Story: Preeti Chhibber
Art: Lalit Kumar Sharma
Colors: Wendy Broome
Letterer: Janice Chiang
What They Say:
Zatanna finds herself trapped in a dream world. How did she get there and how can she possibly get out without her magical powers?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With one of my favorite characters on hand, this installment of Truth & Justice kicks off a new storyline with the main creative being completely new to me. Preeti Chhibber does a good job here of giving us Zatanna tossed into an unexpected place and trying to suss it out while also working an inner monologue for her and a bit of backstory/action to showcase her with the “greats” of DC, establishing her properly. We also get some really great artwork from Lalit Kumar Sharma with this book that Wendy Broome colors. There’s a lot of pop on the color side because of the story but Sharma’s artwork is fantastic with a great design for Zatanna and some wonderful expressiveness in her face as she deals with this surreal situation.
The premise is simple as Zatanna has woken up to find herself in a kind of toybox world where the rules don’t quite apply. She remembers the prior day plainly enough and going home to sleep, but has now discovered herself in this brightly lit and colored place where she’s seemingly alone for a bit. It’s only when she discovers a boy named John that she sees a path to understanding what’s going on as she thinks that she’s in his mind somehow. The boy is decent enough, nothing really strange about him, who is focused on playing and just having fun without it being over the top. There’s a touch of melancholy about him as he talks about his father who is gone but had gone to space years ago that he has little memory of, offering more clues to Zatanna about what’s happening.
There are some curious little bits mixed into this and you can see how John loses a bit of interest in Zatanna after time, especially since her magic isn’t working and she can’t give him a hook there to hold his attention and ferret out some answers. But he does ask for a story and she relates on where she was working with Batman and Superman and able to use her magic, which makes for a nice little bit of action in the traditional sense here to unfold. But it’s one that has her showing some weakness and uncertainty in the fight and while she’s telling it she’s surprised that she is, which makes you wonder more of what kind of coercive abilities that John may have that’s keeping this illusion of sorts going.
While there is a mystery afoot in this installment to get things moving, it’s one that’s well-executed and plays out well. Chhibber delivers us a good look at Zatanna and the way she handles such a situation with a level of confidence and competence and that she isn’t reliant just on her powers to do so. Sharma’s artwork is great as I love their take on Zatanna but also the child-like aspect of the place that they’re in, which Broome puts together in the color design perfectly. I’m excited to see what’s next and hopeful that it runs for more than just two installments.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: July 9th, 2021