Zatara is a middle-aged man with green eyes, a prominent black mustache and is distinguished by his formal attire. He wears three layers of clothing, which consists of a white shirt with a red bow-tie attached, over which there is a yellow vest, which is finally topped by a black blazer.
By 2018, Zatara has aged significantly with his hair and beard turning white.
Zatara was born in Italy, but is now a naturalized American citizen.He used to live in New York City with his daughter.He started working as a hero in 1998,and joined the Justice League in 2008.Aside from his superhero work, he also worked as a stage magician.
Zatara contacted the Justice League at the Hall of Justice, informing them about an attempt by the sorcerer Wotan to blot out the Sun by using the Amulet of Aten. He requested full League assistance.
After Red Tornado's "betrayal", supervision of the Team was done in week shifts. Zatara was the second, after Captain Marvel. During his stint, the Injustice League attacked world cities with mutated plants. Batman sent the Team to the group's hideout, whilst Zatara, Batman and Captain Marvel battled the plants in to destroy the plant spore in Gotham. After the defeat of the mother plant, the Justice League turned their attention to the Injustice League. Zatara disarmed his old enemy, Wotan.
After his turn as den mother was over, Zatara returned to the Cave with his daughter Zatanna, in the hopes of getting her trained by Black Canary. He was infuriated when the Team "kidnapped" her, and Black Canary had her hands full reassuring him. She failed, however—Zatara threatened to ground his daughter for life.
When Klarion, Blackbriar Thorn, Felix Faust, Wizard, and Wotan cast a spell on Roanoke Island, the Team saw Zatara, Batman, and Red Tornado disappear. To Zatara, Batman, and Red Tornado, the Team had disappeared. Zatara, Batman, and Red Tornado learned from Captain Marvel that the spell separated the Earth into two dimensions, one for persons older than 18 years of age and one for those younger. Captain Marvel's alias of Billy Batson also relayed this information to the Team and the energies were tracked to Roanoke Island.
Zatara joined Batman and Red Tornado in the fight against Blackbriar Thorn, Felix Faust, Wizard, and Wotan on Roanoke Island in the adult dimension. Zatara discovered the source of the magic was a mystical gem in the center of the sorcerers' pentagram. It was retrieved by Captain Marvel and Kid Flash on either end, and merged by Zatara and Zatanna, the latter of which donned Helmet of Fate to amplify her magical abilities. After defeating the sorcerers, Nabu refused to give up Zatanna as his host body, arguing that she was an ideal host due to her affinity for magic. Zatara persuaded him to take him instead as he was a far greater sorcerer than his daughter. After Zatara gave his word, Nabu agreed. He said his goodbyes to Zatanna, and, despite his daughter’s pleas, became the new Doctor Fate.
Doctor Fate made an agreement with Zatanna that he would leave Zatara's body every year for one hour, so that they could spend time together. Both father and daughter thought that agreement was not fair enough. Nabu said that they should be grateful that he allowed it at all.
Zatanna met with Nabu in the park for the arranged meeting. He removed his helmet, allowing Zatara to take control again. Father and daughter had a cheerful union before they start talking. Soon the deadline was approaching, with Zatanna pleading for more time and Zatara telling her that it would not be possible. He told his daughter he would see her next year before putting the helmet back on in Nabu teleporting away.
Magic: Zatara is capable of accessing powerful magical abilities, such as knocking out an unsuspecting Wotan with just a single blast of magic and deflecting multiple magical attacks, at once. When he speaks backwards, he can perform any number of magical feats. Examples include:
"Etacol retnecipe fo yrecros!" (Locate epicenter of sorcery!)
"Erif, kees tuo siht larutannu erutaerc!" (Fire, seek out this unnatural creature!)
"Niatnoc eht erutaerc!" (Contain the creature!)
In DC Comics, Zatara was one of many sorcerers who debuted in the 1938, in Action Comics #1. Unlike so many of his peers, he was rescued from obscurity relatively early, when Zatanna was created in the 60s. He was not a member of the Justice League, but did do some marginal work for the All-Star Squadron. Zatara and Zatanna's ages have been adjusted in Young Justice to make Zatanna a peer of the Team instead of the League.
This marks Zatara's second animated appearance. His first was during the DCAU series Batman: The Animated Series episode "Zatanna". Zatara appeared in flashbacks, during which he and his daughter Zatanna trained a young Bruce Wayne to be an escape artist. Unlike the Young Justice series however, this version of Zatara showed no real magical powers.