Zatanna Zatara was created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson. She debuted in 1964 in “Hawkman” #4. The daughter of Golden Age magician Giovanni “John” Zatara, Zatanna’s initial appearance marked DC’s first line-wide crossover event during a time when comic book stories were quite self-contained. Titled “Zatanna’s Search,” the story saw the magician searching for her missing father and enlisting the aid of Hawkman, with the story continuing to run through “The Atom,” “Green Lantern,” and “Detective Comics,” before wrapping up in “Justice League of America.”
Like her dad, Zatanna could make pretty much anything happen by speaking the words backwards. For example, if she said “og ot peels,” whomever she aimed the incantation at would simply fall asleep. She eventually joined the Justice League and, like her father before her, acted as a stage magician as well by using her real abilities, unbeknownst to the audience. Zatanna’s mother was later revealed to be Sindella, who is Homo Magi (a subspecies of humans with innate magical abilities). She also has some pretty impressive ancestors on her father’s side, including Leonardo da Vinci, Nostradamus, and Nicolas Flamel. Zatanna — or Zee, as her friends call her — may have started out as a backwards-speaking babe in fishnets, but over time she evolved into one of the most powerful heroes in the entire DC Universe.