed and lust. Which feeds right into the emotions that Mammon desires. So he gives up on Zee. For now. But I'm sure she hasn't seen the last of him. Anyways, I thought Paul Dini introduced a couple of neat ideas during this story. First we see the Royal Flush Gang re-imagined. Seeing that they're in Vegas, they take on the persona's of the Rat Pack, rather than their usual motif. Also, when Zee's voice is disabled, we see that she can use her powers by writing down her words, rather than saying them. If that's true then she should also be able to cast her spells by thinking them. Right? I think that's something that Paul could explore. Then, I think I like the introduction of Zachary to this series. Face it, solo books aren't really solo books anymore. Batman has his bat-family. Superman has his family and loved ones. Heck, even Wonder Woman has a huge supporting cast now. So let's give Zee one. All she really has is her father, Zatarra, and Zachary. But neither of them are around very much. I think Paul should explore those family ties a little more. And overall I think we should explore Zatanna's character much more. What makes her tick? What are her limits? How do her powers really work, and is the backwards thing just for show, or is that really the only way she can make her spells work? There's just so much more we can explore here, and so much more possibility. To me, this would be an exciting character to write. Nothings ever really been done with her. Her story is pretty much an open book. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how far Paul takes that. By the way, Jesus Saiz does the art for issue #6. And Brian Bolland does the variant covers.

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