Review: Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell

by GregFahlgren

Reviewing DC's Original Graphic Novel featuring two of the companies best Super Heroines.

Hello everyone! Back again with another review, and this time I will be looking at is the wonderfully bright and vibrant graphic novel, Black Canary Zatana: Bloodspell!

Bloodspell was released last year, and features two of DC’s most tenured and beloved female heroes: Black Canary and Zatanna. Both women have been a major part of DC Comics for decades, several times becoming members of the JLA (Black Canary leading the time for a time in fact), and have huge fan followings despite never having extensive runs with a solo title. Bloodspell puts these two badass ladies on centre stage, and let’s them show how amazing they are in a wonderfully fun story that ends up being one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had in recent memory.

With that in mind, come with me as I explore this book, and explain exactly why it is one of the best graphic novels I’ve read in recent memory.


First as always, let’s a moment to meet the creators behind this wonderful book.

Writer: Paul Dini

Artist and Cover: Joe Quinones

Colourist: Dave McCaig

Sal Cipriano: Letterer


Bright Colours, Warm Characters

The art of ant comic book or graphic novel is the most important part of the work as it can either make or break thebook. If the art doesn’t match the tone of the story the writer is trying to tell, than the book cannot achieve its fullest potential. Thankfully, this graphic novel did not have that problem.

Bloodspell’s art not only fulfilled the potential of Paul Dini’s script, it greatly exceeded it. The art is playful, vibrant, and full of life, capturing the two leads in all their glory from start to finish while also creating a world that begs to dive into. Some of the panels of Dinah and Zatanna truly took my breath away, not just because they were beautiful, but because Joe Quinoses captured the essence of both characters, and brought them to life in a way that made me love them from the moment I laid eyes on the two. He captured the playfulness of both characters, the friendship and love they shared for one another, and the steely determination both woman have in abundance as they fight against the evil beset against them.

Many artists are capable of achieving what I just said, but what makes Bloodspell’s art so amazing is that it made the book truly fun to read.So many times in modern comics, especially at DC, things are dark and haunting, at times unnecessarily so. Bloodspell was fun, bright, colourful, and warm, matching Dini’s script perfectly and giving the audience something truly special to look through. And the responsibility for that of course lies with McCaig, his colours bringing Quinoses’s pencils to life in the best way possible, making one of the most unique and wonderfully vibrant books DC has put out in a long time. Congrats to the whole art team for their work, the art in this book on par with anything in comic books today.


Super Girl Friends Kicking Ass

Bloodspells’s story centres around Black Canary and her search for a dead sorceress she had stopped killing a man the year before. After a few of the sorceress’s former colleagues were mysteriously murdered, Dinah discovers that she has also been made a prime target, and realizes that she needs help. Going to Zatanna for magic advice, together they begin to unravel the mystery surrounding their opponent, and try to stop her.

Throughout their adventure we are treated to some great dialogue between the two ladies, truly showcasing just how loveable both women are. The genuine affection the two have for each other really brings the book together, their friendship one of the best between superheroes I’ve read in some time. Throughout the book, we are also treated to a number of flashback stories detailing the history between our super-heroines. While I’m not usually a fan of flashback devices, Bloodspell’s fit perfectly, making their present struggle mean that much more. The main story was a fun ride from start to finish as well, culminating in a wonderful final battle that was one of the most unique fights I’ve ever read in comic book.

Paul Dini did a great job of capturing both title character’s personalities, from Z’s girlish and generous nature to Dinah’s stoic and badass determination. The stuff with Green Arrow was great as well, making me really miss the Arrow/Canary relationship that was axed some years ago. The villain herself was a little forgettable, but presented enough of a challenge to keep our heroine’s on their toes, and made her defeat all the more satisfying.

In the end, Bloodspell was a great ride, and a lot of fun. I didn’t want the book to end frankly, and I would love to see Dinah and Z team up in the future, their unique dichotomy a true delight to observe.

Final Verdict

Pure Fun

Bloodspell to me is what comic books should be: fun. Were there any big universe shattering battles? No. Were there any huge revelations that changed the two title characters forever? No. Was there some kind of grand tragedy that would set the comic book world on fire. No. But great comic book stories don’t need those things to be great. Not knocking the books that have done those things, I love them as much as anyone, but not EVERY book needs to be that. Everything about Bloodspell was just plain fun. From the wonderful art to the amazing story Bloodspell kept me smiling the whole way through. And sometimes, that’s all I’m looking for in a comic book.

Plain and simple, Bloodspell is a great read that guarantees you the most fun you’ve had reading a comic book in some time, and features two of DC’s best heroines in all their impressive glory. If you’re looking for a good story, or just something with Black Canary and Zatanna kicking ass, Bloodspell is definitely the book for you.


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Updated: 09/09/2016, GregFahlgren
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