Young Justice Wiki

Zatara is a host to Doctor Fate. For Fate's activities while Zatara was host, see Doctor Fate.

Giovanni Zatara is a magician, a member of the Justice League, and the father of Zatanna. He was the host of Doctor Fate for ten years, but now rotates hosting duties with Zatanna, Khalid Nassour, and Thirteen.

Physical appearance

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, despite only being in his late 40s, Zatara has aged considerably. His hair has turned pure white, and he also has noticeable wrinkles around his eyes. Since Nabu never allowed him time for grooming, Zatara grew a full beard and mustache in the eight years Zatara was Doctor Fate.


Early life

Zatara was born in Italy, but is now a naturalized American citizen.[6] He married Sindella in 1995,[7] and they had a daughter, Zatanna, in 1996.[3] They lived in New York City.[8] He was a stage magician, but discreetly augmented his stagecraft with real magic. He was a devout Catholic, and prayed for guidance at times when he had major decisions to make.

He started working as a hero in 1998, inspired by Superman, and initially wore a mask. Kent Nelson became a mentor to him and helped care for his family while he was busy on stage and as a hero. Zatara's foes included Wotan, Blackbriar Thorn and Felix Faust.

Sindella was diagnosed with cancer, but Zatara needed to keep working to pay medical bills. She died in 2008.[7] He was away in a hotel when Kent came to deliver the news. In the wake of his wife's death, Zatara spent more time with Zatanna, and began to take her with him on tour, where she sometimes joined him on stage. Seeing he needed support, Kent suggested Zatara join, and recommended him to, the Justice League, which he formally joined[2] in August, 2008.[9]


Washington, D.C.
July 4, 14:00 EDT

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.[10]

Washington, D.C.
July 5, 00:39:16 EDT

The entire League arrived at the site of the destroyed Cadmus facility after the sidekicks Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash battled with Blockbuster.[11]

August 21, 16:07 EDT

Zatara attended the funeral of Kent Nelson at the Tower of Fate.[12]

Mount Justice
October 1, 18:13 EDT

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.[13]

Mount Justice
October 10, 16:58 EDT

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.[1]

Mount Justice
November 5, 19:47 EDT

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.[14]

Roanoke Island
November 6, post-00:01 EDT

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.[14]

The Watchtower
November 25, 06:54 EST

When it was questioned why Doctor Fate was still part of the Justice League, he explained Zatara wanted him to remain, so the League could keep a close eye on him.[15]


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.[16]


August 01, 10:38 EDT

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 and Nabu teleports away.[16]


May 14, 03:22 EDT

Inside the Helmet of Fate, Nabu argued with Zatara, telling the story of Nabu's death and the creation of Doctor Fate, but Zatara argued he had missed the point of his own story and that Fate needed others to help him, now and in the past. He urged Fate to listen to Zatanna on the mortal plane, where she argued that Fate needed to intervene in the fight between Child and Klarion.[17]

North Pole
May 14, 09:55 UTC

While Fate was frozen in ice by Child, inside the helmet, Zatara told Nabu his life story, and urged him to pass it on to Zatanna if he did not survive. Nabu reluctantly agreed.[2]

May 15, 00:01 EDT

Zatanna explained her plan to have rotating hosts for Doctor Fate; with Thirteen, Khalid Nassour, Zatara and herself each wearing the helmet for one week before passing it on to the next host. Nabu agreed to the proposal, but Zatara did not. Fate removed the helmet so Zatara could argue, but Zatanna convinced him that she was no longer the little girl he had tried to save, and that she could bear the burden. Khalid and Traci also agreed to the plan. Khalid took the helmet and became Doctor Fate, allowing Zatanna and Zatara time together.

The group went back to the school bus that Klarion had possessed. After Zatanna cast a spell to see what the bus had been through, Fate sent the bus back to its original time, then left. Zatara asked if Zatanna was okay. She told him she had seen Superboy's spirit in trouble.

