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"What do you care about some leggy dame in nylons? Or have I answered my own question?"[2]

Zatanna Zatara was a magician and stage performer with real magical powers and a close friend and ally of Batman, who joined the Justice League after the Thanagarian invasion.


The daughter of the famous stage magician and escape artist Zatara, Zatanna joined him on tour as his assistant when she was a teenager, and also became good friends (as well as possessing a crush) with his student "John Smith", who was actually Bruce Wayne during his training to become a crime fighter.

After her father's death, Zatanna became a talented stage magician in her own right. For the finale of a show in Gotham City, she made the contents of the Gotham Mint disappear, to show up magic debunker Montague Kane. Unfortunately for her, Kane had not only seen through her trick, but was a thief, and stole the money while framing her for the crime. She was freed from custody and assisted in bringing Kane to justice by Batman, whom she recognized as her friend from long ago. When the adventure was concluded, Zatanna disappeared in a puff of smoke; leaving behind a note written on a handbill from her show wherein she acknowledged that she remembered him as John Smith. She expressed her sadness at the course his life had taken and told him not to forget to write.[2]

Sometime later, she developed or discovered genuine magical powers, which she used to aid the Justice League, and occasionally sprinkled in with her normal stage tricks. It also became apparent that at some point, she found out Batman's real name as Bruce Wayne. After Wonder Woman was turned into a pig by Circe, Batman approached Zatanna for help, and she assisted him in tracking Circe down and reversing the spell. She was moved by Batman's song and was happy with his gratitude at her help.[6]

During Darkseid's last invasion of Earth, Zatanna was one of many League Members called to help fight the invading Apokoliptian forces, and afterwards to pursue and capture the remaining members of the Legion of Doom.[8]

Many years later, an elderly Bruce Wayne included her among a small group of women whom he remembered as special to him.[9]

Powers and abilities[]

  • Stage Magician: Even before she discovered magical powers, Zatanna was an illusionist with no apparent magic powers.
  • Magic: Sometime before This Little Piggy, Zatanna gained magical powers which she used to help preform her stage tricks. She can cast an incredible number of spells, which she usually does by speaking backwards as a tribute to her father. However, the backward speaking is not always necessary for her to cast spells. Speaking backwards is as easy for her as it is to speak forwards. Zatanna has shown great control of her magic ability, which extends to an ability to elemental sorcery. She can’t however undo powerful spells that were cast by sorcerers like Circe.

Background information[]

  • In the comics, both Zatanna and her father, Zatara, have real magical powers, and most of their spells are performed by speaking words backwards. In her first animated appearance, in Batman: The Animated Series, she was portrayed as an ordinary magician, though she did say "Arba Dakarba" ("Abra Kadabra" backwards) during her show in Gotham. During her appearances in Justice League Unlimited, she displayed her powerful magic.
  • Both of Zatanna's major appearances in the DCAU were written by Paul Dini. On the commentary to "This Little Piggy", Bruce Timm and others joked that Dini was secretly in love with Zatanna for years. In real life, Dini went on to marry Misty Lee, a magician.


Batman: The Animated Series

The New Batman Adventures

Batman Beyond

Gotham Girls

Justice League Unlimited

See also[]


  1. Uncredited writer & Uncredited director (June 5, 2001). "Hold That Tiger". Gotham Girls. Season 2. Episode 12 (airdate). Episode 12 (production). WB Network.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Dini, Paul (writer) & Sebast, Dick, Riba, Dan (directors) & (February 2, 1993). "Zatanna". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 50 (airdate). Episode 54 (production). FOX Kids.
  3. Uncredited writer & Uncredited director (September 7, 2000). "A Little Night Magic". Gotham Girls. Season 1. Episode 05 (airdate). Episode 05 (production). WB Network.
  4. Berkowitz, Stan (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (July 31, 2004). "Initiation". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 1 (airdate). Episode 1 (production). Cartoon Network.
  5. Gotham Girls
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dini, Paul (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (August 28, 2004). "This Little Piggy". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 5 (airdate). Episode 6 (production). Cartoon Network.
  7. Berkowitz, Stan (story) & McDuffie, Dwayne (teleplay) & Riba, Dan (director) (May 28, 2005). "The Balance". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 18 (airdate). Episode 18 (production). Cartoon Network.
  8. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (May 13, 2006). "Destroyer". Justice League Unlimited. Season 2. Episode 13 (airdate). Episode 39 (production). Cartoon Network.
  9. Dini, Paul (writer) & Tucker, James (director) (October 21, 2000). "Out of the Past". Batman Beyond. Season 3. Episode 5 (airdate). Episode 44 (production). Kids WB!.

External links[]