Zatanna just wants to dream of a juggler and a bucket of cocoa butter on the beach, but unfortunately for her sleep will just have to wait, as her slumber is interrupted by the arrival of Uriah, a denizen of Limbo Town.
Previously in Zatanna: The Maid of Magic was scheduled to have a climactic battle with Brother Night in the past few months, as is still claimed by DC’s solicitations on their website. Instead she’s had several months of filler issues, the last two written by Adam Beechen. All you need to know for this issue is that Zatanna is a witch, a woman, and at her wit’s end.
The basic premise of this issue is fairly simple: Uriah (from Klarion’s home of Limbo Town) has come to Zatanna with a desire to become her student and learn the ways of heroic magic from her. She doesn’t much care for the idea, being stressed out and tired, and repeatedly awoken from pleasant dreams involving cocoa butter.
Adam Beechen’s Zatanna issues have been pleasantly uneventful; the kind of one shots that are fitting for filler. They haven’t been anything revolutionary, but also haven’t been bad. I almost dropped Zatanna from my monthly pulls when Dini went off of it, and was actually going to after the Derek Fridolfs filler issue (which was terrible), but forgot to tell my comic book shop guy, and when the first Beechen issue came out I decided to give it a try. It was solid enough (though I never really cared for Jamal Igle’s art on the title) that I figured why not finish out the run.
The story is reasonable, and the characterization of Zatanna is mostly good; Beechen does a good job of capturing Zee’s personality, though I’m not entirely certain why she would take a plane home when she could just teleport back to the comfort of her home. Clearly the explanation is “for the story!”, but it was a minor plot point that stuck in my craw. Everything else is fairly straightforward; upon Zatanna’s rejection, Uriah rampages through Shadowcrest Mansion and finds her magic library, where he takes a tome that is essentially an atlas of the various dimensions. This takes us on a romp through those dimensions as Zatanna chases him down, showcasing some interesting locales, including Shadowpact’s home turf of the Oblivion Bar.
The art by Victor Ibanez is about at the same level as the story; good (and, for my money, a very pleasant change from Jamal Igle). I hadn’t encountered Uriah before this issue, and when he first showed up my initial reaction was: “If that is supposed to be Klarion, then this artist is AWFUL.” Since it wasn’t intended to be Klarion, the goal to have the reader recognize it’s someone from Klarion’s town without it being confused with Klarion was accomplished. There were a few other nitpicky points in the art; Zatanna mentions wanting to use magic to take care of the bags under her eyes, but nowhere in the art can it be shown that she has any hint of bags under her eyes. The alternate dimensions Uriah and Zatanna travel through are all drawn well, and Zatanna is of course drawn very fetchingly throughout.
This is a good filler issue, getting a perfectly average score of 3 stars. There’s no specific reason to pass it up, but neither is there any special reason to get it. If you’ve been reading Zatanna you might as well finish off your collection, if you have been wanting to read Zatanna you might as well pick this up as it doesn’t require any history with the character, but if you don’t care about Zatanna this issue won’t convince you otherwise.