BY JENNIFER "eiraM" CONTINO
In Seven Soldiers Zatanna
, the mistress of magic is reeling from the events of Identity Crisis
. Her magic powers aren't functioning as properly as they once did, she's confused about her place in the world, and isn't sure what the future holds. However, to keep her powers, she's decided to track down her father's lost journals and see if the answer to her problems lies within the pages of those tomes. Writer Grant Morrison is putting Zatanna through some hard times that have her questioning whether to remain a hero or leave this life for good.
Given her stage performer history, Morrison said it seemed natural for Zatanna to wind up on some kind of reality TV show. In fact, he originally wrote the entire first issue based on the "reality TV angle" but told THE PULSE
, "it just didn't fit with the way I wanted to develop the story and it was dropped."
"[On the reality TV series] she's detoxing from magic," Morrison continued. "Or, more specifically, she's detoxing from Identity Crisis
and events therein. The events of Identity Crisis
are fundamental to Zatanna's state of mind in this series, although we only mention them in passing. The Zatanna we're dealing with is one who's lost a lot of her confidence and direction, as well as her powers, so this series really charts her recovery from what went down in Identity Crisis
and beyond. This is a girl who's pissed off the Batman, and, as an Aquarius, she's really feeling the shame and guilt of having done something very wrong. As with everything else in Seven Soldiers
, of course, you don't even have to know about IC
to understand what's going down here."
Zatanna's not sure about her personal problems, but thinks most of her magical ailments will be solved if she can find and recover her father Zatara's magical journals. When asked where those journals previously appeared, Morrison couldn't recall, but is sure Zatara kept track of his growth in the occult arts. "All magicians keep a record of their progress, so I'm sure Zatara would have done the same," he said. "Otherwise, I'm making it all up, but I'll bet if I went back and read all those stories, I'd find Zatara's magical journals somewhere. That's what usually happens to me."
"I don't have much time for research, to be honest so all my knowledge of these characters is based on my old rotting comic book collection," continued Morrison. "I based Zatanna's magical journey in issue one on some of my own occult experiences and I threw in a bunch of classic DC
characters I remembered from my collecting days. I've also revived Zor, a classic Spectre villain from the '40s who makes a great antagonist for Zatanna. The bad dad. Zor is one of those cosmic mega-villains who's been forgotten so I'm hoping to develop him into a major league DC
bad guy. Research is for academics. Me, I'm just spilling my brains on the page with all the mess and majesty that entails, I'm afraid."
Another character he's returning is Etta Candy, who he had working on Wonder Woman's native island, Themyscira. "Etta from the Golden Age Wonder Woman stories turns up as the counselor in issue one and probably utterly contradicts her last appearance but there you go," said Morrison. "I don't think she was named, so no-one need know."
Morrison said the collaboration between himself, Mick Gray, and Ryan Sook is "fantastic." He said, "They've turned in an incredible looking book. I asked Ryan for some bizarre layouts in the first issue and he came through with such easy brilliance I was amazed. And his mastery of body language and expression is amazing."
Morrison views Zatanna as one of the most human characters in the superhero world. "She messes up," he said. "She feels bad. She's got a great sense of humor. She's been to the heights as a JLA member and when we start our book she's down in the doldrums. When we catch up with her Zee is down, but not out - and that's a great place to start a story. The Zatanna in this story is a lot more down to earth. She's had a hard reality check and is really rethinking her position as a superhero."
began in February's Seven Soldiers # 0
. There are seven four-part limited series being released on a bimonthly basis: Klarion: The Witch Boy, Zatanna, The Guardian, The Shining Knight, Frankenstein, Mr. Miracle
, and The Bulleteer
. Issues of Klarion, Zatanna, Shining Knight
, and The Guardian
are in stores now. Mr. Miracle
begins in September, Bulleteer
begin in November. The finale, in Seven Soldiers # 1
is scheduled to ship in April of 2006.
READ MORE HERE:
GRANT MORRISON 7 SOLDIERS PART ONE
GRANT MORRISON 7 SOLDIERS PT TWO: SHINING KNIGHT
GRANT MORRISON 7 SOLDIERS PT THREE: THE GUARDIAN
GRANT MORRISON 7 SOLDIERS PT FOUR: KLARION