Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day of Judgment Secret Files & Origins #1- Zatanna Profile Page (November, 1999)

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Here's a very valid question: why buy comic book reference in the year 2012? We have Wikipedia and Comic Vine and countless blogs being updated regularly with the latest developments. That's exactly the reason why. All those reference sources are doing their level best to cover the who-what-where of current continuity, revising and glossing over everything that came before. They're like nerdy kids who go away for the summer and come back with a buzzcut wearing skater threads and wanting to be called "Thrasher." These old references are a snapshot of a specific moment, warts and all. They may look kind of puffy, or the subject can't even fake a smile because their parents were going through a divorce.

Take Zatanna. There's that profile page where she was still trying to dress like Scarlet Witch, and she'd gotten all meta-kidnapped/raped/tortured by that Adam guy before she fell between the cracks of the DC Universe and only appeared in pre-Vertigo supernatural books. There's another one from after she was radically depowered and Dr. Mist was stalking her and she was in this terrible pants magician get-up with a batwing cape that she only ever wore, like, once. There's another one where she's kind of a half-assed wannabe riot grrrl in leather and boots with this staff thing. Last time I looked, she was going through a sad goth phase involving fishnet opera gloves.

I like this picture. This was years after she'd dealt with the deaths of her parents, but years before she was implicated in all those nasty mindwipes. She had gone back to wearing a variation of her original costume, itself a tarted-up girlie version of Zatarra's that by today's standards is just darling and quaint. She's back to being the slightly older girl-next-door, the big sister or object of unrequited crushdom, appearing in zany books like Impulse. She was back to being incredibly powerful and speaking backwards, but more mature and together than in her younger days. She was the one heroine powerful enough to truly hang with the "Sentinels of Magic" JLA of super-sorcerers DC tried to run with before settling on the Shadowpact.

She looks happy in this picture. I like this one. Good times.

The profile was written by Scott Beatty with art by Brian Denham.

Secret Files & Opinions

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