Power of Fishnets 14: Secret Origins

Ryan Daly reviews the original secret origin of Zatara and Zatanna from DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #5. Then, as a bonus/act of laziness, Ryan digs up audio from the first episode of Flowers & Fishnets (March 2015) to review the original secret origin of Black Canary from DC Special Series #10. Plus, listener feedback from episodes 12 and 13.

Let us know what you think! Leave a comment or send an email to: RDalyPodcast@gmail.com.

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Music: “Metal Firecracker" by Lucinda Williams; "It's a Man's, Man's World" by the Cast of Glee.

Thanks for listening! Evah a ecin yad!

9 responses to “Power of Fishnets 14: Secret Origins

  1. DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #5 was the very first DC digest I ever bought (or had bought for me). I was 5, and it opened up the history of the DC Universe to me like nothing else before, or since, actually. I mean, I got the origin of the JLA here! And this is definitely the first time I met Martian Manhunter. It was probably my first exposure to the Teen Titans as a team now that I think about it. Probably the first time I remember seeing Kirby’s art on that Demon story, and at the time, I couldn’t even follow it!

    Oh, and the Zatanna origin! Well, I’d already met Zatanna AND her dad from JLA #161, her initiation issue, but this was the first time I saw her fishnets, and that I heard of her famous search. It was why I just had to get that TPB when DC released it, and I was happy to see this story included.

    It is a bit lop-sided, being much more the origin of Zatara than his daughter, but like you said, Conway’s hands were tied a bit by the Zatanna we got in her introduction, and comic creators back in the day used to care about adhering to such things. Well, everyone but Bob Haney.

    Tanghal’s art is actually pretty close to what he did over in the Super Friends title at the time. He became the regular artist toward the end of that book’s run. So I think what you’re seeing as a retro-pastiche may just be his penciling style. As his art evolved and became more intricate and detailed, George Perez has said it was ill-served by Tanghal’s simplistic, open ink lines. That’s just kind of Tanghal’s thing, I suppose.

    I’ll forgive your “clip show” inclusion of Canary’s origin because I really liked the coverage the first time, I’ve always enjoyed the story, and I’m fond of that Secret Origins special. Plus, I wish I could figure out how to do a clip show on Super Mates!

    Now quit worrying about these gals in fishnets and go read some Batman comics!!!


  2. Thanks for discussing this origin as it ties in so nicely to the ‘Search’ story. As I’ve said before, I love JLA 161 but didn’t know all the back story until you covered it here. So know I have the whole thing!

    Glad this podcast will stick around in some form. I love both characters and learn a ton here. Can’t wait til you reach that JLA book.

    1. Taking Zatanna’s appearances chronologically, there are still nineteen more stories to cover before I get to Justice League of America #161. However, a number of those appearances are one or two panels out of the entire story; I’ll double- or triple-up on covering some of those to move faster.

  3. I’d forgotten the title of that BC origin, so that’s where Birds of Prey – a weird title for a book starring just one bird-ish bird – came from.

    Spot-on about Romeo Tanghal going for a Silver Age vibe with Zatanna – his usual style, as seen in the likes of the Flamebird and Nightwing series in Superman Family – was a tiny bit more dynamic. It’s always good to see Zee in her original tuxedo look rather than the ‘sexier’ versions requiring a inikib xaw – and why the excellent Gerry Conway thought JLA membership necessitated Zee adapting a new outfit, and an awful one at that, I’ll never know. Still, the second JLA costume with the bug head (I forget, was that a Heck or a Pérez?) was gorgeous, if she HAD to avoid her stage look, and the justification (time to be not my pa, not my ma, but me) worked.

  4. Oh, and I’m so jealous that Anj and Frank are getting to cover the Wonder Woman Adjudicator story. I was re-reading that only last year and would love to talk about it. Ah well, there’s always the comments section!

    1. We don’t have any fixed plans for it. Always a chance you can partake but not guaranteeing anything because, again, no fixed plans for when/how we’ll do it.

  5. Looking forward to complaining about Knightcast preventing more regular editions of Power of Fishnets! The Black Canary origin re-referenced here remains my favorite, even over the Alan Brennert. Still don’t particularly like any of the Zatara or Zatanna origin stories, which is why in a tangent universe I get to write my own.

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