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  1. #196
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    In the 70's, Gerry Conway threw in some interesting ideas for Zatanna; her mother was named Sindella, she came from the Hidden City which was a city of Homo Magi secluded away somewhere in Turkey, if humans inter marry too much with the Homo Magi then the latter's magical gene would disappear in a few generations which was a fascinating idea, Sindella possessed a gem called the 'Medula Gem' and TPTB of the Hidden City wanted it so they can use her a living power source for their city and thus they faked her death. Sindella eventually sacrifices her life to save her daughter. The story ran from JLA #161-166. However, the execution of this story was lacking but there is interesting stuff that a smart writer could mine.
    Heh, I just posted on that recently. Not a fan.

    I will say, however, that the dad issues have probably been done too much. I know it's for angst. But it's like Vic Stone and his man-or-machine storyline, or Raven-and-Trigon/demonic-nature or Starfire-and-Tamaran. A good storyline. Once (well, actually, I didn't like Kory's or the mindwipe ones the first time, but they were successful, anyway). But with no other ideas, they just get repeated over and over.

    Zatanna has had more and less horror-themed stories at different times, it seems (I've just done done a little perusing of her comic stories over the weekend, but very much skimming bits here and there). I'm not a horror fan, and would probably skip a horror-based movie, but it's certainly not without precedent and is a reasonable tactic to take.

  2. #197
    Writer of Jack The Hunted Power Torch's Avatar
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    So, not in continuity of course, but it looks kinda fun. Here's some info about a young adult graphic novel for Zanata.
    https://bleedingcool.com/comics/alys...esend-details/

    Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend at NYCC

    There's more to the mobsters, mystics, and mermaids at the last stop on the D/F/N/Q trains: Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. Better known to locals as Gravesend.

    Zatanna's not your typical New Yorker. She walks her giant rabbit on a leather leash down the boardwalk, lives in a colossal architectural wonder known as the Golden Elephant, had her first kiss in the Haunted Hell Gate ride—and wouldn't have it any other way.

    But the time for having fun in Luna Park comes to an end when a mystic's quest for a powerful jewel unravels everything Zatanna thought she knew about herself and her beloved neighborhood. Mysteries and magic surround her as she reveals the truth about her family's legacy, and confronts the illusion that has been cast over her entire life.

    From the bewitching mind behind The Casquette Girls, Alys Arden, and with enchanting artwork by Jacquelin de Leon, comes the story of a girl stuck in the middle of a magical rivalry and forced to choose between love, family, and magic without hurting anyone…or worse.
    Looks kinda fun and cute, not really my thing, but I'm sure some young adults would like it. More people to learn about Zee the better lol.

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  3. #198
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Power Torch View Post
    Looks kinda fun and cute, not really my thing, but I'm sure some young adults would like it. More people to learn about Zee the better lol.
    Remember that DC's Ink line hasn't shied away from being dealing with dark or difficult themes in a serious manner. Both the Catwoman and the Oracle books are examples. So I think it's a bit too early to guess what themes and approaches the story will take yet, apart from that family will be involved in some way. And I guess it'll be some form of coming-of-age tale, but that's a mighty wide lane.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  4. #199
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Power Torch View Post
    So, not in continuity of course, but it looks kinda fun. Here's some info about a young adult graphic novel for Zanata.
    https://bleedingcool.com/comics/alys...esend-details/



    Looks kinda fun and cute, not really my thing, but I'm sure some young adults would like it. More people to learn about Zee the better lol.
    It's cool to see them giving Zee a young adult novel after House of Secrets. Looks like it'll be an interesting take .

    I like the art so far. Even those casual clothes are evocative of her normal look.

  5. #200
    Writer of Jack The Hunted Power Torch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    It's cool to see them giving Zee a young adult novel after House of Secrets. Looks like it'll be an interesting take .

    I like the art so far. Even those casual clothes are evocative of her normal look.
    Did you or anyone here read House of Secrets? I'm kind of curious to check it out.

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  6. #201
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Power Torch View Post
    So, not in continuity of course, but it looks kinda fun. Here's some info about a young adult graphic novel for Zanata.
    https://bleedingcool.com/comics/alys...esend-details/



    Looks kinda fun and cute, not really my thing, but I'm sure some young adults would like it. More people to learn about Zee the better lol.
    This looks great!

