Oh, how far this series has fallen. When the ongoing Zatanna title first debuted, it was great. The art was stunning, the storyline intriguing and fun, and I was excited to see where Paul Dini would go with the character. But after a couple great issues, I knew that there was trouble on the horizon. Reading the latest previews, I noticed a new artist coming on to the book, and worse still — because this type of stunt is usually a good indicator of declining quality — the fantastic Stephane Roux, who had been doing the interior pages, would continue, but only be providing the cover art.
I enjoy Paul Dini’s writing, so even when I saw that the pencil work had taken a dramatic downturn, I stayed with the title. The plotlines continued to be light-hearted and fun, while also tackling some of the darker, spookier corners of the DC Universe. Dini blends humour and horror incredibly well. However, I recently stopped recommending the comic, and started questioning if Zatanna was still even worth purchasing. Now after picking up issue #9 it is officially off my buy list.
The current storyline about a killer puppet has been predictable and lacklustre. The art is weak and scratchy, definitely not Cliff Chiang’s best work. The one up-shot of Zatanna #9 is the back-up story by Adam Beechen and Jamal Ingle. I am not familiar with their previous works, but this story is funny and cute, with great art. A young Zatanna tale, it had me smiling from the first panel to the last. Not sure it could carry as a monthly title, but when Zatanna #10 arrives at the shop, I will be flipping to the back to see if there is another story from them. However, the series is definitely no longer purchase worthy to me.