Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Zatanna: Everyday Magic

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of Zatanna: Everyday Magic (DC, 2003).

So I was talking the other day about Paul Dini's Madame Masque. Coincidentally, I pulled out an old DC project of his from the many boxes of comics that I no longer want, to give them one more airing before moving them along.

They don't seem to publish them very often anymore, but DC used to release these longer-than-usual comics, 48 pages in this case, under a heavier card cover and a spine binding. They're called "prestige format." There isn't anything prestigious about the story. It's an uninvolving entry from the publisher's Vertigo imprint with art by Rick Mays, an artist with whom I'm not familiar.

It's really in-one-eye and out-the-other stuff. Zatanna, a stage magician and superhero, is shown to be playfully promiscuous in a way that superhero ladies usually aren't. An old boyfriend, the popular character John Constantine, shows up for help removing a hex, leading Zatanna into conflict with another sorceress. It's all really unimaginative; drawn without the occasional bare butts, then the comic could have been an all-ages book published by DC's regular imprint.

I'm not sure why I bought it at all. Maybe Brian Bolland's cover swayed me, or maybe I was, then, hopeful of a regular Dini-scripted Zatanna series from Vertigo? I don't remember. Based on the evidence, this might have made an acceptable $3 comic, but not $6, and certainly not the $30 and up that some Amazon sellers want for their copies. Not recommended.

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