    I guess this takes place in a fantasy world where Gravesend, BK is in Coney Island!
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 08-03-2020 at 03:22 PM.

  7. #202
    Mighty Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Power Torch View Post
    So, not in continuity of course, but it looks kinda fun. Here's some info about a young adult graphic novel for Zanata.
    https://bleedingcool.com/comics/alys...esend-details/



    Looks kinda fun and cute, not really my thing, but I'm sure some young adults would like it. More people to learn about Zee the better lol.
    Girl on Zatanna's right looks like a toned down version of DCEU Harley Quinn.

  8. #203
    Mighty Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Power Torch View Post
    I would love to see some new female members added with Z and WW to the team. Raven would be cool, or Poison Ivy, or maybe someone like Talia even. Enchantress would also be cool too.
    I would prefer it be a magical character and not someone who is not used so frequently like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are. I like Enchantress and Raven.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    We had a discussion about the DC best buddies in the Justice League a while back, and one of the things that jumped at us was how poorly developed the friendships and relations were between DC's female characters. It's a little better when one leave the Justice League, but there is still a lot to be done.

    My impression of Zatanna is that she is a bit of a loner and mistrustful. Not because of her personality, but rather because of her experiences.

    Two candidates I think of Nightshade and Black Orchid. Especially Black Orchid would be interesting since it'd add another connection with Swamp Thing (assuming we are going with Susan Linden as Black Orchid) and provide a tie with Poison Ivy.
    I don't get the impression that she is a loner or is mistrustful of others even with bad experiences. Maybe bouts of depression and lack of confidence but it's something she gets over like Seven Soldiers. Being a more lighter character is how she stands out from DC's other magical heroes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I can agree to the idea that she should go through multiple outfits with fishnet themes, that make more sense to me than when they had to work that in for Black Canary, but I think it fits her character that she would wear a stage performance outfit as a hero because she is inherently a performer.
    One of the things I did think was a nice touch in her Nu52 outfit was the fishnet patterned sleeves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marik Swift View Post
    If this movie does end up getting made, I personally real hope they make it a horror.

    Maybe it's just me, but to me magic should generally be treated as some thing scary. Not always, but more times than not. That to me is part of the problem with how most writers handle Zatanna. She kind of just freely use one of the most convenient & powerful means of magic with barely any repercussions. We always hear characters talk about how magic has consequences from every magic user (Zee included), but we rarely see it except when it's plot convenient.

    I would dial back Zatanna's magic. Have it established that she can maybe use about 5 backward spells per day. After that, she needs to either use traditional magic (rituals and stuff) or invoke other entities (which would have a cost). Have her doing a lot more traditional magic in general.

    Overall, take more inspiration from the series Penny Dreadful or Salem, and less inspiration from Harry Potter or Charmed or whatever. Stay away from anything to do with her father. I love Zatara, but I'm tired of every Zatanna story being related to her dad somehow. Stay away from love interest if possible — Steve Trevor easily outshadowed Wonder Woman on her own movie, and Diana being some lovesick puppy over a man entirely missed the point of her character, so yea, keep that to a minimum. If you must cast a Constantine, make it clear he's 50+ also — Constantine being older than her is honestly the most interesting part of their relationship to me.

    I would also say make it an R rated movie, cause there should be a lot of graphic scenes with the horror setting (no nudity though, or if it does, none involving Zatanna as she needs to be taken seriously). R rated movies don't sell as well though, so they should probably only go for that rating if they are confident it can sell like Joker did.

    Her fishnets would probably get by with less scrutiny on an R rating also. Albeit while I do love her fishnets, I think she has had a nice enough repertoire of great costumes that only using one wouldn't do her justice, so yea, I think they should have her switching them as needed.

    Go for a noir/dark palette. Gotham style. Actually, the more I write this I realize this might have been the time of movie Zack Snyder might have excelled at if given a good script—he's not a bad director, just really bad writer.

    So yea, write it sort of like Penny Dreadful or the Haunting of Hill House (the single cam work in that was amazing).

    And most imoorranrlt. Pay Katie McGrath $50 million if necessary to get her to play the part. Give her blood. Give her your souls. I don't care what needs to be done. Do it.
    Well, this is the exact opposite of what I would want. Zatanna is an inherently lighter character. I don't mind the ocassional darkness but there should be a balance. Not pure horror.

