Giovanni Zatara: 1938 - Present
Born to a single mother in Blüdhaven's Melville Parr, John Mandracchia was orphaned by a car accident at a young age and ended up in the care of an old magician named Luigi Zatara. Luigi made John his apprentice when he discovered his knack for prestidigitation. Before his performance debut, John changed his name to Giovanni Zatara. It was with this name that he drew in great crowds in his first solo tour and shocked the world with his amazing tricks, breathing new life into the world of illusion.
On his fifth world tour, Giovanni met the woman known as Sindella, with whom he shared a magical week in Turkey. Nearly a year later, Sindella returned to leave Giovanni with a reminder of their Turkish escapades: a little raven-haired baby girl named Zatanna.
From the beginning, Giovanni adored his child and knew she was something special. Giovanni trained Zatanna in his craft and she exceeded his own remarkable talents at every turn with little effort. By the time she was a teenager, Giovanni was mostly retired, knowing Zatanna was selling more tickets to their show that he was and gracefully stepped aside. Then, on July 2nd, 1993 - Zatanna’s 21st birthday, Giovanni’s world shattered when Zatanna disappeared during a special performance in Gotham City. For years, Giovanni searched for his daughter.
When found nothing, he turned to magic… real magic, the dark arts. John Constantine, a former pupil, helped Giovanni track down the Helm of Nabu, a relic which would grant its wearer true power, at a great cost. Donning the helmet, Giovanni discovered that his daughter was alive and well; and knew she would return, but in the process had become bound to serve as the host for the helm’s entity for fifty-one week long tours of duty, with a single weeks’ reprieve before returning to the helm. Giovanni agreed to this rather demanding arrangement as doing so allowed him enough influence over Nabu to know that if the moment should come that his daughter needed him, that not even Fate itself could stop Giovanni Zatara.
Trivia and Notes
- Zatara becoming Dr. Fate is a nod to Young Justice animated series.
- Giovanni's date of birth is a nod to his first appearance in Action Comics #1 in June, 1938.
- Giovanni's address is a nod to the first appearance of Dr. Fate in More Fun Comics #58.
- Zatara's birth name, Mandracchia, is an homage to Mandrake the Magician, a popular adventure strip character who was a huge influence on early magical superheroes, including Zatara. Like Zatara, Mandrake was a stage magician who secretly had real magical powers that he used to fight evil.