Today’s Super Comic — Zatanna #8 (2011)

Let me again lament how short-lived Paul Dini’s Zatanna series was. But better than nothing, I suppose.

Issue #8 kicks off a new storyline that forces Zatanna to confront her childhood fear of puppets, which apparently stems from a time her father, Zatara, made a serious error in judgment and went too far in stopping a bad guy. And now that old mistake is back to haunt his daughter.

Not only does it set up a good conflict that’s both internal and external, but it also fills in details about her life, past and present—something the character had been in need of for many years. (An amusing little flashback in this issue involves a Sesame Street guest appearance gone awry.) Here, she’s portrayed as a person first, magician second.

It’s always nice to see Zatanna get to be her own character rather than just the Justice League’s resident sorceress.

Writer: Paul Dini

Artist: Cliff Chiang

Cover: Stephane Roux

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Zatanna vol. 2: Shades of the Past (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up