Most stories start with a generic 'Once Upon a Time', though this one begins on the crowded streets of Las Vegas. A very pregnant, rushed Sindella Zielinski and her husband Giovanni create a path through the crowds towards the nearest taxi cab. It takes everything they have to keep Sindella from having their unborn daughter in the taxi cab, it doesn't take. In the tired blink of an eye, Sindella gave birth to their daughter; Zorina Celeste Zielinski. The very moment everything stood still, Giovanni held his newborn daughter in his arms and his life felt complete. But for this struggling magician and his palm reading wife, their lives will drastically change.
Fast forwarding sixteen years to find Zorina Zielinski behind the counter of a struggling occult speciality shop downtown New Orleans, Louisiana. Dark curls around her shoulders with striking blue eyes, she curiously flips through the pages of the most recent acquired occult book her mother found. To hear her parents argue above her head, the chandelier swinging, the candles flickering and her head aching as she could predict what they were fighting about: money. It was the one and only issue that will always remain between the family; the main reason they left Las Vegas and moved to the south. She was their perfect daughter, the spitting image of both her parents combined but her attitude was never lacking it's own sarcastic voice. Zorina would continue to flip through the book, listening to her parents argue about money as if the world would pass her right on by.
Growing up in a house full of occult items, had never bothered Zorina. It created a kind of presence in her life, a connection to her family that she knew would always be there. The belief that there was always a reason behind every miniscule object her mother would come across within the store itself. Zorina was a fast learner when it came to palm and tarot card readings. Upon her sixteenth birthday her mother gave her a small golden box engraved with her name upon the top and the set of the family's cards. She cherished it, kept it with her wherever she went and always knew that she had this little gift to keep her world afloat when it felt like it was going to bury her under it.
It was no secret, however that the relationship between her mother and father wasn't a happy one. Her father had taken up drinking, drowning his financial failure with each bottle and it had worsen to the point of near constant abuse. Costing him opportunities for work and squandering away each dollar the store would bring in. Though she was shielded from the worst of it she had always heard her mother fighting with him, trying to keep herself and her daughter from being affected by it. It was within a single night that Zorina would wake up to find her father gone and her mother huddled under the covers of her bed crying. Zorina knew that she would have to stick it out with her mother, despite the very idea that her father had cleaned them out of every dollar they had. She wanted to run after him, beg him to come back but that wasn't going to happen. Zorina eventually learned early on that she had to grow up and leave her teenage years behind.
No less than a year later, the occult shop that her mother had always dreamed of opening had to finally close. Zorina was devastated, the shop was her go to place for peace and serenity. She had learned to enjoy the randomness that came with running a store of strange antiquities. Though with the shop now closed she had to find a way to make ends meet and help her mother come to terms with her dream failing. Quickly dropping out of high school she received a job as a cigarette girl for a local burlesque dance club. The club owner had seen her closing up the store and approached her with the opportunity. She didn't take it at first but eventually found that she had little say in the matter. Zorina would always remember the hands upon her thighs, teh gentle whispers in her ears of a good time and the urge to vomit from all the cigar smoke throughout the club. But it was a job, one that she might've hated but it was enough to feed both her and her mother.
Eventually the years went by and one night a man came to the small apartment she shared with her mother. He held grave news that her father was dead, the money he had taken from them, he doubled it while working the strip in Las Vegas. Zorina was ecstatic despite the news that her father had died and he was alone when he did. This was the chance that her and her mother were looking for. Within the week, they sold their belongings and moved to Boston, Massachusetts. Zorina looked and looked for months trying to find the perfect place for them to reopen their shop. And she did, a spot buried between an old bookstore and an art gallery. It even had a small two bedroom apartment located directly above it. This was the perfect place, she was excited to tell her mother only to come home to terrible news. Her mother was ill, cancer had reached her lungs and her life was failing. Once more, Zorina was going to have to live with the idea of losing another parent. But this time she wasn't going to leave her mother's side.
She moved her mother into their apartment directly above the shop, opened the store and upon the night when her mother had died in her sleep; Zorina knew that a little bit of her was proud of her daughter for creating a life that she always wanted. And it was through this shop that Zorina could live out the wish that her mother had always dreamed of.
Zatanna Zatara is the daughter of magician Giovanni “John” Zatara and Sindella, a member of the mystical Homo Magi race. Zatanna is a direct descendant of the artist and magician Leonardo da Vinci, and is related to Nostradamus; Alessandro Cagliostro; the noted alchemists Nicholas Flamel and Evan Fulcanelli; and Lord Arion of Atlantis. Her cousin, Zachary Zatara, is also a magician.
Zatanna was a successful stage illusionist before she discovered her true magical powers while investigating the disappearance of her father. With the help of Batman, the Atom, Elongated Man and others, she was successfully reunited with him. Their time together was short, and unfortunately, both of her parents were killed on separate occasions while saving her life. Zatanna assisted the Justice League of America on a number of cases before being elected to full membership. During her tenure with the group her power levels diminished briefly, so that she could only control the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. It should be noted that this limitation was only temporary and that her magical ability was fully restored. Later Zatanna was worried about her lack of focus while using magic. She decided that her father's style of magic was wrong for her, and explored her mother's mystical heritage.
