This is just about as perfect as a single issue that is the third installment of a story in an ongoing series can get. Even though it is part three of three, this issue is open and welcoming, the plot is summarized, the characters introduced and the story advanced without any obstructive pandering to past events, burdensome character introductions, or unnecessary villainous monologued exposition.
Dini has been writing an enjoyable, entertaining book with “Zatanna” featuring a fun, relatable character who isn’t solely defined by her costume, dating relationship, or physical attributes. Zatanna is approachable and believable. The magic that has so painfully defined and restricted her under the pen of other writers is a part of who she is, but it is not all that she is any more than my day job is all that I am.
Through mystic events from previous issues, this issue offers a peek into Zatanna’s head as she approaches the altar to wed Sonny Raymond (who, in reality, is Benny Raymond, the guy whose son he is pretending to be as he attempts to retain his grasp on immortality). Sure, it’s a magic-induced, warped vision of reality, but it is a reality of a fashion that defines who Zatanna is and what she deems important. Her trance is snapped by her cousin, who Dini uses to effectively introduce us to and through Zatanna’s world.
All the way throughout, Saiz’s art is classical. He’s able to take a dream wedding and juxtapose it with the undead, but neither facet looks out of place, even next to one another. Saiz’s art is some of the cleanest, most detailed in the business today. Saiz does a magnificent job of filling in on this issue, so much so that I implore DC to make this shift permanent. “Zatanna” is a perfect vehicle for Saiz’s immense talents. The real, unreal, and surreal all blend together in every issue. Kalisz’s colors have always struck me as muted and earthy, but in this issue, with Saiz’s clean artwork to contain them, Kalisz’s colors sing. This is easily the best looking issue of this young series.
DC has a hidden gem here. Although Zatanna is a Justice Leaguer, guest star on “Smallville,” and connected in one way or another to virtually every hero in the DC Universe, she doesn’t command a legion of fans, nor does she produce a slew of sales. She does, however, star in one of the most invigorating comics on the stands today. Every issue brings a surprise, some fun, some drama, and something to remember until the next. This issue is a wonderful sample of that.