Review: Zatanna #14

Published on June 28th, 2011

zatanna14Now, I’m going to warn you all right off the bat, this is kind of a gushing love letter to the creative team of Zatanna #14. I’m not saying that because one of my favorite writers in comics, Adam Beechen, was on this issue. I’m also not saying it because the cover was done by Adam Hughes (you’d have to be new to Comic Impact to not know how much I love him). I’m saying it, because this team, artists and all, were able to get me to LIKE the character of Zatanna! I know. When does that happen to me? Never is the answer to that question.

I think I liked Zatanna because she was snarky, sarcastic, and feisty. Even when the best writers are writing her, she always comes off as condescending and holier-than-thou to me. Luckily, one of the best sees things my way, and I was pleased to see that Beechen was able to get me on Zatanna’s team for once. Plus, he threw in Zachary Zatara (who I love to hate) in opposition to his cousin. Zachary gets into his normal antics, but this time a succubus is involved. That’s right – a succubus! Everyone loves a demon that preys on the stupidity of the opposite sex. At least, I know I do. On top of it all, Zatanna had to be clever in order to beat this demon. I feel like a lot of times, this book relies on creepy things and magic. Not saying it shouldn’t. The title character is a magician, after all. I just feel like there’s a lot of clever writing without a clever character. Beechen finds this amazing balance of using his talent as a writer to channel a more witty and resourceful version of Zatanna herself. If she was Beechen’s version every time, I might get behind reading this book with more regularity.

I don’t know how long this team will be on Zatanna, but I will take a moment to enjoy it while it lasts. I had a really amazing time with a version of this character that I was rooting for rather than just reading because it was there. I like the other writers’ versions fine. In fact, there have been some excellent people on the Zatanna books. However, Beechen gets me on her side for the first time ever, which is a feat no one else has accomplished. I hope to see many more awesome things from him, because I can’t stop talking about how much I love his books! Love letter complete. Are you all totally grossed out?

Susan Damon
Susan@ComicImpact.com