While Zatanna was a member of the Justice League, the villain Dr. Light stole aboard the Watch Tower and raped the Elongated Man's wife Sue Dibny. When Zatanna and several others Leaguers returned, they saw what Dr. Light had done. A fight broke out and when they finally managed to subdue him, he began to threaten them and their families. Zatanna was prepared to erase Light's memories of the incident, but his terrible brutality and his promises to do it again sparked a debate among the present League members on whether or not to tamper with his personality and prevent him from repeating his crime. Zatanna, Hawkman, and The Atom voted for such action, while Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Green Lantern voted against. The Flash broke the tie and voted to tamper with Light's mind. Zatanna used her magic to do so, but the difficulty of the process resulted in her accidentally lowering his intellect. In the midst of her spell, Batman appeared and tried to stop them. Zatanna froze him, and they voted to have her erase his memories of the incident as well.
Zatanna's mind-wipe of Dr. Light was not an isolated occurrence. Catwoman discovered that her journey from villain to hero and her resulting efforts to lead a moral life were caused by Zatanna's mental intervention. Selina came to distrust her memories, motives, and choices she had made since that incident. In a fit of rage, Catwoman ties Zatanna up and pushes her through a window. Despite this, Zatanna helps Catwoman and, at Selina's behest, mind-wipes petty villains Film Freak and Angle Man, because they had deduced Catwoman's secret identity.
Zatanna and Batman’s friendship degraded once Batman discovered what she had done. He began to distrust her and his other friends in the super hero community. When Zatanna helped Batman with reconnaissance at a Lazarus Pit, she asks him why he came to her. "I needed someone I can trust," Batman said, "but I had to settle for you." This must have been especially hard for her to hear, seeing that she and Bruce Wayne had been close friends since childhood. Recently, however, their relationship appears to have warmed; sometime later he called her for information on a card-counter involved in scamming the Penguin. He makes no mention of their conflict, and casually calls her by her nickname, "Zee".
They also investigated the murder of one of Zatanna's former employees, who died while performing in one of Loxias's shows. When they find Loxias, he reveals that he is not, in fact, who they think he is. He is the Joker. The Joker shoots Zatanna and locks her in a tank of water. He manages to get the upper hand on Zatanna and Bruce at first, but Bruce breaks the stage chair he was tied to in order to free Zatanna from the tank Joker put her in. Afterwards, Bruce stays along side of her while she rested through the night. This suggests he still has feelings for her. When Zatanna asks why they did not start a deeper relationship, Batman states while he does want to open everything to her, he does not want to bring her into his dark world. They both depart in a friendly state. After departing from the League, Zatanna continues her stage career and her vocation as a defender against mystical threats, becoming a member of the Sentinels of Magic. She is also the author of the hugely successful Hex Appeal: The Modern Girl's Guide to Magic.
At a superhero support group run by Etta Candy, she recounted how during a failed magical ritual to search for her father's tomes, one of her past ill-cast spells summoned a shapeshifter named Gwydion, who kills her companions. The trauma of this, combined with her guilt from her mind-wipes, caused her to lose confidence in herself and she lost her powers. With the help of her new apprentice Misty Kilgore, she was able to capture Gwydion to use as her own. She eventually regained her confidence and powers, and used them to defeat Zor, a rogue Time Tailor who released the Sheeda as a plague to infect and degrade the entire universe. As a reward, the other Time Tailors allowed her one last meeting with her father, who reveals that his books were written in her, his greatest spell and gift to the world. In the final battle against the Sheeda, Zatanna cast a spell to move time and space, retroactively positioning the Seven Soldiers to overthrow the Sheeda. Zatanna acts as a reserve member of the Justice League, aiding them from time to time when her magical expertise is needed. She declined an offer for full membership, stating her need to take a break from heroics. She is still a regular guardian against mystical threats.
POWERS & ABILITIES
HOMO MAGIC: Zatanna is a homo magi, a human born with the affinity to manipulate magic. Her unique genetic structure allows her to use the magic she was born with as well as learned magic. As a tribute to her father, and as a focus for her spells, she casts spells by speaking backwards. For example, saying "pots" would cause the target of the spell to stop in their tracks.
MAGICAL POWERS: Telekinesis, Telepathy, Teleportation, Dimensional Travel, Reality Alteration, Antipathy, Deflection, Chronokinesis, Weather Manipulation, Eldritch Blast, Energy Construct Creation, Energy Transference, Flight, Force Field, Healing, Phasing, Size Alteration.
ELEMENTAL CONTROL: Zatanna can manipulate magical elements.
Prestidigitation: Zatanna is a greatly skilled magician and an expert illusionist, therefore performing extraordinary (real)tricks and incredible illusions on stage is super simple to her.
Hypnosis: Zatanna can hypnotize anyone and command them to do anything she pleases.
Hand-to-Hand Combat: Zatanna has received extensive training from her time with the Justice League and from her father who always told her to rely on her wits as well as her fists should her magic fail.
Occultism: As a chronicler of magic she possesses an extensive understanding of occult lore due to her mystic background.
Multilingualism: Able to speak English and many other languages and her signature "Backwards Speech". She also speaks some Spanish.
Mnemonic Incantation (weakness): Zatanna casts her spells by saying the words of her incantations backwards. Mnemonic incantation is the most complicated of the mystic arts. On one occasion, the assassin Deathstroke delivered a direct blow to her liver, initiating a regurgitation reaction. On a separate occasion, The Joker (disguised as the stage magician Loxias) shot Zatanna in the neck, rendering her magic useless. She must be able to speak or read backwards in order for her to focus her spells.
Vulnerability to Magic (weakness)
: Powerful enchantments against beings of magic, like gods, are able to restrict her as well, preventing her from accessing enchanted places or dispel the adverse charm.