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Justice League Dark Officially Names Zatanna Team Leader

In the latest issue of Justice League, the members of Justice League Dark elect a new leader of the team after the departure of Wonder Woman.

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Justice League Dark story “Dangerous Things” by Ram V, Xermanico, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Rob Leigh, Andrea Shea, and Alex R. Carr, featured in Justice League #60, available now.

Prior to “Infinite Frontier” and “Future State,” the Justice League Dark was led by Wonder Woman. However, with Wonder Woman currently on an adventure of her own and the heroes of the DCU believing her gone for good, the newly reformed Justice League Dark is in need of a leader.

This chapter of Justice League Dark opens with the current members of the Justice League debating whether to involve Etrigan in the magical incarnation of the team again. Despite his history as a member of the team (and his involvement with the “Future State” team), Etrigan’s origin  and sudden reappearance are closely related to the current threat faced by the Justice League Dark, Merlin. Etrigan was originally summoned to Earth to serve Merlin during the time of Camelot before he bound the demon to Jason Blood.

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Given the threat Merlin poses to all magic users, it’s understandable why the heroes would err on the side of caution when it comes to Etrigan’s current loyalties. If Etrigan were to betray the team for Merlin it would be disastrous. It makes sense then for the team to seek the Justice League’s opinion on the matter, considering that they are accustomed to dealing with serious threats to the world.

Unfortunately, the heroes can’t agree on the issue, at least not until Batman steps in. The Dark Knight remains notably quiet as his fellow Justice League members speak, listening to what everyone has to say before putting his cards on the table. After everyone has had their say, Batman tells everyone that if Zatanna trusts Etrigan and, more importantly, leads the Justice League Dark, he would be comfortable with Etrigan’s involvement.

Zatanna is surprised by the suggestion. She is noticeably hesitant to lead, telling Batman that she doesn’t believe she’s the right person for the job. Batman tells her that her figuring out how to defeat the Upside-Down Man is proof enough of why she should be leader. Zatanna suggests that the only reason she was able to do that was because of Wonder Woman but with no Wonder Woman present, the other heroes rally around Zatanna, with Superman insisting that Diana would have wanted her to lead.

RELATED: Justice League Dark Destroys an Iconic Weapon That May Doom DC’s Future

After the matter is settled and Zatanna has been chosen as the Justice League Dark’s new leader, Batman takes Etrigan to the side and tells him the real reason for his actions. Batman tells the Demon that the reason he vouched for the creature and the team as a whole was because of Zatanna. Batman goes on to explain that Zatanna needs to know that she can inspire others. Considering Zatanna’s lack of confidence in Batman choice, and her being unable to use her magic in the previous JLD back-up story, it makes sense why Batman would want to push her out of her comfort zone.

It’s not just that though, as Batman further explains that the reason he’s doing this for Zatanna in the first place is because he owes her father. Zatara was a friend of Batman’s parents and trained a young Bruce Wayne in the art of illusion and escape. With Zatanna losing her father all over again at the end of the previous Justice League Dark series, it makes sense for Bruce to literally threaten a demon of hell in order to ensure that she is protected.

KEEP READING: Zatanna Script Writer Promises a ‘Scary and Intense’ Movie

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