Power of Fishnets 7: Zatanna’s Search Part 4

Ryan Daly and special guest Nicholas Prom from Comic Reflections review the fourth chapter in Zatanna’s Search to find her missing father from Green Lantern #42.

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

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Music: “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin

Thanks for listening! Evah a ecin yad!

9 responses to “Power of Fishnets 7: Zatanna’s Search Part 4

  1. This is my favorite chapter of the Zatanna’s Search storyline. Probably because when I got the TPB, I was finally able to read the original story that inspired the Justice League follow-up all those years later.

    Heck, for years, before GL: Rebirth, I thought the Warlock of Ys could be a backdoor way to explain Hal going nuts and becoming Parallax! He does take over Hal’s body in that JLA issue. I think this guy has a lot of untapped potential, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been used more often.

    You’re right, Zee looks even better here than she did over in Atom. Kane knew how to draw some classy but sexy gals.

    Oh, and on a personal note, I’ve always had a soft spot for this cover, ever since I realized the image of GL punching was lifted and used on my childhood set of Super Friends bed sheets!


  2. My first encounter with Zatanna was in Justice League of America #161. So that issue resonates with me very powerfully. It is why I like that Sindella costume she wore at that time. And it is why I really like the Warlock of Ys, probably more than I should.

    How much? Enough to tweet to Sterling Gates that he needed to put the Warlock into the Vibe comic, as Vibe had the power to open up dimensions. In, whether because of my suggestion or not, the Warlock does appear in a panel there.

    So this chapter of Zatanna’s Search is my favorite as well.

    What I love about this chapter is that it directly impacts the aforementioned JLA 161. Clues, riffs, ‘forwards magic’ by Zatanna all play a part in that book.

    Thanks for reviewing. Great to hear other people’s take on books I love.

  3. I don’t remember exactly when I first saw Zatanna and whether it was in the comics or the Batman animated series, but in either case, I always found the character to be interesting and enjoyed it anytime she showed up in a book. However, I never felt strongly enough to delve into the character’s history. So, thank you for doing that for me because I’m thoroughly enjoying getting all of this backstory in your show. Next episode please!

    Plus, thank you for playing our new Xenozoic Xenophiles promo. It means lots to me and Ruth that the new promo showed up on multiple Fire and Water programs within two weeks of us posting it. A BIG SINCERE THANKS!


  4. It never occurred to me that, yeah, Zatanna joining the JLA at the end of this story line would have made perfect sense. Wonder why she had to wait so long? I mean…Red Tornado?

    Kane is one of my favorites, but I agree with some of the feedback that the occasional wrong inker held him back. Sid Greene removed a lot of Kane’s energy. In the 70s, Marvel often paired him with Klaus Janson which was an amazing combination.

    Good episode!

  5. Not a direct comment on the episode but the part about the history of Ys reminded me that authors Poul and Karen Anderson wrote a four book fantasy set dealing with the legendary Ys. They called it The King of Ys tetralogy and it is pretty dark, to the best of my memory. Think Game of Thrones kind of stuff.

  6. Terrific episode, I read that comic as a kid and we struck by the visual of the Warlock of Ys – I agree, he could have been a player. I love that Gardner Fox used actual real-world lore for this story, I’m trying to remember if Roy Thomas ever went to the same well for Arak. Probably. I loved Arak!

    As the Paul Dini series came up, might I recommend it unreservedly? It’s so much better than the Black Canary team-up, which was fun but rambling. Tight one and two-partners with Zee’s intelligence, spunk, sexiness and most importantly, warmth to the fore. Buy trades!

  7. In contrast to a number of other folks commenting, I had the hardest time getting through the Green Lantern story versus the others in Zatanna’s Search. I burned through “The Girl Who Split In Two” pretty quick, as it was heavily action oriented thanks to Hawkman and Hawkgirl having separate related adventures. I was also eager to get to the point where Zee participated in the story, and I was enjoying the Murphy Anderson art.

    I was braced for “Batman’s Bewitched Nightmare” to suck, and it had virtually nothing to do with the reason I was reading the collection. By only half paying attention to what I was reading, I was able to drift through it in one sitting, and I actually liked the sequence where the Dynamic Duo stumble through a cave and off a cliff. It’s still the worst story of the lot, but I never expected otherwise.

    The Atom story was rough specifically because I’m a Tiny Titan fan slogging through another eight pages of the Mighty Mite bullying a gang of nondescript hoods in cheap suits with hats and handguns. If you crack (Freudian corrected typo: “crap”) open a Showcase Presents volume, roughly 25-50% of the total page count is devoted to that exact same scenario. Then Zatanna shows up, and after serving a purely expository role in her debut, is largely a passive damsel in distress for her second “real” go-around. The Druid was not a visually compelling foe and added little to either heroes’ slight rogues gallery, plus his world wasn’t very interesting either. Also, that trick ending was the worst. The art was swell, but I think I took advantage of the chapter breaks to read it in three or more sittings.

    After that it took me weeks if not more than a month to come back to the book four the Green Lantern story, featuring the hated Hal Jordan. Still dispirited by the previous chapters and now having an awful lot of text bricks thrown at me, Between balloons full of pirate talk, text scroll caption boxes of info dumps, backwards talk, backstories, wizard talk, and repeated exclamations about why various characters’ powers weren’t working, I estimate I took a break on roughly most every second page to the tune of about twelve separate sittings to finish the tale.

    Ironically, I liked the story so much better than the two before it that I finally regained traction and read one & a half more stories on the same day I did the last two sittings of this one. The premise wasn’t bad, and it was interesting to see Tom in an unsanitized story. The premise of Ys was the best of the lot, and I actually really liked Patch-Eye Pete’s unusual body proportions and magical pirate powers. He was a surprisingly good match for Green Lantern, and I wanted more of him. Kane drew Zatanna with a greater deference to the male gaze (dat final chapter splash tho) while also finally allowing her the agency to be the heroine of the second chapter valiantly defending a useless impotent halfwit Jordan against cool looking demons and ancient warriors. How many pages did it take dummy Hal to switch hands, and he only gets a couple pages of ring power before the mind games of the final pages. The twist here is also implausible, but more entertaining, and the Warlock looks relatively cool (it’s clear Kane drew him with pants and the colorist converted to briefs. I would definitely bring him back as a recurring villain for Zee.

    Sid Greene is one of my favorite inkers of the Silver Age, preferable even to Murphy Anderson. He definitely smoothed over Kane’s more dynamic angular anatomy, but he also filled out his figures in this period and made everyone more attractive. Kane is at his best inking himself in the Bronze Age, but he wasn’t there yet in this time frame, and needed Greene to put him over. I liked Mike Sekowsky on anything else better than his JLA work, but I was much happier with his run once Greene started inking him. It wasn’t as good as Giordano’s inks on Wonder Woman or Sekowsky’s full idiosyncratic art on more appropriate projects, but it was the best he got on JLA. Also, in my experience, Dick Dillin never looked as good without Sid Greene fleshing him out.

    Finally, Imma break a beer bottle and fight all’a’ya’ll dirty in the street if you don’t get off Gil Kane’s ass! He didn’t have the magnitude of Kirby’s influence, and in fact owed him a huge debt, but Kane payed it forward by inspiring the anatomy and dynamism of so many favorite Bronze Age artists. On most any project, I would take Kane over Kirby, Ditko, Kubert, and any other of his legendary contemporaries. He is a colossal artist deserving of the utmost respect and I will take all comers who claim otherwise!

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