Power of Fishnets 27: New-Look Zatanna

Ryan Daly welcomes Fire and Water All-Star Chris Franklin and medical advisor Dr. Anj to cap off Zatanna's road to the Justice League by covering Justice League of America #161. The Saucy Sorceress gets a brand new costume, and she might finally join the World's Greatest Superheroes... assuming they can stop the dreaded Warlock of Ys!

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Music: “Sweet Talkin' Woman" by Electric Light Orchestra

Thanks for listening! Evah a ecin yad!

12 responses to “Power of Fishnets 27: New-Look Zatanna

  1. Great episode! This issue is one of my favorites, but then I always loved “new member” issues of JLA. For whatever reason, Aquaman hardly ever seems to appear in those issues. He’ll be there for the vote/group shots, but doesn’t participate in the adventure. I wonder if every time the team had a membership drive, Arthur would suggest Mera, get rejected, and then he’d pout. On another note, my copy of this comic features autographs by both Buckler and McLaughlin. I’m not a big autograph guy generally, but all bets are off when it comes to the classic JLA run.

    Ryan is right, Zatanna was a welcome addition to the team, but a decade too late. It seems so odd that she didn’t join after her multi-comic storyline, right at the same time the team needed a woman on the team because WW was about to leave (issue #69). Was never against Black Canary joining, but it took more effort to get her in; Zatanna was just sitting there with nothing to do!

    Looking forward to Anj and Chris’ new show, YS INFECTION. Appears only occasionally.

    I’m happy that CheersCast has officially been announced–now you HAVE to do it! Please run it back-to-back with MASHCast and we’ll make it Must Listen Podcasting Night!

    1. The Detroit Pistons used to rough up Michael Jordan and prevented the Chicago Bulls from getting to the NBA Finals until 1991, when they should’ve been as early as ’89. Detroit’s the reason Jordan and the Bulls only have six championship rings instead of eight. Duh.

  2. Thanks to you all for a brilliantly entertaining episode, I remember buying this on the newsstand and being struck by the sheer Marvel angst of that cover. I was immediately disappointed by what they’d done to Zee’s look… is there any better outfit for a legacy magician than the same suit, tweaked for feminine, er, charms? The new Zee reminded me of Circe from the Superman Silver Age comics, the good gal who ‘created’ Super-Horse, the witch Saturn Girl once disguised herself as. Superheroines with ponytails never work. Dillin and McLaughlin draw her better than Buckler, Zee on the cover looks so old, I think it’s the curly sideburns. And why all the tacky rings? How I hate this look! Despite knowing Superman’s blue highlights meant ‘black’, I never read that new costume as black. That’s my childhood wrecked!

    I’m always amazed anyone could not like the Warlock of Ys. He had the marvellous Gil Kane design, and a background linked to ‘real legends’…

    Atom’s wee hand on the splash page is adorable!

    I realise the title lettering was a visual flourish, but does anyone NOT refer to this story as ‘The reverse spells of Zatanna’s Magic-Cigam’?

    That page 2 overhead shot of the members is brilliant, I never realised Dick Dillin was under-appreciated until I began listening to podcasts, to me his style was up there with Neal Adam; OK, he didn’t have the wild layouts, but the guy could draw anything. And believe me, his guys are sexy too. Excepting Reddy, obviously.

    That JLA editor’s note telling us Wonder Woman argued for more female members in JLA #51 is bunk, Diana isn’t even in that issue. I don’t think it’s #151, either, which seemed the obvious error.

    I love Conway’s narration as the Atom is alone in the satellite, it really adds to what the art shows us. More of this please, modern writers!

    I adore the Warlock’s description of the JL’s proto-Google: “I have but to present a question on this alphabet-board, and this ‘computer’ will provide the answer…”

    The silent, slow-zoom reveal of Green Lantern is unusual and very effective.

    The emergency team get in the teleporter and appear in the mysterious land in the Batplane? That’s one impressive teleporter!

    This story really is full of lovely bits of characterisation, such as Green Arrow’s concerned for Red Tornado, and Black Canary’s reaction.

    How fantastic to make GL’s Dis spelling mistake a plot point – that’s worthy of Roy Thomas… so when is someone going to reveal that the suddenly not-red-faced Warlock is the start of another slow-burn scenario? Anj’s explanation of the cobwebs was genius, one of many fine insights from you all.

    Ryan, Martian Manhunter was still a non-member at this point, and a long way off rejoining.

    Please do cover the Sindella storyline. It never occurred to me that you were only doing fishnetted Zee stories – or fishnetted Dinah, for that matter, I thought ‘The Power of Fishnets’ was just a nice, linking title.

    I totally agree that Zatara should have been on this mission, it would have been a nice payback for his daughter’s quest to find him.

    I agree about the boringness of similar heroes teamed up, but Ollie is a long range combatant, while Dinah is hands on and has a super power.

    I always assumed the Perez slug-head costume was meant to be superheroic, while echoing Zee’s tux look, with the blue and white… she’d dressed like her dad, she’d dressed like her mom, and now she had a costume all her own!

    I’m with Anj, I liked Robinson’s JLA run, bar potty-mouth Donna!

  3. Ryan and the Howling Commandos,
    Great episode! This is where my Zatanna knowledge began, so this episode took me back. Sad to hear the show is on hiatus, but you deserve a huge pat on the back for all the material you covered.

    I laughed, though, when you listed all the things you could devote more time to if the show went on the back burner and never mentioned your kid! I’m exactly the same way. I can tell you the exact issue we learned that Black Canary is her own daughter, but I sometimes forget to give my daughter her lunch for school.


  4. As Ryan has noted, Zatanna had not appeared in a new story for several years when this issue was published. Since before I started reading and collecting comics, in fact. But, I was aware of the character. I had seen ads for the DC Super-Stars of Magic, (#13) with a big pic of Z on the cover. One of the first issues of Justice League that I bought had a small picture of her in a letter from a fan pleading for more women in the league. I’m pretty sure that between then and JLA #161 I ordered a Moondance comic catalog and I noticed there were issues of Green Lantern, Hawkman, Atom, etc. that made mention of Zatanna’s appearance and her quest. I think E. Nelson Bridwell may have made mention of it in his intro to Batman: From the Thirties to the Seventies. I know that I was aware of it. So, this appearance was a big surprise. In fact, I remember a letter from a fan berating Gerry, Dick, and Julie that said, effectively, “this is not what we were promised.” Consequently, I didn’t enjoy this, or the Zindella, stories very much, and found them kind of confusing. I truly enjoyed Zatanna later as a team member when her powers were limited/defined as “elemental.”
    I have really enjoyed this look at the Princess of Prestidigitation, Ryan! I look forward to whatever you decide to do in this podcast realm!

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