Dini, Kramer and Faucher are back, bringing Zatanna with them in Detective 833 (Aug. 07).
The story deals with Loxias, the evil magician who has caused problems for the Penguin a few issue ago. But it also provides some backstory for the relationship between Bruce and Zatanna. Zatanna’s father, Zatara, had been friends with the Waynes, and after their murder, Alfred enlisted Zatara for one of Bruce’s birthday parties. He was hoping to life the boy’s spirits, but failed. But Zatara brought his young daughter along, and she followed Brice down to the river, and managed to make him smile, and laugh, with her own magic.
So a lifelong bond is retroactively created between the two characters, which makes her mind-wiping of Batman, as related in (and flashed back to) Identity Crisis, even more of a betrayal.
But Zatanna remains the magic user that Batman trusts the most (which doesn’t say much for the rest), so he turns to her for help against Loxias.
But there is still a degree of hesitancy Batman has around her – which causes him to not react as fast as he might when Loxias attacks, cutting her throat.
And is also what kept Batman from picking up on the clues that Loxias is actually dead, and has been replaced by the Joker.
The story concludes in the next issue.