Batman Names the Surprising Hero Who Sees Straight Through His Hype

Batman Names the Surprising Hero Who Sees Straight Through His Hype

Batman has spent years cultivating his reputation as a fearsome and intimidating creature of vengeance, but Zatanna sees him quite differently.

Warning! Contains spoilers for Batman: Urban Legends #16!

Although Batman is known for using his fearsome reputation to distance himself from others, there is one DC hero who is close enough to him to ignore all that. Batman has carefully crafted his superhero persona to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, but this can also have the unfortunate side effect of intimidating some of his allies. Despite this, he has been able to forge deep personal connections with some other heroes like Superman. However, none of those relationships are quite like his relationship with Zatanna.

Zatanna is one of the most preeminent magic users in the DC Universe. She is one of the leaders of Justice League Dark and thus is oftentimes shown interacting with other magic users like John Constantine more than the more typical members of the regular Justice League. However, she has a long history with the original Justice League, having served as an important member. She also has a deep relationship with Batman, with the two having met as children when Bruce was learning escapism from her father Zatara. While their relationship has had its ups and downs, it has always remained unique in its extreme intimacy.


Related: The Bat-Family Finally Gets the Magical Teammate They Always Deserved

In the sixth part of “Bound to Our Will” by Vita Ayala, Nikola Cizmesija, and Hayden Sherman in Batman: Urban Legends #16, Batman and Zatanna have a heart-to-heart after defeating a powerful magical threat. This threat was initially caused by a spell that the pair had done in an attempt to grow closer but the aftermath of that ritual had the effect of largely driving them apart (showing how dating magical heroes like Zatanna can be complicated). However, with the threat finally gone, the two heroes are finally able to sort through their past baggage. Bruce reveals that he had pushed Zatanna away since she is the only person who truly knows him without any preexisting expectations, and he wanted to know what he could become on his own.

Batman and Zatanna have a heart to heart.

The strained nature of Batman and Zatanna’s relationship shows how unique that relationship truly is. Batman has never had such intimate issues with the other important people in his life like Alfred or Superman. Despite how close those two are to him, they serve different roles in his life. Alfred has been a father figure to Bruce and thus can’t help viewing him as a son. And Superman only got to know Batman after he had become an established hero. Zatanna however met Bruce before he was Batman and, unlike other Bat-Family members who knew him at this time, was first and foremost just his friend. Thus Zatanna is the only person who truly sees Batman as just Bruce, without any additional expectations on him.

At the conclusion of the “Bounded to Our Will” story, Zatanna joins the Bat-Family for dinner. This is heartening to see, as it shows that the two have finally been able to reconcile and become close again. Everyone needs someone in their life who can see them for what they truly are, and now that they’ve become friends again, Batman is finally able to have Zatanna reassume this role.

More: Batgirl’s Villain Costume Gave Her the Superpower Batman Pretends to Have

Batman: Urban Legends #16 is now available from DC Comics.

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About The Author

Benjamin Sockol
(124 Articles Published)

Ben Sockol has been writing articles for the comics section of Screen Rant since early 2022. Growing up watching a variety of Saturday morning cartoons and then voraciously reading through the comics they were based on, Ben developed a love of the superhero genre from an early age. And upon discovering anime in high school and college he became a manga fanatic as well. After double majoring in Physics and Mathematics at MIT and doing a brief stint as an Analyst at an investment firm, he realized that writing about his nerdy interests was his true calling. When Ben isn’t writing about comic books, he is most likely reading them or engaging in one of his many other hobbies like card magic. Ben is also a regular contributor to the Mega Manga Mondays podcast and has his own YouTube channel YGOFrom0 where he does deep dives into historic formats of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. You can occasionally find him on Twitter @bsocks8.

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