Paul Dini Works His Magic in Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell

© DC Comics
Cover by Joe Quinones © DC Comics

An original graphic novel almost 10 years in the making—could the wait possibly be worth it? In the case of Paul Dini’s Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell, absolutely. And it couldn’t be here at a better time.

Originally pitched in 2005 and announced in 2006, Bloodspell takes place in a DC universe before there was a New 52. For readers like me who are a little tired of the dark, grim, and gritty world of the New 52, that makes the graphic novel a breath of fresh air from the current continuity. Dinah and Ollie together again! Ollie rocking the goatee! Fishnets for everyone!

If there was going to be a Justice League buddy cop movie, Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell is the one I’d want to see. Zatanna and Black Canary team up after a malevolent, mystical force starts taking out members of Black Canary’s undercover gang. Dinah needs Zatanna’s help to break the magical curse before it takes hold of her as well. Along the way they get help from some familiar faces, and flashbacks give us glimpses of the duo’s escapades during their tenure in the Justice League. (Keep an eye out for cameos of some classic looks, including Black Canary’s first costume.)

Art by Joe Quinones
Art by Joe Quinones

Joe Quinones, who drew several issues of Captain Marvel last year, did both the cover and the dazzling interior art for Bloodspell. Instead of thin-waisted, top heavy girls who look like they’re about to topple over, Quinones’ Zatanna and Black Canary look like actual women who can throw and take a punch. (Maybe it’s because 24 is back, but I couldn’t help but notice his Black Canary is also a dead ringer for Elisha Cuthbert.)

© DC Comics
© DC Comics

Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell is a fun, easy read that any fan of either character should immediately add to their library. In an interview with PREVIEWSworld, writer Paul Dini (who is best known for his work on Batman: The Animated Series) expressed his hope that the book will appeal particularly to female fans:

“I think there is a new breed of female fan that has grown up with superheroines over the last twenty years and continues to embrace them. I don’t think they are inspired just by comics, but by the TV shows, movies, and cartoons they watched, and games they played when they were younger… It seems to me if they identify with the characters that much, there’s an audience there that would appreciate some comics that reflect their sensibilities. I just hope our little GN strikes the bullseye.”

In the same interview, Dini described the book as “a Valentine to the more upbeat, carefree spirit of DC Comics.” For anyone who might be a jaded reader of the New 52, this is just the book to remind you that comic books can still be fun.

Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell will be released May 27 at a suggested retail price of $22.99.

GeekMom received a promotional copy for review purposes.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.