Saturday, May 06, 2006

Profile: Zatanna

Zatanna Zatara
First appearance: Hawkman #4 Vol. 1 in 1964

Current status: all but retired from being a superheroine, she continues in her showbiz career as a stage magician

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: in Identity Crisis, she was made to look like a baddie because she mindwiped Dr. Light, while the villain’s rape of Sue Dibny, after the script smacked the readers over the face with it, was ignored altogether. Zatanna also never got to present her viewpoint of how she felt about seeing another woman being violated; she was perfectly mute on the subject, ditto Black Canary. And to make matters worse, she was punched in the stomach by Deathstroke, causing her to vomit.

What’s wrong with how this was done? Discrimination against a woman it was, to say nothing short of binding and gagging her of a voice on the subject of the violation of women, just like with Sue Dibny. The part in the Identity Crisis miniseries where she’s socked in the tummy by Slade Wilson reeks very unpleasantly of the idea of hitting a woman out of bigotry.

In the JLA story arc, “Crisis of Conscience,” that’s where we finally get her viewpoint and she stands firm on the punishment she gave to Dr. Light. But that only serves to show what was wrong with IC to begin with, and why the story has now been almost entirely discredited.

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