Young Justice Connects Superman To DC's First Magic Hero

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Young Justice season four, episode 12, "Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!"

An episode of Young Justice season 4 revealed a connection shared between Superman and Zatara and how the Man of Steel inspired the wizard to become a crimefighter. Many fans wouldn't think that Superman and Zatara would have much in common. However, the two share a common heritage dating back to Superman's first comic book appearance in 1938.

Most Super-fans know that Action Comics #1 was the book which introduced Superman to the world. Far fewer comic readers know that Action Comics #1 also marked the first appearance of Zatara, Master Magician. Though he is today most often remembered as the father of the magical heroine Zatanna (who will shortly star in a new DCEU movie written by Emerald Fennell), Zatara is historically notable as DC Comics' first magic-wielding superhero.

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The Young Justice season 4 episode "Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!" honored this connection by tying the two heroes together through a shared heritage as immigrants. While he was originally given the name John Zatara, later comic book stories retconned the Master Magician's name to Giovanni Zatara and gave him the background of an Italian immigrant to the United States. This was confirmed to also be the case in the reality of Earth-16, where Zatara made his living as a stage illusionist, passing off his true magic powers and backwards speech spells as simple stagecraft.

When Superman first revealed himself to the world and that he was the sole survivor of the doomed planet Krypton, Zatara found himself inspired to do more with his powers. The magician reasoned that if Superman could use his powers to protect his adopted home planet, he could do no less for his adopted homeland. This spurred Zatara to begin fighting crime with his powers when he wasn't touring and eventually led to his joining the Justice League as their magical advisor.

Zatara recalled this history and his connection to Superman in the background of Young Justice season 4, episode 12 "Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!" He dictated his life story to the Helm of Nabu, instructing the Lord of Order who had possessed his body for nearly ten years after forcing him to take up the role of Doctor Fate to pass his tale on to his daughter in the event that he died in battle with the Chaos Lord, Child. Given the mounting mystic danger to the world of Young Justice in previous episodes, it seems like that Zatara will be making his final stand shortly. Nevertheless, the fact that the series honored and referenced the connection between Zatara and Superman in the comics in such a clever fashion speaks as to just how deeply detailed the show's worldbuilding has become after four seasons.

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