Giovanni Zatara

History

As far as the world knows, Giovanni Zatara was just a kid from New Jersey who happened to have a knack for sleight of hand, and later took the world by storm as one of its most legendary illusionists and entertainers, captivating humanity's imagination and encouraging its fascination with magic for decades.

But the truth is more complicated than that. Arguably, his beginnings began much earlier, to the ancient African empire of Kor, ruled by its immortal wizard-king, Nommo, who had ambitions of cultivating from the human race the world's most perfect magician. Throughout his long life, he manipulated events and people, secretly forging bloodlines and blood ties; whatever potent magical potential he found among the ranks of the Homo Magi, he secretly guided these individuals into seeking more, from the likes of Nicolas Flamel, Leonardo da Vinci, Alessandro Cagliostro and beyond, to the modern era when Giovanni was born. And once he was old enough to be approached, he inserted himself into the young American's life as a humble bookstore owner, surreptitiously manipulating him into discovering da Vinci's secret notebooks, and paving his way towards his magical destiny…

…and his prophesied doom.

As Giovanni progressed in leaps and bounds through his magical education, Nommo was pleased and for several long years believed that he would not be able to do better than Giovanni - a prodigy in his youth, the boy from New Jersey grew up into a man determined to save the world from itself, battling mystical threats from without and within. Throughout his youth and well into his middle aged years, he was a proud member of the Justice League's precursor, the All-Star Squadron, as its mystical expert and one of the Earth's foremost magical protectors. His accomplishments, while quiet, were numerous, and so significant that it was often said within the mystical circles he frequented that whenever Zatara moved, he caused powerful ripples, no matter how small the gesture. It only made him more cautious. His fame and expertise brought him further up the ranks of these secretive circles, and even took a lover from among the world's more notorious immortals - a woman named Madame Xanadu, a seer as infamous as he was a sorceror, as her visions were said to always come true, and while the relationship was intense, Xanadu later broke it off, having been shaken by the visions of his death and could not stay with him after discovering just how he would die: in a fire, led there by a young protege who he viewed as a son.

With all that he accomplished, Nommo was, for a time, convinced that he reached the pinnacle of his efforts, until he decided to manipulate the events around his pet project one last time just to see if he could further improve upon what he had created. He orchestrated a magical battle, pitting Giovanni against a powerful foe, which led him, eventually, in the arms of a Homo Magus sorceress and healer named Sindella, born with a Medulla Jewel. It was love at first sight, though Giovanni remained in the dark of Sindella's origins, and while under orders from Nommo, she kept it a secret from Giovanni. They later married and had one child, a daughter born with a soul of pure magic, whom Nommo was determined to make his bride….

Recent Events

Giovanni Zatara had only grown more elusive the older he became, and while many sought him out as a teacher, he took only three proteges in his life. The first was John Constantine, the protege who he knew would lead him to his final fate, whom he met after a performance in London and saw in him the crossroads of Fate, and all the tremendous suffering he would endure because of them.

The second was the son of his old friend, Thomas Wayne, fated to change the biggest city in the world forever, and while he never taught Bruce Wayne magic, he educated him in all the ways he could cheat death, no matter how inescapable a situation seemed. Bruce, the Batman, later passed on Zatara's escapology techniques to his other proteges.

The third was his daughter, Zatanna, his greatest weakness and the only thing in the world he unconditionally loves after the death of his wife in a car accident a few short months after she was born, whose origins and destiny he kept from her, and with the knowledge of his ultimate end, inscribed in her body four of his greatest spellbooks, to function as her final inheritance in the event of his demise.

He disappeared in the Fall of 2016, and where he has gone is a mystery even to those well-connected in the world's mystical community, but considering the man's reputation, the only thing that could call him away from the world he has so staunchly defended in the last few decades must be a serious threat, indeed…

Personality

On stage, he is the consummate entertainer; elegant, flamboyant and charming. Outside of it, he can be a harsh taskmaster, especially to his few students and like most magicians of his caliber, infuriatingly mysterious and cryptic. In the end, however, he defines himself, first and foremost, as a genuinely loving and caring father. Still, even those who know, and love him best would agree that the years and his work have turned him into an emotional cipher.

RP Hooks

Relationships

  • Zatanna Zatara: The most important thing in the universe to him. There is nothing he would not do, nothing he would not sacrifice, for his daughter and only child. The problem is everyone knows it, including his numerous enemies.
  • John Constantine: Once upon a time, John was like a son to him, and even then the relationship was complicated and fraught with conflict, not in the least caused by the knowledge that Giovanni knows that John is fated to bring his end. His distance of late has not been caused by indifference, but the paternal desire not to add onto the suffering of a lad who has already endured so much.
  • Bruce Wayne: The only son of one of his closest friends, Thomas Wayne's death had driven Giovanni into alcoholism during Zatanna's childhood. It was Bruce's visit to Shadowcrest, seeking his knowledge, that prompted him to climb out of the bottle, reminded that he had certain obligations as a father that did not leave any room for such destructive indulgences.

Character Sheet

MAGIC: Giovanni Zatara is one of the world's most powerful magicians, made this way by his bloodline, pure magical potential and prodigious skill in this regard, and while he casts spells in his trademarked backwards speech - something that he has passed onto his daughter - it would be an underestimation of the extent of his skills to believe that is all he knows. The man is an expert in bending reality to his whims, and lying to the universe to achieve his aims.

Miscellaneous

Gallery

Appearances

The Great Zatara
One of the world's greatest magicians
One of the world's greatest magicians
Full Name: Giovanni "John" Zatara
Code Name: The Great Zatara
Occupation: Stage Magician, Mystic, Protector of Worlds
Aliases:
Reg. Status: Unregistered
Alignment: Neutral
Home Turf: Outer Space
Affiliations: Justice League (in its former incarnation as the All-Star Squadron)
Physical Information
Gender: Male
Species: Metahuman
Species Detail: Homo Magus
Age: 60's
Height: 5'11"
Build: Lanky
Hair Color: Black (Graying)
Eye Color: Ice Blue
OOC Information
Portrayed By:
Theme Song: "My Way" by Frank Sinatra
Character Type: StaffNPC
Universe: DC
Wiki Tag: giovanni-zatara
Played Since: November 2018
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