Bloodspell begins with a charming scene of Dinah Drake and Zatanna meeting when both in their teens before moving to the present day when members of an all-girl gang begin committing suicide. After some nice character bonding and a trip back to Zatanna’s first case with the Justice League, it’s revealed that Black Canary has got herself into rather the supernatural pickle. Who better to call on than her JLA colleague well versed in magic?

The threat is just Paul Dini making the minimal concession to the needs of the superhero graphic novel. He’s actually far more interested in the personality interaction between Dinah and Zatanna, and page after page is filled with their just hanging out together. This is beautifully drawn by Joe Quinones, overlooking an occasional long face on Zatanna, and he ensures the environments in which the heroes are seen are fully detailed, along with the occasional visual joke.

Dini moves the story forward with plenty of guest stars, charm and expertise, but readers may be surprised when Bloodspell’s end is reached, as there’s still around a third of the book to go. Are there back-up strips? No, just fifty pages of process material. If you’re a big fan of seeing the original proposal, typed scripts, character designs, page layout thumbnails and pencilled art before ink and colour is applied, then this will be hog heaven for you. However, the suspicion is that most readers just want the story, and would prefer not to have to pay extra for the process material. Unfortunately for them, it’s not in the Zatanna by Paul Dini collection, so it’s this or nothing.