    Dini kind of touched where she stood in the magical world in Zatanna #1 when he wrote her saying: "The world is a scary place. If I can show a friendlier side of magic it benefits everyone. Mystic or mortal".

    Plus, the DC mystic world is already filled with horror themed characters like Spectre, Rave, Enchantress, even Nightshade has a few...ummm, shades of this, Constantine, etc. There are many different types of magic ranging from Supernatural to Sabrina the Teenage Witch (classic version), the Chuthulu like beings that Dr Strange deals with and the body horror stuff. I think there is room for all kinds of stories. JLD's been doing horror for a long time now and it's time for something different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Agree with the emboldened in regards to Zatanna's father. A story beat I've gotten tired with Zatanna in the years has been plot lines surrounding Zatara being gone.
    Yep. I would like to see more focus on her relationship with Zachary. A female superhero/male side kick combo is rare.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Heh, I just posted on that recently. Not a fan.

    I will say, however, that the dad issues have probably been done too much. I know it's for angst. But it's like Vic Stone and his man-or-machine storyline, or Raven-and-Trigon/demonic-nature or Starfire-and-Tamaran. A good storyline. Once (well, actually, I didn't like Kory's or the mindwipe ones the first time, but they were successful, anyway). But with no other ideas, they just get repeated over and over.

    Zatanna has had more and less horror-themed stories at different times, it seems (I've just done done a little perusing of her comic stories over the weekend, but very much skimming bits here and there). I'm not a horror fan, and would probably skip a horror-based movie, but it's certainly not without precedent and is a reasonable tactic to take.
    The part about Homo Magi being fatally attracted to humans was bad but the part about the 'magic gene' disappearing in a couple of generations if they intermingle with humans is intriguing and opens up a lot of story telling possibilities. The Hidden City also gives her an additional setting she can call her own.


    I think that, much like the other characters you mentioned, the Dad thing gets brought up because it's so well known and it's an easy conflict to get but it's repetition is tiresome.

    Like I said above, I think magic has many varieties from light to dark. She's had a few horror stories and it makes sense to an extent but there are also times where she feels out of place in that setting.

  9. #204
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    The part about Homo Magi being fatally attracted to humans was bad but the part about the 'magic gene' disappearing in a couple of generations if they intermingle with humans is intriguing and opens up a lot of story telling possibilities. The Hidden City also gives her an additional setting she can call her own.
    I don't like additional setting of that sort, I admit. Just a personal preference. I don't even like WW spending so much time on Themyscira. I like the "real-world" locations for super-heroes. Again, just preference, no objective reasoning there, and I'm sure plenty love the idea of new, magical locations. The magic-gene (or magic species) doesn't really work for me, partially because of Zachary (on her father's side, still has powers even though they should be rare), but mostly because I find it unnecessarily complicated (with her mom) when she has a perfectly good magical dad to inherit powers from.

    I do think it helps a solo hero to have a good supporting cast and rogue's gallery (which only applies when one has their own title or section in an anthology, which doesn't happen anymore). It can be a weakness when team heroes go solo. Instead of just borrowing enemies from other characters (or copying with new family members, the way they do with Supers), they need to have their own created. Zatanna's had some effort made with professional colleagues, but they don't seem to stick. But I don't know that a movie is the best place to create new supporting characters or villains (could work with a series), and I do understand the draw power of another known name. Obviously, with team heroes, you build bonds between the team, and I've seen some neat suggestions here. I do think some of them just depend on the flavor you want (dark or light, all magic or standard superhero flavor). One thing I do dislike is when people want to demote other heroes sidekicks/support for their favorites, but fortunately haven't seen that suggested here.

    Really dislike her (or any hero) teaming up with villains and just pretending they aren't the murderers they are because of character-popularity. But comics have been doing it for decades and aren't going to stop because I dislike it.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 08-03-2020 at 04:08 PM.

  10. #205
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    Here is my pitch for Zatanna
    1. GET RID OF THE BACKWARD TALKING!!
    Or use it as less as you can.
    2. Magic is more like advanced science. It has rules. Any human can learn them but it requires a lot of training, practice, experience etc.
    3. Have an episode for each of the new tricks she learns or make her design props that are magical in nature. Use them as creatively as you can.
    4. Build a limited arsenal of spells for her. Spells that assist her but not solve the problem entirely. It should require an amount of physical effort. Im talking about stuff that happens in shows like Naruto.
    Last edited by Edwin30; 08-04-2020 at 05:12 AM.

