Thanks to writer Alan Moore in 1986, we know that Zatanna and Constantine had a relationship of some sort after attending a Tantric Studies group together. Their brief interaction followed by a kiss took place in Swamp Thing issue 49. However their relationship was expanded later in Justice League Dark. It shouldn’t be surprising how two of DC’s most powerful sorcerers would find magic in each other. Let’s explore the bits and pieces of their history.
Thanks to the New 52 era of DC Comics, which consisted of rebooting many angles of their characters, we finally got to see a detailed background of Zatanna and Constantine’s relationship. In Justice League Dark issue 0, we can see that Constantine travels to New York City because it’s the so-called “center of the world”. There he seeks all the magic he can learn, and becomes a mentor of a man and his girlfriend Zatanna. When he begins to drift away pursing other things, Zatanna and Constantine find themselves in a convenient position to start dating each other.
Even before this detailed story though, there were hints and reminiscences of Constantine and Zatanna’s relationship. For example in Secret Origins 27 (page 29) there is a panel where Constantine is shirtless and Zatanna is in alluring clothing, almost like lingerie. The page was showing all the people she had been trained by such as Hawkman, Atom, Green Lantern, Elongated Man, and Constantine.
In another comic, Zatanna issue 2 from 1993 has a dream sequence that takes up a full page. On this page, Constantine makes an appearance, with a memory of Zatanna and Constantine’s relationship. Both of them are naked in this dream sequence, so there’s no other interpretation for what kind of relationship they had together. It is also apparent that the sequence is a reference the the Secret Origins image, since the scenery is similar.
Something that put a wedge in their relationship is when Constantine more-or-less was responsible for Zatanna’s father dying. During a dangerous seance with multiple sorcerers, lives were beginning to be taken. Attendees of the seance included Constantine, Zatanna and her father Zatara. When Zatanna sensed that her life was about to be taken, Zatara did a spell to have his own life taken instead of hers.
And finally, there are a couple of sweet Justice League Dark animated movie that you should check out. Both movies show how their relationship goes beyond friendship, and who doesn’t like a good animated movie based on comic book characters?