Sunday, August 15, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Zatanna #4 (Review)

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Chad Hardin & Wayne Faucher
Cover by Stephane Roux

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Despite the numerous amount of comic books that come out every week, the number of books that focus on a female lead character are very few. To have a successful title starring a heroine is a tough climb with many obstacles like figuring out the target audience for the book and if that audience exists to support it. DC has made a consistent effort to push female led books and right now might by the golden era for such content with titles like Birds of Prey, Power Girl, Supergirl, Batgirl, and now Zatanna available in comic shops every month.

In a week that saw two particular comic books rise to the top of the stack, I thought Zatanna #4 deserved recognition for the sheer quality that has consistently been a part of the book since it's debut. Writer Paul Dini is no stranger to DC and has written some great stories in Detective Comics in years past and currently is the scribe to Batman: Streets of Gotham and two ancillary Batbooks: Gotham City Sirens and Zatanna. His affinity for Zatanna shows in the issues as he creates a world of characters around her that bring credibility to the character as a hero and a magician.

The issues so far have been about establishing exactly who and what Zatanna battles against and why they would be targeting her - because of who she is and what she can do. A theme that has been common in other issues she has been in prior to the start of this series is the connection to her father and how that brings a mess of trouble her way more often than not. This issue we get a reminder of the bigger DCU she is in as she takes on the Royal Flush Gang while she is in Vegas.

The fantastic cover is drawn by series artist Stephane Roux who has done a magnificent job on the title with his style that looks beautiful but also flows so well in action moments. This issue was not drawn by him however, and it was not until I was looking at the credits for this review that I noticed it. That was how good of a job Hardin and Faucher did of following Roux's style to keep the look of the book consistent.

The knock on Dini at times has been that he spreads himself too thin to support the books he writes as we have seen with fill-in issues in both Streets of Gotham and Gotham City Sirens. But this Zatanna book has been a long time coming and seems to have his full focus as each issue has been captivating and entertaining. If it stays his focus this could become a must read title for everyone looking for a female centered series - a trend DC is developing in droves with their female-led books.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam starring Zatanna.

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