TheGeek reviews Zatanna #11!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by PAUL DINI; Art by JAMAL IGLE and JON SIBAL; Cover by ADAM HUGHES
Stripped of her powers, her body, and a mind of her own, and trapped under glass for all eternity – the curse her father placed on murderous puppeteer Oscar Hampel has fallen on Zatanna, and there's no escaping it! Or will help come to Zatanna from a most unlikely source – wearing most unlikely clothes? The conclusion of "Pupaphobia" will leave your head spinning!
Zatanna seems to be the type of girl who doesn't like being strung along. Too bad for her, because here in Zatanna #11, she's forced to do the bidding of Oscar "Stringleshanks" Hampel as the thing she fears the most: a puppet!
Paul Dini's Zatanna has hit home runs month after month since debuting #1, but here it seems he's hit his first snag. Zatanna has gone toe-to-toe with prime evils and powerful warlocks, but so dealing with a has-been puppeteer with a grudge seems like a step down for her. With the unusually strong showing the Princess of Prestidigitation had in the last few arcs, I was hoping for a more robust confrontation with her.
That, or maybe the book tried to do too many things at once. For example, Zatanna's manager Mikey comes to her rescue when she turns the middle third of the book into a wall of exposition; telling us not only how she managed to find Zatanna, but also about archfiend Brother Night's rise to power in prison, AND her budding romance with Dale Coulton (the cop that's been hanging around her since Zatanna #1). It just pulls you out of the story, and by the time Oscar Hampel comes around for the final throwdown, it all comes down too fast and too furious. Not even a satisfying end, just...an END.
A bright side to this issue is Jamal Igle, who seems to be capable of rendering anything from puppets, to old geezers, to buxom stagehands and fishnet-wearing master magicians. His characters are very expressive and dynamic, reminiscent of Tony Harris' work. It's great stuff and I'd love to see him work on this series some more.
In the end, Zatanna's fear of puppets is resolved a little TOO cleanly, and it's on to the next challenge. It's sad to think that Dini is phoning it in with this story arc, but it just feels that way. I've been enjoying every single issue up to this point, and the only consolation is that it's over and Zatanna can move on to the next adventure. There's nowhere else to go but up.
Review by: TheGeek