Soon after, aboard the Watchtower, Black Canary counselled Zatara about his lost decade as Doctor Fate's host. After updating him on the occupants of the school bus she had been secretly counselling for ten years, Canary changed the subject back to Giovanni. After crediting his faith and love for his daughter for getting him through, he broke down in tears.[3]

Zatara did not return to the Justice League, but was among those considered as a possible reservist.[18]

August 27, 20:30 EDT

Atop the rebuilt Tower of Fate, Doctor Fate removed the Helmet of Fate, releasing Zatara. He hugged his daughter, and confirmed he had failed to convince Nabu to help them find Superboy's spirit. Zatanna then donned the helmet.[19]

September 03, 00:00 EDT

Zatara gathered with a number of other powerful magic users around the bell of the Tower of Fate. They attempted a ritual to find Superboy's spirit, but failed.[19]

Happy Harbor
September 16, 16:16 EDT

Zatara attended Conner and M'gann's wedding. Before the ceremony, he listened as Black Canary explained her idea to set up a mental health sanctuary for the Justice League and its allies.[20]

Powers and abilities

  • 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!)[21][13]
    • "Erif, kees tuo siht larutannu erutaerc!" (Fire, seek out this unnatural creature!)[21][13]
    • "Niatnoc eht erutaerc!" (Contain the creature!)[21][13]
    • "Ekirts natoW nwod!" (Strike Wotan down!)[21][13]
    • "Tropsnart siht namaremac ot ytefas!" (Transport this cameraman to safety!)[22]
    • "Etativel won!" (Levitate now!)[22]
    • "Tup hcae meti ni sti reporp ecalp!" (Put each item in its proper place!)[14][23]
    • "Nommus eht gninthgil!" (Summon the lightning!)[14][23]
    • "Ekat em daetsni." (Take me instead.)[14][23]


Background information

  • 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.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Weisman, Greg (writer) & Youngberg, Matt (director) (October 21, 2011). "Humanity". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 15. Cartoon Network.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Vietti, Brandon (writer) & Sotta, Christina (director) (December 23, 2021). "Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 12. HBO Max.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Weisman, Greg (writer) & Berkeley, Christopher (director) (December 30, 2021). "Kaerb Ym Traeh!". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 13. HBO Max.
  4. Weisman, Greg (2022-06-21). Question #26076. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  5. Weisman, Greg (2012-05-19). Question #15036. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-05-19.
  6. Weisman, Greg (2012-01-13). Question #14000. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Weisman, Greg (2022-06-15). Question #26061. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  8. Weisman, Greg (2012-01-30). Question #14098. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  9. Weisman, Greg (2022-07-20). Question #26123. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  10. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Oliva, Jay (director) (November 26, 2010). "Independence Day". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 1. Cartoon Network.
  11. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Liu, Sam (director) (November 26, 2010). "Fireworks". (Part 2) Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 2. Cartoon Network.
  12. Weisman, Greg, Kevin Hopps (w). Jones, Christopher (p). Davis, Dan (i). Atkinson, Zac (col). Sienty, Dezi (let). Chadwick, Jim (ed). "The Pit..." Young Justice 11 (December 21, 2011), New York, NY: DC Comics
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Hopps, Kevin (writer) & Chang, Michael (director) (October 14, 2011). "Revelation". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 14. Cartoon Network.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Weisman, Greg (writer) & Chang, Michael (director) (March 3, 2012). "Misplaced". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 19. Cartoon Network.
  15. Hopps, Kevin (writer) & Chang, Michael (director) (March 24, 2012). "Agendas". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 22. Cartoon Network.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Vogel, Michael (writer) & Heuck, Vinton (director) (January 11, 2019). "Private Security". Young Justice. Season 3. Episode 4. DC Universe.
  17. Chowdhry, Nida (writer) & Heuck, Vinton (director) (December 16, 2021). "Teg Ydaer!". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 11. HBO Max.
  18. Stotts, Taneka (writer) & Sotta, Christina (director) (April 14, 2022). "Beyond the Grip of the Gods!". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 18. HBO Max.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Sparrow, Aaron (writer) & Sotta, Christina (director) (May 5, 2022). "Odyssey of Death!". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 21. HBO Max.
  20. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Heuck, Vinton (director) (June 9, 2022). "Death and Rebirth". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 26. HBO Max.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Weisman, Greg (2012-01-10). Question #13947. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Dubuc, Nicole (writer) & Oliva, Jay (director) (November 4, 2011). "Failsafe". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 16. Cartoon Network.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Weisman, Greg (2012-04-11). Question #14549. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-04-11.