Paul Dini and Joe Quinones
2014 DC Comics

This is an original graphic novel, not a collected mini series and from the back pages of extras it seems that the original pitch was from 2005. This is interesting because it may or may not be part of continuity and frankly I love that it is just a great stand alone tale.

Here’s the run down. Black Canary goes under cover to stop a heist in Vegas. The woman in charge of the score has all members take an oath which as it turns out is actually a spell of loyalty. When things go bad and Canary stops it there are some hard feelings to say the least. Now a while later members of the gang are dying and Canary is on the list. She seeks help from her friend and fellow Justice League member Zatanna. They eventually confront the woman and stop the threat. But it’s the ride to that destination that makes this so fun.

We are given the history between these two in a series of flashbacks starting when Dinah Lance was just 16 and training to become the Black Canary, they have a meeting in the mountains as Zatanna is undergoing a rite of passage as a magician, I believe she’s around 12. As the book continues we see Zatanna join the Justice League and a number of other adventures the two share. Quinones does a great job showing off the various costumes the two have had over the years.

bloodspell1What I love about the book is the relationship the two have, light hearted banter and great teamwork. Dinah acts as a bit of a mentor early on and they are obviously equals as the story continues. Dinah is a bit more serious but they both display a great sense of humor, especially in a scene set in a toy store. Plus there is never any doubt these two can handle any threat. Dini’s wife is actually a magician so the magic stuff is especially fun. I also enjoyed the cameos from Wonder Woman, Superman and others.

The art is amazing. I love that Black Canary is attractive, but not like a super model. And I love the way Quinones does expressions. Especially when he closes in on Zatanna’s eyes.

If you are a fan of great writing and fun stories this is the book for you. Books like this are why I read comics.