Monday, January 31, 2011

Bullet Review: Zatanna #9

When the Zatanna comic was first solicited, I thought for sure it would be on my buy list. It sure had the talent to grab me.

The writer was Paul Dini, whose work I have always loved. His stuff on the animated Batman series and his work with Alex Ross (especially Superman:Peace on Earth) was great. And the artist was Stephane Roux. I really loved Roux' cover work on Birds of Prey.

With that confluence of talent, I was ready to embrace the title. I bought the first two issues and I while I thought they were fine, they didn't grab me. While Zatanna has the potential to be a very interesting character (I thought the Morrison/Sook Seven Soldiers:Zatanna mini-series was fantastic), she isn't someone that I necessarily would seek out. So despite the creative team, it was going to take something fantastic to grab me.

Unfortunately, the first two issues just didn't grab me enough. I hadn't purchased it since.

Still ... it seemed in some ways wrong that I wasn't collecting it. I wondered if I might be missing something because the talent was there. I debated picking it up again.

Then I heard Jamal Igle was going to take over the book soon and I figured that was enough to put the book back on the pull list. Zatanna #9 came out last week ... a sort of nexus of creators that I love. The cover is by Stephane Roux. I don't know about the top hat symbol or the 'missing shins' (Are her legs bent at the knee behind her? Or simply not included?) but overall it is a nice piece. Dini writes the main story with Cliff Chiang doing the art. (Why is Cliff Chiang not on a monthly title??) And Adam Beechen and Jamal Igle do the back up story.

Since it was Igle's art that spurred me to buy this issue, I'll bullet review that story.

It is a cute story about a young Zatanna, a junior sorceress dealing with getting braces.

The braces have just been put on so Zatanna isn't quite used to them. As a result, she can't speak coherently and is spewing drool when she does talk. It's hard to speak backwards magic when your mouth is betraying you.

While relaxing at the mall after her dentist appointment, Zatanna tries to foil a robbery.

I had to post some of my favorite panels of this story, just a reminder of what I'll be missing over on Supergirl.

I love this first panel as Zatanna enjoys her milkshake. You just get the sense that she is loving that drink, almost hugging it to her, smiling.

And a pretty amusing spit-take.

As I said, she can't speak clearly and is flinging drool all over like a rabid dog.

Igle does a good job of showing a variety of feelings on those people who Zatanna has drenched.

I also love this trip back in time to the 80s. The 'Blossom' hat, the Frankie Goes to Hollywood t-shirt. I know all I need to know about when this story is happening.

When Zatanna can't stop the thief physically, she figures out a way to use her magic, an old school 'speak-and-spell' like toy.

But the thing that works her is the devilish look on Zatanna when she knows she is about to win. As usual, Igle really is able to convey so much information with his character's facial expressions.

With the toy she is able to use her magic, creating a cage out of her braces. It is so ludicrous, it works. This is supposed to be a light-hearted tale.

It also gives a look into the mindset of the young hero. Basically powerless, she still tried to save people.

Sort of a silly story. Enjoyable and light ... like lemon meringue. And I read it to the supergirls at home and they loved it. Still, why not just say 'hteet nethgiarts'?

I will add that the main story by Dini/Chiang is very good with Zatanna dealing with a living ventriloquist's dummy, someone cursed to that existence by Zatara.

So I guess Zatanna is back on the buy list. Anyone been reading this title all along? Is it worth grabbing the issues I am missing?


Gene said...

Anj wrote:
"With the toy she is able to use her magic, creating a cage out of her braces."

I wish my orthodontist was alive today so he could see that.

Anonymous said...

This is the reason I miss Jamal on SG! Plus, I had braces so I know what Zee was going through...-ealperin