  11. #206
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin30 View Post
    Here is my pitch for Zatanna
    1. GET RID OF THE BACKWARD TALKING!!
    Or use it as less as you can.
    2. Magic is more like advanced science. It has rules. Any human can learn them but it requires a lot of training, practice, experience etc.
    3. Have an episode for each of the new tricks she learns or make her design props that are magical in nature. Use them as creatively as you can.
    4. Build a limited arsenal of spells for her. Spells that assist her but not solve the problem entirely. It should require an amount of physical effort. Im talking about stuff that happens in shows like Naruto.
    Soooo, you actually don't want Z to be Zatanna.

  12. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Soooo, you actually don't want Z to be Zatanna.
    I want Zatanna to have her own solo stories that actually challenge her. It happens so many times in these magical stories that the writer writes himself into a corner and then he has to pull some deus ex machina to carry on.

    In Zee's stories, it can't even be called deus ex machina because she can do everything she can say backward.
    By limiting her powers, the writer can be more creative.
    Also the backward talking magic is more of a weakness than a strength. I can make a collage of the number of times she's been taken out before she can utter a word.
    Surely there must be other ways to do magic but she doesn't try them most of the times and other times her magic simply doesn't work because it might solve the problem instantly.

    I love Zatanna but the writers need to understand that when they make her do goofy stuff like stopping time, they are actually making me think why is anything a challenge to her.

    If i wrote her, I would mention beforehand that Zatanna has created a spell to stop time around an area for a few seconds. It took a few days to make that spell. Therefore it can't be used everytime. Or make the whole thing into a trap in which the target has to lured into by writing magical seals & glyphs on the ground.

    Zee has the potential to carry a solo comic on her popularity alone but DC never gives her a chance to be a serious solo character. Instead they think - "Uhh if we put Zatanna in this situation, what would be a creative way to gag her so other characters can be useful?"
    Last edited by Edwin30; 08-04-2020 at 08:24 AM.

  13. #208
    Mighty Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Zatanna by Darwyn Cooke


  14. #209
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin30 View Post
    I want Zatanna to have her own solo stories that actually challenge her. It happens so many times in these magical stories that the writer writes himself into a corner and then he has to pull some deus ex machina to carry on.

    In Zee's stories, it can't even be called deus ex machina because she can do everything she can say backward.
    By limiting her powers, the writer can be more creative.
    Also the backward talking magic is more of a weakness than a strength. I can make a collage of the number of times she's been taken out before she can utter a word.
    Surely there must be other ways to do magic but she doesn't try them most of the times and other times her magic simply doesn't work because it might solve the problem instantly.

    I love Zatanna but the writers need to understand that when they make her do goofy stuff like stopping time, they are actually making me think why is anything a challenge to her.

    If i wrote her, I would mention beforehand that Zatanna has created a spell to stop time around an area for a few seconds. It took a few days to make that spell. Therefore it can't be used everytime. Or make the whole thing into a trap in which the target has to lured into by writing magical seals & glyphs on the ground.

    Zee has the potential to carry a solo comic on her popularity alone but DC never gives her a chance to be a serious solo character. Instead they think - "Uhh if we put Zatanna in this situation, what would be a creative way to gag her so other characters can be useful?"
    One of the things I liked about Dini's series was the scenes where he showed her constantly practicing reciting different things backwards because it was so difficult to do, especially under pressure and one little mistake in doing so could result in someone getting hurt or killed. A better payoff would have been a scene where she messed up a backwards spell she hadn't practiced and the consequences of that, but if portrayed right, the backwards magic casting can be shown to have a price, be difficult, and not just be deus ex machina for every situation.

    There's no magic system that is foolproof in avoiding that. Any fictional magic system can be bad if written poorly, any magic system can be good if written well. It's about execution and consistency, unfortunately in assembly line work-for-hire comics there is often little consistency between one creative team and another in how things are executed especially when it comes to things mystical. The inconsistency in the portrayal of Zatanna's magic (and personality) over the years is a testament to that.

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  15. #210
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    I would love to get a collection of all the Zatanna Bronze Age back-ups that appeared in Adventure Comics, Supergirl, World's Finest and in other places...







    -M
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