Now that James Gunn has made his big announcement of the upcoming DCU productions, we’re able to dive deep into characters we know will be coming soon and speculate on others who could be making appearances in these projects or ones yet to be announced. Let’s take a look at Zatanna.
Created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson in 1964, Zatanna made her first appearance in Hawkman #4. From the start, she was on a quest to find her missing father, Zatara, who had not been seen since the Golden Age. Similar to her father, Zatanna is a magician who primarily casts spells by speaking backwards.
There are 1,567 graded copies of Hawkman #4 in the CGC census. Like most comics, it’s taken a tumble since the 2021 and 2022 heydays. However, this comic has done a far better job of retaining some of that previous value increase in 2023. Take the 7.0 grade as an example.
In September 2020, the average price paid was $720. By May 2022, that price had climbed as high as an average of $2,200. The current 90-day average is $1,250. So long as you bought before the boom, you’re looking at a gain of 74% in three years. That’s not too shabby.
First Cover Appearance
It would be a year until Zatanna made her first cover appearance on the front of Atom #19. There are a scant 123 graded copies, although that’s roughly double to the two issues sandwiching it. It’s not one that comes up for sale a lot, but it isn’t too difficult to find a copy, and they’re typically fairly affordable.
Recent sales include a 4.0 selling for $149, a 6.0 for a slashed $160, and a 7.0 for a slashed $330.
First Solo Story
Despite bouncing around making guest appearances in a number of DC comics, Zatanna wouldn’t receive her first solo story until The Flash #198 in 1970.
There are only 66 graded copies and only two have sold so far in 2023: a 9.2 for a slashed $250 and a 9.0 for $150. It’s a very affordable early Bronze Age back issue, one that you should be able to find below the 8.0 grade for less than $100.
Zatanna Joins the JLA
In a rite of passage for nearly all of DC’s A and B-level adult superheroes, Zatanna joined the JLA in Justice League of America #161. While she had guest starred in a number of the League’s stories prior, this was the issue wherein she was finally granted membership.
Being a run-filler issue for JLA completists, there are only 40 graded copies. If you’re a Zatanna fan looking for this issue for your collection, you should be able to find it for under $100 in all but the 9.8 grade; that top grade would likely only set you back around $125.
Nearly two decades after her creation, Zatanna finally received her first mini-series in 1993. There are 55 graded copies of Zatanna #1 in the CGC census. The current 30-day average for a 9.8 is $81. In the 9.6 grade, the 30-day average is a dirt-cheap $15.
Justice League Dark
Zatanna’s most prominent role over the past few years has been as a leader of Justice League Dark. Not counting unofficial cameo team appearances, the magical and mystical version of DC’s greatest team made their first appearance in Justice League Dark #1. Justice League Dark is where much speculation concerning monsters and sorcery in the DCU currently lies.
There are 479 graded copies of Justice League Dark #1 in the CGC census. Despite its contemporary vintage, while there are 140 9.8 graded copies, there are actually more in the 9.6 grade – 164 copies. This makes 9.6 graded copies more easily obtainable due to the higher number of copies and a much lower price of a current 90-day average of $105.
Copies in the 9.8 grade, however, are currently running in the $300 range and are seen for sale less often. Likely there are still a large number of raw copies sitting in collections. If you have one of these, and you think it could get a 9.8 grade, it would definitely behoove you to send it in for grading.
Zatanna will, in all likelihood, appear in the DCU. Could this come in the Gods and Monsters phase? Or will it be later. That’s the big question. It wouldn’t shock me to see her in Swamp Thing as that film could easily usher in Justice League Dark or a team akin to that one but with a different name. However, we don’t yet have much insight into Gunn’s thinking on this matter.
For now, Zatanna is a spec play, but one that could pay off a great deal in just a few years.
Are you a Zatanna fan? Do you think she’ll be a part of the DCU? Let us know below.
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.